Pitching woes throughout losing streak
MIAMI — When you are built around pitching, and it let’s down, this what happens.
This is the anatomy of an eight-game losing streak.
The Marlins have an upgraded offense, but not to the point of out-slugging teams. The foundation is still a promising young collection of arms. Both in the rotation and the bullpen. Few teams feature as many pitchers who throw 95-plus mph.
Right now, it doesn’t matter how hard the Marlins are throwing, the opposition is not missing anything.
Over the eight games, Miami’s overall ERA is 6.12, allowing 84 hits (including 10 home runs). Opponents are hitting at a blistering .304 clip. The bright spot, if there is one, is the pitchers have racked up 67 strikeouts over those 67 2/3 innings.
As starters, it hasn’t been very pretty. They are 0-5 with a 5.88 ERA. They’ve been knocked around, reflected by the opponents .326 batting average against them in the losing stretch. The starters have surrendered five home runs and 56 hits in 41 1/3 innings.
Because the starters haven’t gone deep very often, the bullpen has been overused. They are 0-3 with a 6.49 ERA, allowing 28 hits in 26 1/3 innings. The opposition is batting .269 against them.
At issue isn’t necessarily the raw stuff of each pitcher. Pitch selection has been a problem, dating back to Alexi Amarista belting a pinch-hit, three-run homer off Nathan Eovaldi on April 6, which started the losing streak.
The homer came with two out and two on in the seventh inning. Eovaldi was still throwing 97 mph in the inning, but with the count full, he threw a slider, and Amarista turned on it, sending it into the seats in right field, giving the Padres the lead for good.
On the road trip, Dan Jennings allowed a two-out, walk-off homer to Jimmy Rollins on a slider, in a loss on Saturday at Philadelphia. And on Sunday, in the series finale, Mike Dunn’s slider was pulled for a game-winning homer by Chase Utley in the eighth inning.
Three times during the six-game road trip the Marlins gave up a homer in the eighth, with two of them being grand slams at Washington. And Rollins’ homer off Jennings came in the 10th inning.
– Joe Frisaro