The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Dunn Deal: Marlins reliever in right place, right time for 10 wins so far this season

  • Print

MIAMI - Mike Dunn's formula is simple. Come in, pitch well, and hope the Miami Marlins offence finds a way to win games late.

It's working.

Miami's leader in wins this season isn't one of their highly touted young starters, but rather a left-handed reliever who has never made a Major League start in his six-year career. Dunn picked up his 10th win of the season Thursday night, throwing two perfect innings as Miami rallied to top Arizona 5-4 to enhance its chances in the National League wild-card chase.

His bullpen cohorts say he "vultures" wins. Nobody is complaining.

"I'm going to go out there and just try to do my job, no matter what inning it is," Dunn said. "Whatever the situation is, I want to just go out there and give our team the best opportunity to win a game."

Dunn defers all the credit for his unusual achievement to the Marlins' batters, since they're the ones either breaking ties or coming from behind and making him the right-place, right-time benefactor. Still, there's still about one-quarter of the season left, and he's already become the first MLB reliever since 2011 to hit double-digits in victories

But to put some things in perspective, Marlins' ace Jose Fernandez had 12 wins last season on his way to rookie of the year honours. David Price has 11 wins so far this season. Justin Verlander has 10 and R.A. Dickey — not that far removed from a Cy Young — is only on nine wins so far in 2014.

"We don't need any of those comparisons," Dunn said.

The Marlins have 30 one-run victories entering Friday, and Dunn has been the pitcher of record in nine of those. He's appeared in 56 games and allowed an earned run in only 11 of them.

Again, without the offence doing work late, Dunn's work might not be noticed.

"He's a workhorse," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "This guy's pitched some huge innings for us. He'll take the ball every single day. He's a competitor, man. He wants to be out there when the game's on the line and (Thursday) was a great example of that, throwing two innings, two big innings and kept us there and gave us a chance. That's what it's all about. This is a group effort. This is a team."

Dunn came up with the Yankees and Braves before joining the Marlins in 2011, learning along the way from a pair of pretty good relievers: Mariano Rivera and Billy Wagner.

They preached consistency. Dunn took note.

"I'd gladly give up all the wins to any of the starters," Dunn said.

When Marcell Ozuna's line-drive double drove in the winning run Thursday, the Marlins mobbed him behind second base. Before that joyous melee broke up, several relievers were flapping their arms in Dunn's direction, emulating a certain type of bird.

Being called a vulture isn't often a flattering term. And in baseball lexicon, that's what Dunn has been doing — "vulturing" wins by being the benefactor of late heroics at the plate.

For the Marlins, that's a very good thing.

"When I look up and see it, it definitely sets me back," Dunn said. "I joke around with people and everyone's joking around with me. Feels like I've got like a starter's record. But that just means we're in ballgames late and we're going out there and just trying to keep it close for the offence."

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Jets Bogosian-Little-Ladd

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • A Great Horned Owl that was caught up in some soccer nets in Shamrock Park in Southdale on November 16th was rehabilitated and returned to the the city park behind Shamrock School and released this afternoon. Sequence of the release. December 4, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

How many goals do you think Evander Kane will score this year?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google