WASHINGTON -- The Marlins were responsible for Stephen Strasburg's most recent loss back on Aug. 28, and as the club traveled to the nation's capital for Strasburg's last home start of the season, manager Ozzie Guillen said he thinks the Nationals are talented enough to win without their young ace.
Before the Marlins were set to face Strasburg on Friday night, Guillen addressed the media craze about the ace's shutdown, which will come after the Nats' Sept. 12 game at the Mets.
"In my opinion, in what I see, do they need him? Yes," Guillen said. "But the four guys they have behind are [pretty] good, too."
The Nats enter this weekend's series with baseball's best rotation ERA at 3.24. Strasburg was 15-6 with a 2.94 ERA over 156 1/3 innings. That ERA leads the Nats' rotation, though Gio Gonzalez (2.98) and Jordan Zimmermann (2.99) aren't far behind.
Guillen was also enamored with Ross Detwiler, the Nats' No. 5 starter who figures to see an increased role once Strasburg is shut down. Detwiler is 9-6 with a 3.15 ERA over 140 innings, though he is 7-3 with a 2.79 ERA since the All-Star break.
"That lefty's better than everyone the past three months," Guillen said. "They don't talk about him."
Much of the discussion on Strasburg's shutdown has centered on the Nats' postseason prospects, as the National League East leaders carry baseball's best record of 85-52 into the weekend series. But with Washington's bullpen ERA of 3.31 ranking 11th in MLB and fifth in the NL, Guillen isn't convinced the Nats will be much worse off come October.
"I'll tell you what, the bullpen they have, that is the difference in any playoffs," Guillen said. "Postseason is who got the bigger hit with two outs and who's pitched better. A lot of opportunity comes with two outs and men on base. You get a big hit with two outs, you win."
Callups create crowded Marlins bullpen
WASHINGTON -- After adding three relievers following the Sept. 1 roster expansion, Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen isn't concerned about finding playing time for what is now a 10-man bullpen.
After recalling left-hander Dan Jennings and right-hander Tom Koehler from Triple-A New Orleans last Sunday, the Marlins called up right-hander A.J. Ramos from Double-A Jacksonville on Tuesday. Guillen said Koehler in particularly was called up to see how he throws, and the right-hander responded by giving up four runs on three hits over two relief innings in the Marlins' 8-5 loss to the Brewers on Wednesday.
"Everybody has the same role," Guillen said. "Hopefully we can get people in. But I will continue to manage in the way I have to manage to win games."
The Marlins also made a temporary move to a six-man rotation earlier in the week. Looking to lighten the burden on rookie right-handers Jacob Turner -- starting against the Nats on Friday -- and Nathan Eovaldi, veteran pitchers like Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco will consequently receive less work.
"Too bad," Guillen said. "This is not Spring Training for me. Don't you get paid to win games? We're going win as many games as we can."
The Marlins began the first of two remaining road trips Friday night in Washington. After the three-game series with the Nationals, the Marlins will play three more at the Phillies.
John Buck is batting .323 (21-for-65) since the beginning of August. His backup at catcher, Rob Brantly, is also heating up with a .345 (10-for-29) mark over his last nine games.
Mike Fiammetta is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.