Starting rotation thrives amid offensive struggles

Starting rotation thrives amid offensive struggles

DENVER -- Even in the midst of a 37-inning scoring drought, the Marlins' starting pitching was consistent, a bright spot in an otherwise tumultuous slide.

The difference is that strong outings have turned into wins in Denver, both Tom Koehler and Jose Fernandez tossing at least seven innings and surrendering two earned runs or fewer. Even after losing Ricky Nolasco in a trade with the Dodgers in early July, Miami's starters have a 3.03 ERA since June 16, third-best in the Major Leagues behind the Rays and Pirates.

Marlins starters have also given up three runs or fewer in 27 of 31 games.

"Our pitchers have done a nice job, even in Milwaukee where weep, just didn't score any runs," manager Mike Redmond said. "Our pitchers have done a great job of keeping us in ballgames. It's been fun to watch these guys go out there and improve and continue to work on their pitch selection."

Despite boasting the 11th-best ERA in the Majors at 3.79, the Marlins rank dead last in nearly every major offensive category -- runs, hits, home runs and RBIs. It's those offensive woes that have them sitting in the basement of the National League East.

"They're facing hitters that they haven't seen before in good lineups and they're learning and they're taking all the info in and going out there and competing," Redmond said. "That's what I think I'm the most impressed with, is these guys don't seem like they're intimidated by anybody. They're just going out there and they're doing their job and they're learning and pitching well."

Ian McCue is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.