It's no longer enough for the Marlins to go nine innings without scoring a run. Shut out in back-to-back games by the Brewers on Friday and Saturday night, they battled to a scoreless draw for 12 1/2 innings Sunday before Ryan Webb served up a solo homer to rookie Caleb Gindl, giving the Brewers a walk-off 1-0 win.
The Marlins have gone 37 innings without scoring. Their last activity involving the crossing of home plate came when Derek Dietrich hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning of their July 14 game against the Nationals; yes, thanks to the All-Star break, they've gone a full week without a run. For those who can't picture what the sight of a Marlin scoring might have looked like, the video of that homer is here.
According to STATS, the Marlins' 37-inning drought is the longest in the majors since 1985, when the Astros went 42 innings without a run. Their streak ran from the third inning of a July 13 game against the Mets through three full games (one against the Mets, two against the Expos, with the break intervening) before finally ending in the ninth inning of a July 20 game against the Expos.
Perhaps not surprisingly, given the mid-2012 fire sale that sent away Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, Omar Infante and others, the Marlins were actually the last team to go three straight games without scoring prior to this drought. They did so from Aug. 12 to Aug. 14, 2012, with the first game coming against the Dodgers and the other two against the Phillies. The 2012 Dodgers are the only other team in the past three seasons to lay three straight goose eggs, doing so from June 25-27 against the Giants.
The last team to go four full games without scoring was the 1992 Cubs, who didn't score on Apr. 27, 28, 29 or May 1, but they scored in the ninth inning of their Apr. 26 game and the first inning of their May 2 game, bounding the streak at 36 innings. The Marlins will get a chance to tie that mark Monday night in Colorado, with Drew Pomeranz — owner of an 8.76 ERA in 12 1/3 innings this year, and a 5.37 mark in 127 1/3 innings for his career — getting the start for the Rockies.
The Marlins rank last in the majors in scoring at 3.19 runs per game, but their offense had at least shown signs of life recently. From June 10, when Giancarlo Stanton was activated from the disabled list, through July 14, the last day before the break, the team averaged 3.84 runs per game, going 17-14 in that span. Prior to that, with only 20 games from Stanton and one from Logan Morrison (who was activated June 9), they averaged just 3.02 runs per game while going 18-44.
Stanton has been part of the problem lately. Upon being activated, he hit .296/.342/.577 with five homers in 18 games in June, but since the calendar turned to July, he's hitting just .175/.356/.316 with two homers in 16 games. Morrison, who hit .320/.370/.520 in 14 games in June, has cooled off as well, hitting .196/.339/.435 in July.
In the three-game Milwaukee series, the Marlins batted a combined .143/.189/.152, collecting just 15 total hits, only one of which was for extra bases, a Morrison double Friday night. Six of the hits were collected by light-hitting Adeiny Hechavarria in 12 at-bats, meaning the rest of the team went just 9-for-93 (.097).
Adding insult to injury, the Marlins weren't exactly shut down by a bunch of Cy Young winners. Through the first half of the season, the Brewers allowed a league-worst 4.62 runs per game. Friday's combined shutout came at the hands of Kyle Lohse and three relievers. Lohse is the team's only starter who came into the series with an ERA below 4.50. Saturday's shutout came via Yovani Gallardo and four relievers, with Gallardo lowering his atypically high ERA to 4.58 via 6 1/3 shutout innings. Sunday saw Wily Peralta throw eight shutout innings to lower his ERA to 4.30 before handing the baton off to the first of four relievers. All told, the team is riding a club-record 35-inning scoreless streak and has tied the franchise record for consecutive shutouts, set from Apr. 19-21, 1990.
The Marlins will probably score again, but even so, the chances of them producing at a league-average rate are slim. Stanton (.241/.349/.442, 117 OPS+) and Morrison (.272/.362/.500, 135 OPS+) are the only players on the active roster with an OPS+ above 89, and Dietrich is the only other active player with a slugging percentage above .392. This post has been updated to correct the venue of the Marlins-Rockies series.