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Diving into the Marlins’ bullpen disaster

The Marlins’ relief staff has been struggling heavily and is the biggest reason for the eight-game losing streak.

Miami Marlins v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

I don’t know how this happened so abruptly, but it did. The Marlins’ bullpen imploded and is the biggest reason for their current eight-game losing streak. This group that had until recently been one of the highlights of the club’s 2021 season is now holding them back.

In the midst of their longest losing streak since 2015, the Marlins were swept by the Red Sox and the Blue Jays, and are on the verge of suffering the same fate against the Pirates on Sunday. The day before the beginning of the streak they were 1.5 games out of first place in the NL East—now they are 7.0 games behind and buried in last place.

Since May 27, their bullpen carries a 6.57 ERA, the second-worst of the Majors, only behind the Reds (7.57). Those arms have surrendered 23 earned runs, six home runs, and 17 bases on balls across 24 23 innings. Opponents have posted a .279/.358/.423 slash line in those eight games. During this stretch, there have been four games in which the Marlins got to the sixth inning leading or tied on the scoreboard, only to fail each time.

It’s not like the starting pitching has been brilliant (only two quality starts and a 4.61 ERA), but the bullpen has been so much worse. Besides, the Marlins lost Cody Poteet and Elieser Hernández to mid-start injuries.

Pitchers who were reliable prior to this streak are simply not anymore. Closer Yimi García has blown two saves opportunities and has registered two losses already. In his three latest appearances, García’s allowed four hits and five runs (four earned) over 2 13 innings with three walks and two strikeouts.

Marlins relievers during the eight-game losing streak

  • RHP Zach Pop: 6 ER, 0 BB, 2.0 IP
  • RHP Yimi García: 4 ER, 3 BB, 2.1 IP
  • RHP Dylan Floro: 3 ER, 3 BB, 3.2 IP
  • RHP Anthony Bass: 2 ER, 3 BB, 2.2 IP
  • RHP Adam Cimber: 2 ER, 2 BB, 3.1 IP
  • LHP Ross Detwiler: 1 ER, 0 BB, 1.2 IP
  • *RHP Sandy León: 0 ER, 0 BB, 1.0 IP
  • LHP Richard Bleier: 0 ER, 0 BB, 2.1 IP
  • RHP John Curtiss: 0 ER, 0 BB, 3.0 IP
  • RHP Anthony Bender: 0 ER, 2 BB, 2.2 IP

*Position player

While it’s still relatively early in the regular season and we cannot say with certainty that the Marlins’ season is over, they need to overcome this skid as fast as possible.