Bullpen has enjoyed turnaround since Morris deal

Bullpen has enjoyed turnaround since Morris deal

MIAMI -- Marlins relievers have come a long way from the 3.25 ERA they posted in the first half.

Since the All-Star break, Miami's bullpen has been one of the stingiest in the Majors. Its 2.08 second-half ERA ranked fourth in baseball entering play on Tuesday.

The relief corps has also recorded five wins, no losses and a National League-leading 20 holds, with the Braves and Nationals behind them at 17.

"Look at what they've done this month in crunch time," manager Mike Redmond said. "This is the time of the year where you need your bullpen and you need those guys to really step up, and they've certainly done that."

Part of the bullpen's stability, Redmond said, is due to the June 1 arrival of Bryan Morris. When the Marlins acquired Morris from Pittsburgh, their bullpen had struggled to pitch consistently, holding a 4.04 ERA on June 2.

So the Marlins hoped Morris' experience -- he was was part of a 2013 Pirates relief corps that was third in the Majors with a 2.89 ERA -- would help fortify the back end of the 'pen. And if the 2.88 ERA relievers have put up since June 2 is anything to go by, Morris did exactly what the team wanted.

The Marlins now have a 3.36 ERA for the season, which is good enough for sixth in the National League.

"Things are much better now," Redmond said. "Having Morris here has helped a lot. He's been a huge part of that bullpen, I think maybe stabilized our bullpen."

But Redmond also pointed out that Sam Dyson and Chris Hatcher have been just as important, especially in multiple-inning situations.

"Having [Dyson and Hatcher] down there that can pitch multiple innings early or late in the game is a huge weapon to have, whether it's righties, lefties," Redmond said. "Truly has been a team effort, and those guys have done a nice job getting the ball to [closer Steve] Cishek to give him the chance to save ballgames. That's what it's all about."

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