Marlins pitchers learning ropes down stretch

Marlins pitchers learning ropes down stretch

WASHINGTON -- In an otherwise frustrating season, the Marlins have pretty much had strong pitching.

But even that area of strength has endured its problems down the stretch.

When the Marlins played their best ball -- from June 1 to July 31 -- the staff had a 3.31 ERA, which was the seventh best in the Majors over that span.

But in the final two months, the pitching has worn down a bit. The Marlins also have played teams in playoff contention, and their inexperience has shown.

Since Aug. 1, Miami's 3.91 ERA is 20th overall.

"Part of the learning process is going through some ups and downs," manager Mike Redmond said. "What you see is when you start playing the better teams, the teams going to the playoffs and fighting for all that stuff, that's where you see the depth of some teams. Maybe some of the inexperience of our pitching takes over."

There are no shortcuts in gaining experience. You have to go through the grind of the entire season.

"At the same time, the only way you gather some of that experience is going out there and doing it," Redmond said. "If you look at guys who are the most consistent in this league, they were rookies too. A lot of them struggled when they first came to the big leagues, or it didn't work out the way it has for them now. That's all part of the process."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter