The Miami Marlins thought they had one of the most consistent bullpens in all of baseball after they acquired Fernando Rodney from the San Diego Padres in early July. With the trio of David Phelps, Rodney, and A.J. Ramos, the Marlins were expected to have a shutdown bullpen, similar to what the Kansas City Royals have had for a long time. Fast forward a month, and that so-called dominant trio is right now up in flames. Ramos is on the 15-day DL, Phelps is currently in the starting rotation, and Rodney hasn’t been what the Marlins thought he would be when they acquired him in July.
When the Marlins took on the Chicago White Sox on Saturday evening at Marlins Park, the bullpen was at the forefront of yet another game where the Marlins blow a lead late in the game. The Marlins had the 7-5 advantage in the top of the sixth when Dustin McGowan was on to pitch another inning. With the bases loaded, Chicago put a run on the board after Tim Anderson scored on a failed fielder’s choice, which cut the Marlins lead to 7-6. Miami escaped the inning relatively unscathed, as Nick Wittgren came in after the failed fielder’s choice and forced a double play to end the inning.
The top of the eighth was just one big disaster for the Marlins. Justin Morneau, who was pinch hitting for Chris Beck, doubled to right, which scored Justin Coats, and Chicago tied the game at 7 apiece. Melky Cabrera struck out a few batters later, but he got to first safely because of a wild pitch thrown by Kyle Barraclough, and the worst part of this at-bat was that Dioner Navarro was able to score, giving Chicago the decisive 8-7 lead. Nate Jones and David Robertson were able to finish the job as the Marlins took another gut-wrenching loss after losing 8-7. Miami now trails the St. Louis Cardinals by a half game for the second NL Wild Card.
Chicago raced out to a 4-0 lead, but it didn’t faze the Marlins as they were able to tie the game a few innings later. Thanks to home runs from Martin Prado and Giancarlo Stanton, the Marlins were able to tie the game at 4. J.T. Realmuto gave the Marlins the 5-4 lead after singling to center. Chicago would tie the game after Coats smashed a homer to left field. Stanton contributed a two RBI single which put the Marlins up 7-5, but they couldn’t hold the lead after allowing three unanswered runs.
Adam Conley only pitched four innings because he is nursing a hand injury. He allowed five runs and five hits, and he fanned four batters. James Shields also had a very short outing, as he allowed seven runs and 10 hits while striking out zero batters in only 3.0 innings of work. Miami has lost the first two games of the series, and they’ve lost four of their first five games on this homestand. Miami will look to salvage this series with a win tomorrow, as Tom Koehler takes the mound at 1:10 ET.
Hero of the Game: Dioner Navarro (0.36)
Goat of the Game: James Shields (-0.58)
Play of the Game: Justin Morneau doubles to right, Jason Coats scores (.309)