The Miami Marlins needed RHP Tom Koehler to pitch even stronger during the year to help fill the gap left by Jose Fernandez, who is out for the entire year after undergoing Tommy John surgery last week, and Koehler did just that on Saturday. Picking up his fourth win of the season against the San Francisco Giants, Koehler was able to shut out the Giants, striking out seven batters and only walking two.
In nine starts this season, Koehler has a 2.25 ERA, 5.9 K/9, 1.107 WHIP and 37 strikeouts. He is quietly becoming an x-factor for the Marlins as the season trudges on. It is what the Marlins need because of the Fernandez injury and because of the inconsistency of everyone else in the rotation.
The team does not have a real ace to anchor the rotation. No one is as reliable as Fernandez was, and it is now time for someone to step up and become reliable. If it is Koehler, he really needs to pitch more games like he did on Saturday. The Giants are leading the NL West by a three-game margin and are one of the best teams in baseball. For Koehler to pitch well against them is remarkable.
If Koehler and Anthony DeSclafani can realize their potential, then the Marlins will be in good shape for the rest of the season.