Conley has impressed recently, he is coming off a start of 7 1/3 hitless innings against the Milwaukee Brewers and helped finish off the sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks by going 5 1/3 scoreless innings. He has set the club record for hitless innings with 11 1/3 through three starts against the San Francisco Giants and the aforementioned Brewers and Diamondbacks.
Conley's hitless streak passed three former stars, each streak built off their no-hitter. The stars include: Al Leiter (May 11-17, 1996), Kevin Brown (June 10-16, 1997) and Anibal Sanchez (Sept. 6-11, 2006), each tossed 10 no-hit innings, according to Elias Sports Bureau. The team record for a reliever is 14 by Armando Benitez in 2004.
Conley hot streak has been accompanied by the rest of the team. The Marlins have won 11 of their last 12 games and sit 2.5 games back out of the NL East lead.
Going into the season it was necessary the offense was going to have to carry the team. A shaky bullpen and uncertain back of the rotation led to questions of the Marlins being a legitimate contender. The Marlins offense has been on fire placing them 2nd in batting average, and 5th in runs in last 7 days. Throughout the year the bullpen has been solid sitting at 12th in ERA, however, the starters have not been as successful sporting a 4.15 starters ERA.
What may surprise most is that the three worst starters have been Wei-Yin Chen, Jose Fernandez, and Tom Koehler. Koehler obviously is not anywhere near the talent of Chen and Fernandez but he was a lock in the rotation with hopes of having 3.50 - 4.00 ERA, however, his ERA currently sits at 7.25. The most consistent and successful starters this year have been youngsters Justin Nicolino and Adam Conley.
Even with the Marlins recent success the rotation is still a cause for concern. The hope is the young guns continue their successful starts throughout the season and Fernandez, Chen, and Koehler eventually come into form. However, it may take longer for Chen to get acclimated and if Koehler continues to pitch badly the Marlins may have to consider a demotion even though the options are not the best. Confidence in Fernandez should be very high because he is one of the best pitchers in the game and so far we've seen flashes of greatness, it is only a matter of time till he puts it all together.
News from around the NL East
The Good Phight questions if Aaron Nola will exceed already high expectations
Daniel Convery of Amazin' Avenue breaks down the Mets' prospects
Dusty Baker makes Michael Taylor learn from Daniel Murphy
Washington Nationals fall to the Chicago Cubs in battle of NL best
Atlanta Braves skipper Fredi Gonzalez is on the hot seat