NEW YORK -- Friday night’s walk-off victory by the Mets was the third against the Marlins on this road trip, continuing a troubling trend for Miami’s bullpen.
In all, Marlins relievers had lost seven of the team’s first 23 games entering Saturday, second-most behind only the Dodgers, who had lost eight. Last year, the Marlins finished third with 34 bullpen losses, behind only the Astros (40) and White Sox (36).
Of those seven losses by the Marlins bullpen this season, six have come on the road. Four have been walk-off defeats in the ninth or in extra innings. Two others — Jayson Werth’s grand slam off Carlos Marmol in Washington and Chase Utley’s home run off Mike Dunn in Philadelphia — came in the eighth with the score tied or the Marlins ahead.
“They’re really tough, really frustrating for everybody,” manager Mike Redmond said of the late-inning losses. “You have to take advantage of every lead you have. And when you lose, it can get really tough and really frustrating. We need to make sure when we have the lead we finish those games out.”
Strikeouts (117 on the road compared to 99 in 13 home games) and struggles with runners in scoring position (11 for 78, .141 average) have really hurt the Marlins when they’ve been away from home.
Entering Saturday, the Marlins were also hitting poorly with a runner on third and less than two outs. Of their 48 at-bats in those situations, they had scored a run only 19 times. That percentage (40 percent) is second-worst in the big leagues behind only the Giants (36).
“We definitely have to make some adjustments and put some balls in play,” Redmond said. “It’s big for us as a team to make sure we add on [runs] and drive those runs in when we have those opportunities with less than two outs because it takes pressure off our pitching.’’
Christian Yelich was more bummed about the Marlins’ heartbreaking loss Friday night than his career-long, 17-game hitting streak getting snapped.
“Now that it’s over I’m not really anymore phased by it than when it started,” said Yelich, who tied three others in the Marlins organization for the eighth-longest hitting streak in club history.
• First baseman Garrett Jones said he should have caught the hard-hit grounder that Curtis Granderson snuck under his glove for the game-winning hit Friday.
“It’s a play I’ve made before,” Jones said. “I was trying to slide, get a glove on it and it got by me somehow. It’s a play I should have made to keep the game going.”
• Redmond said the Marlins remain hopeful the latest setback to second baseman Rafael Furcal (stiffness in his right groin) doesn’t delay his rehab process by much. Furcal was going to go through baseball activities Friday with the hope of playing Sunday for Double A Jacksonville.
• Sunday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (2-1, 2.13 ERA) at New York Mets RHP Dillon Gee (1-1, 3.58), 1:10 p.m., Citi Field.
• Monday: Off.