Both the Marlins and Brewers completed unceremonious first halves of the regular season, though Miami has been treated to glimpses of its potentially bright future.
The Marlins appear to have the front end of their rotation set for the long term, with Jose Fernandez and Jacob Turner off to impressive starts in their big league careers. Fernandez, the 20-year-old All-Star who struck out two in a perfect inning of work in Tuesday's game, has grabbed the headlines, but Turner, who will open Miami's second half in Milwaukee on Friday, has also pitched admirably of late.
The 22-year-old Turner has compiled a 3-1 record and 2.33 ERA in eight outings this season, while averaging nearly seven innings per start. In his latest effort, he held the high-powered Braves to two runs on four hits over seven frames, mystifying Atlanta's sluggers with a bevy of two-seam fastballs and changeups.
"We went in there thinking he was going to throw a lot of cutters to us lefties," said Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman. "I didn't get one cutter the whole game."
Turner had devised a game plan to keep his opponent off balance.
"You want to keep as many guys off base as possible," Turner said, "because with one swing, it can really change the game."
Fernandez and Turner have helped the Marlins construct a formidable starting rotation. Marlins starters have allowed three runs or fewer in 23 of their last 26 games.
Milwaukee has used 10 different starting pitchers, as injuries and inconsistency have plagued the group. Right-hander Kyle Lohse (5-7, 3.67 ERA) will take the hill on Friday.
The Brewers sputtered into the All-Star break, dropping four of their last five contests. Manager Ron Roenicke listed "frustrating" and "disappointing" as two terms to describe the Brewers' first half.
"It's been a hard half," Roenicke said. "Nothing seems to go right. The injuries, and some guys performing great. Some guys have been really fun to watch. Other guys have just struggled."
Milwaukee sits in the National League Central cellar at 38-56. It hasn't been very enjoyable for the skipper.
"It hasn't been as fun, and it hasn't been as easy," Roenicke said. "It's a lot more thought into it; it's way more conversations. Way more challenges."
The Marlins, on the other hand, have racked up a 22-17 record since May 31. Manager Mike Redmond sees progress.
"It really just comes down to finishing strong, and sticking with our approach, the way we have the last month and a half," Redmond said.
Marlins: Young team showing improvement
Redmond is intrigued by the improvements he has noticed in his crop of young players.
"I'm excited," Redmond said. "These guys are playing hard. They're running balls out. It's fun to see them have some success, because they deserve it."
The first-year manager said he is looking forward to watching what the group can accomplish in the second half.
"We've been grinding out there pretty well," Redmond said. "I think it's always a time to reflect, regroup, take a deep breath and figure out what we all have to do to make this team successful."
Brewers: Segura, Gomez tested vs. Mo
Jean Segura and Carlos Gomez, the Brewers' representatives at the All-Star Game, each got a chance to face Yankees closer Mariano Rivera in the eighth inning on Tuesday at Citi Field.
Both hitters grounded out, but they enjoyed getting the chance to face the best closer in Major League history and are hoping to build on their strong seasons thus far.
In his first full season, Segura is batting .325, with eight triples, 11 home runs, 36 RBIs and 27 stolen bases. He had three hits and a walk in four plate appearances last Sunday against the D-backs.
Gomez is hitting .295, with nine triples, 14 homers, 45 RBIs and 21 steals. He has also made several highlight-reel catches in the outfield.
• Marlins closer Steve Cishek had his streak of 17 consecutive scoreless appearances snapped in Sunday's 5-2 loss to the Nationals.
• Turner has registered six quality starts in his eight outings this season.