The Miami Marlins go into the second half of the season with a chance to make a run at competing for a playoff spot. They’re only 7.5 games out of first place of the NL East and the Wild Card despite only being six games below .500. To do that, they’re going to need to figure out their starting rotation, and the first step taken by Marlins manager Mike Redmond on Friday is giving Jacob Turner another shot in the rotation.
Redmond said that Turner has had some moments of success in the past and believes that there’s no reason why he should continue to struggle.
“It’s all consistency,” Redmond said, “We saw this guy pitch some really good games and we need him to step up.”
Turner was acquired in a five-player trade with the Detroit Tigers for Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante in 2012. He had a 3.38 ERA in seven starts with the Marlins in 2012 and a 3.74 ERA in his first full season in 2013. For him to have a 6.22 ERA and struggle in both the rotation and in the bullpen as a long reliever is dumbfounding.
Redmond had to use five different starters to plug in the fifth starter hole, which eventually turned into the fourth starter hole and now the fourth and fifth starter hole. Turner will have a longer leash than what may be perceived. Redmond just wants him to not make him make another starter shuffle.
“I want him to finish out the season,” Redmond said. “That’s the plan right? We don’t want to be pulling guys in and out of the rotation. Stability is the key to success and I want to stick with the five guys and let them just ride it out. That’s the goal, but ultimately that’s up to them.”
The Marlins have a 3.99 team ERA going into the All-Star Game but a 4.71 ERA in July which ranks them among the bottom of the barrel in the National League. Scoring the fourth most runs in the National League is nice and all and great difference from last year, but they won’t win without pitching.
“Pitching is the key to our success,” Redmond said. “We’re not going to be able score five or six runs [per game], as much as I love to say we can do that. There’s going to be some nights where we don’t score and we got to pitch. We need those guys to step up and fill those spots in the rotation and give us a chance to win some ballgames.”
They may have a savior on the way in case they don’t acquire a starting pitcher via trade. Brad Penny finished a start in Triple-A New Orleans and pitched four scoreless innings. Upon being signed, the target month to return to the big leagues is August, so except the Marlins to bring him up even if they import another starter.
Giants Pound Marlins 9-1
Marlins pitcher Nathan Eovaldi couldn't shake off the rust after a long nine-day rest between starts, so he has the San Francisco Giants to thank on Friday for beating it out of him in a Giant 9-1 smack down.
Eovaldi gave up a season-high eight runs in four innings. He struck out five batters but let two fly to the sky for round trippers.
"He's got tremendous stuff," said left fielder Michael Morse who was three for four with an RBI. "He's got real life in his fastball. You just got to get ready and look at one spot and I think we hit off the fast pretty well."
The Giant slugging started with a two-run homer by shortstop Brandon Crawford in the top of the second and ended with a three-run homer to the bullpen by Pablo Sandoval in the fifth.
Giants starter Madison Bumgarner cruised through six innings striking out seven Marlins and giving up an obligatory homer to Giancarlo Stanton. He is 7-2 with an 1.94 ERA in 11 road starts this season; 11-7, 3.38 ERA overall.
This now counts for five straight losses for the Marlins. They'll send Henderson Alverez to combat Tim Hudson on Saturday.