MIAMI -- What transpired Friday night at Marlins Park is how Miami's front office drew things up in the offseason when piecing together a pitching staff.Without a true ace, the design was to assemble durable starters and back them up with a shutdown bullpen. In Game 10, everything fell into
MIAMI -- What transpired Friday night at Marlins Park is how Miami's front office drew things up in the offseason when piecing together a pitching staff.
Without a true ace, the design was to assemble durable starters and back them up with a shutdown bullpen. In Game 10, everything fell into place for the Marlins in their 3-2 walk-off win over the Mets.
The relievers threw 4 1/3 shutout innings, allowing two hits with three walks and three K's. They kept New York's homer-happy offense at bay, and the Marlins were able to win a game that Mets ace Noah Syndergaard started.
"We're still trying to settle in," closer A.J. Ramos said. "We're still trying to find our flow. I still think it's going to shape up, and we'll be more than fine. I think we'll be good. It's kind of finding your rhythm and getting comfortable out there on the mound, and go from there."
Through their first nine games, the bullpen has had its struggles. They were 1-3 with a 3.02 ERA, with 40 strikeouts and 13 walks in 41 2/3 innings. Miami's relievers also have been victimized by the long ball, yielding eight homers in nine games.
How the bullpen bounced back Friday was the biggest question of the day, especially since they threw 13 innings in Thursday's 9-8 loss to the Mets in 16 innings.
The longest game in Marlins Park history forced Miami to rework its pitching. Edinson Volquez, who was initially scheduled to start Saturday, made the Friday start and lasted 4 2/3 innings. The veteran stepped up the day after he threw his bullpen.
Ramos was the only reliever not to pitch on Thursday, and he informed manager Don Mattingly he was available for one-plus inning Friday.
"A.J. before the game said he felt like he was one-plus," Mattingly said. "A.J. was going back out."
Fortunately for the Marlins, J.T. Realmuto hit a two-out, walk-off double in the ninth inning.
"I threw two innings in Spring Training," the 2016 All-Star said. "It was something I had prepared for, and I was ready to go. If we didn't score that run, I was ready to go out for that second inning."
The Marlins are banking on the bullpen being a strength.
"We have a lot of good arms out there, and they're going to carry us through this season," Realmuto said. "They're all finding the innings they feel they're most comfortable in. Sometimes it takes some time. Last year, our bullpen started slowly as well and they ended up being the strength of our team. Those guys are going to be just fine."
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.