Rough road trip started with Turner injury
MIAMI — A week ago, the Marlins wrapped up a successful first homestand, and carried a 5-2 record into their first road trip.
Everything seemed to be going smoothly, until a rough week that started at Washington and wrapped up in Philadelphia. What happened was they were swept in two straight seasons, lost six straight, and seven overall.
The week turned for the worse when Jacob Turner was scratched from his start, which was to be last Wednesday, because of a right shoulder strain. Brad Hand went from long relief into the rotation, and nothing has seemed to work since.
“Everything headed south when we lost Turner,” manager Mike Redmond said. “That threw the bullpen into a scramble mode, where we had to take Hand out of there, and that kind of started it. But, hey, it’s a long season. We’ve got a lot of games left to play.”
All the Marlins can do now is dust off, and start playing their game better, beginning on Monday night. It’s another tough task because they draw the Nationals, who head into Miami reeling from being swept at Atlanta.
Pitching is expected to be the strength of the club, but the rotation and bullpen have been struggling.
“We kind of got away from our identity of pitching,” reliever Mike Dunn said. “We didn’t execute pitches this whole road trip. We’ve got to get back to just focusing on the pitch and just executing one pitch at a time.”
The offense, too, has put up some runs, but isn’t necessarily driving in those add-on runs.
“We’re putting a lot of pressure on our pitchers when we’re in tie games to be perfect,” Redmond said.
As quickly as things headed south last week, the Marlins know their fortunes can turn with a few wins at Marlins Park.
“We can go out and have a great week next week, and we can be laughing about this [road trip],” Redmond said.
* Derek Dietrich, who missed two straight games at Philadelphia because of back spasms, is in the starting lineup on Monday. Jeff Baker got the start at second base the previous two games.
* Marcell Ozuna, who took a foul ball off his left leg on Sunday, is not in the lineup for the opener with the Nationals.
1) Yelich CF
2) Dietrich 2B
3) Stanton RF
4) Jones 1B
5) McGehee 3B
6) Saltalamacchia C
7) Johnson LF
8) Hechavarria SS
9) Hand P
– Joe Frisaro