Miami Marlins quick with hook of Tom Koehler on Monday
The Miami Marlins were able to notch a win in extra innings on Monday night against the Phillies. But it came at the expense of the bullpen.
One player that could be on the move at the deadline is veteran pitcher Tom Koehler. Questions exist as to how much the Miami Marlins could actually get for Koehler, though. He hasn’t pitched well this season, and you can’t imagine many teams are looking at him as the answer to their problems.
Even the Miami Marlins, whose woes in the starting rotation are plenty, have been having trouble justifying Koehler starts lately. A fan favorite for several years, his poor performance now illicit’s a worrisome grimace anytime he takes the mound.
No surprise, the team was quick to yank him from the game once he ran into trouble against the Phillies.
Koehler managed to give the Miami Marlins five innings, but didn’t do himself or the team any favors in the process. He was good for the most part, but hit a wall in the third inning, surrendering four earned runs. He’d pitch two more scoreless innings before his night was over.
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It’s difficult to say if it was Koehler’s pitch count that got him taken out of the game or not. He was at 89 pitches at the end of the fifth inning. That means he would have landed somewhere between 100-110 pitches at the end of six.
Mattingly has been hesitant to let pitchers go that deep into the game. It wasn’t as if Koehler was at the top of his game either. A number of factors likely played into the decision.
Short-term fix, long-term problem
It worked out for the Miami Marlins last night. Koehler wasn’t able to deliver the ball to the pen with a lead, but the Fish were able to snag a win nonetheless. Powered by two Giancarlo Stanton home runs, a two-run shot from Justin Bour, and a Dee Gordon walk-off single, Miami got their first victory of the second half.
It was the kind of win the Marlins envisioned at the beginning of the year, but no longer want. The front office imagined a bullpen that would eat three or four innings each night. That strategy hasn’t worked. For the entire season, the bullpen has been overworked and blown games.
It isn’t all their fault, either. They’ve nearly split the total innings pitched with the Marlins starters this season. That’s too many innings to ask the bullpen to eat. It might have worked out for the Fish on Monday, but they’ll need a long start from Adam Conley on Tuesday.
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Koehler might be on the move ahead of the deadline. The Miami Marlins appeared intent on trading him earlier in the season, but injuries have led to his being recalled. With his second chance this season, he hasn’t performed much better.
Unsurprisingly, the Miami Marlins didn’t hesitate to get him out of the game. Despite a modest pitch count, the Marlins removed him after only five innings of work. They might have won the game, but they did so at the cost of their bullpen, which is now exhausted.