Miami Marlins bats heat up but bullpen falters in May’s third week

MIAMI, FL - MAY 16: J.T. Realmuto #11 of the Miami Marlins rounds second base after hitting a home run in the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Marlins Park on May 16, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - MAY 16: J.T. Realmuto #11 of the Miami Marlins rounds second base after hitting a home run in the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Marlins Park on May 16, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

The Miami Marlins managed to win three games this past week. However they also lost three games. The 3-3 record over the last six games is not great although it is better than the 1-6 record posted over the previous week.

The key difference between the two weeks is that the Miami Marlins were much better as a team from the plate. Even with the improved performance by their batters, the pitching staff failed to live up to their end of the deal which cost them in the end.

Marlins hitters who flourished

The most impressive line from a Marlins batter belongs to J.T. Realmuto. Slashing .353/.421/.765 with a 1.186 OPS over five games. Tallying six hits in 17 at-bats with two walks. The most impressive aspect is that four of Realmuto’s six hits went for extra bases. Two doubles, one triple and one home run. This led to three runs and three RBI. Hands down Realmuto was the most impressive batter for the Marlins last week.

ATLANTA, GA. – May 19: Justin Bour #41 of the Miami Marlins rounds second base during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Field on May 19, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Justin Bour also put together a solid week, though it was through different means. Drawing eight walks and adding six hits in 18 at-bats led to Bour’s .538 on-base percentage. Like Realmuto, Bour also tripled and homered last week. Outside of the home run and triple, Bour’s week was not as exciting. Reaching base via the walk is far from the most exciting play in baseball. However a player cannot score if he does not get on base and that is just what Bour did to lead to his three runs scored.

It is amazing what can happen over the course of the week. Starlin Castro bounced back to post some good numbers this past week. Putting together a slash line of .304/.333/.435 with a .768 OPS, Castro was able to provide the Miami Marlins with a performance that is expected of him. Miami won two of the three games that Castro doubled in, which shows how valuable Castro can be to the Marlins offense.

Miami hitters who floundered

Although Lewis Brinson did hit a grand slam on Sunday. However this was one of only three hits in 21 at-bats for Brinson. This is just another week with an incredibly low batting average and on-base percentage (both are .143). Brinson will need to turn things around and soon.

Just like Brinson, Martin Prado had another rough week. Going 5-23 with five strikeouts led to an unimpressive .217 batting average. Prado did not drive in a single run in six games last week. The bright side is that Prado did score four times, which is the most of any Marlins player over the past week.

Cameron Maybin is a player who struggled in limited chances last week. With only three hits in 13 at-bats, Maybin failed to drive anyone in or score a run. Maybin’s double was nice to see but like Brinson failed to reach base via the base on balls. Maybin was just kinda taking up space, and did not put together a good enough week offensively.

Straily and Chen highlight Marlins pitchers

Dan Straily comes away with the best single performance from a Marlins starter last week. Pitching seven innings against the Braves, holding them to three hits and no runs while walking three and striking out six. Straily was the only Marlins starter to earn a win last week.

MIAMI, FL – MAY 15: Wei-Yin Chen #54 of the Miami Marlins throws a pitch during the first inning of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Marlins Park on May 15, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

Although Wei-Yin Chen did not earn a win or go as deep into a game as Straily, his performance is definitely worth mentioning as a highlight. Starting two games last week, Chen combined to pitch 9.2 innings and strike out eight. While Chen did allow eight hits, two runs and four walks, he pitched well enough to win both games. Unfortunately the Miami bullpen cost Chen a win Sunday and he did not pitch deep enough into Tuesday’s contest to earn a win.

Tyler Cloyd and Kyle Barraclough continue to be shut down relievers in the Marlins bullpen. Cloyd pitched five innings in his one appearance and allowed four hits before being sent down to New Orleans. Barraclough appeared in four games and did not allow a single base runner. The other arms in the Marlins bullpen should take some cues from these two and hopefully be able to preserve more leads which can lead to more Miami Marlins victories.

Miami’s bullpen struggles

Drew Steckenrider continues his struggles from the past week. Allowing three runs in 2.2 innings with a .385 batting average against. Right now Steckenrider is very hittable which should be a cause for concern. What just two weeks ago appeared to be a very strong bullpen arm is faltering and allowing runs with ease.

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Brad Ziegler is struggling as well. Opponents are hitting an astounding .429 off Ziegler which has led to the five runs allowed in just 3.2 innings. Somehow Ziegler managed to record three saves in four appearances while pitching so poorly. Getting lit up this bad is not conducive to closing out games. It wasn’t just him though.

Tayron Guerrero had a rough week, allowing three runs in only an inning which led to a loss. Guerrero allowed three hits, including a home run, and walked two batters in two appearances this week.

Junichi Tazawa‘s struggles continued this week and ended up being designated for assignment. Tazawa pitched 1.1 innings in two games and allowed six runs on seven hits including a home run. Tazawa allowed a batting average of .636 to opponents last week which is just plain unacceptable. These numbers are no where good enough which led to Miami deciding to move in a different direction. More on Tazawa here.

Next: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly against Atlanta

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