Miami (66-65) hosted the Washington Nationals (61-70) for a three-game set and Washington ended up taking two out of three games from the Fish.
The inconsistencies with this Marlins squad continued as they struggled all weekend with putting the bat on the ball and driving in enough runs to win games.
The post All-Star break numbers are abysmal for Miami. They hold the third-lowest record in baseball since the break with a record of 13-26 and are just 8-15 in the month of August.
Things need to turn around quickly if Miami wants to keep their Wild Card chances alive.
Here are takeaways from the series.
Braxton Garrett’s solid start is not enough
Garrett struck-out three in six innings of work. He also gave up seven hits and three earned runs that included a two-run home run.
The home run came off the bat of Nationals third baseman Carter Kieboom in the sixth inning when Garrett threw him a mistake hanging curveball that Kieboom crushed to left field.
But besides that mistake pitch, Garrett pitched very well. At least enough to keep it close for the Marlins to have a chance to win.
“I wanted the shutdown inning there and I just felt like I let the team down a little bit,” Garrett said about the home run he gave up in the sixth inning after the game. “But overall, it was good…I didn’t make a ton of mistakes tonight at all and made really good pitches.”
The Marlins had just three hits and no runs against Washington’s starting pitcher Joan Adon. So it was another day where a Miami starting pitcher failed to get run support.
“I think he honestly threw one bad curveball that kind of cost him a couple runs,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said about Garrett’s performance after the game. “Otherwise Brax (Garrett) did what he needed to do…to win a game and we just couldn’t get anything going against their starter.”
Luis Arraez does not like the month of August
Arraez has been dealing with a cold stretch at the plate throughout the month of August.
This month, Arraez is batting 22-for-97 (.227 avg) with his on-base percentage at just .235.
His batting average has also dipped mightily as the season has progressed, sitting at .350 after getting it as high as .402 back on June 23.
During the three-game series, Arraez was just 2-for-12 at the plate which is extremely uncharacteristic for a guy with elite bat-to-ball skills.
The Marlins offense relies on the play from Arraez. If he’s playing well, Miami plays well. But if he doesn’t, well, we’ve seen what’s been happening.
Eury Pérez is going to be special
Pérez threw six innings and allowed two hits, one run (unearned), one walk and collected seven strikeouts.
Despite Pérez throwing a gem, the Marlins decided to take him out of the game after six innings and 76 pitches to preserve his arm.
“He’s still on innings limits here,” Schumaker said about pulling Pérez out of the game after six innings. “You’ve got to pick and choose when to push and when not to and we’ve got a fresh bullpen and so we were maybe going to get one more inning out of him.”
Schumaker went on to say, “Where he’s (Pérez) at in his career and this season, that was going to be it right there no matter what.”
In 15 games for the Marlins this season, Pérez has an ERA of 2.68 and is averaging 10.95 strikeouts per nine innings.
“I feel great,” Pérez said after Game 2. “…Feeling great, I’m healthy. Trying to have fun out there and trying to put my team in a good position (to win).”
Miami’s scouting department has been doing a fantastic job as they continue to find young and talented pitchers. Guys like Sandy Alcantara, Braxton Garrett and Pérez are going to make this rotation elite for the coming years.
Let me remind you that Pérez is also just 20 years old.
What happened to David Robertson?
This is not what Miami had in mind when they traded for a veteran relief pitcher in David Robertson back on July 28 in exchange for a couple of young prospects in Marco Vargas and Ronald Hernandez.
In nine games for the Marlins this year, Robertson has an 8.00 ERA and just three saves in six save opportunities. He’s also given up two home runs and opponents are batting .289 against him.
“He’s done it before. That’s why we got him,” Schumaker said about Robertson’s struggles in a Marlins uniform. “He’s been the ninth inning, big spots, postseason tested. And it’s not a lack of effort…All the guys are giving everything they’ve got and I think that’s what makes it even tougher.”
Miami was holding onto a 2-1 lead heading into the ninth inning of Game 2 and Robertson came in the game to close it out.
He had some traffic on the bases but eventually found himself with two outs and two strikes against Nationals left fielder Jake Alu. But, Alu would hit a grounder up the middle to tie the game at two a piece.
The next batter, catcher Jacob Stallings was charged with a passed ball which drove in another run for the Nationals and ultimately gave them a 3-2 victory.
“This is just a crappy outing by me,” Robertson said about his blown save after Game 2. “Went out there and blew the game for the guys. It was pathetic. Threw the ball like crap, didn’t get any outs. Just didn’t make any pitches.”
It’s not like the Marlins traded for a bad reliever by any means. This guy was lights out with the New York Mets this season. He had a 2.06 ERA with 12 saves in 15 opportunities. Opponents were batting just .207 against him as well.
Miami needs Robertson to somehow get back to his previous form if they want to make a final push for the postseason.
The Marlins will have a day off tomorrow and play the Tampa Bay Rays for a two-game series. Game 1 is on Tuesday, August 29 with the first pitch at 6:40 p.m. ET on Bally Sports Florida.