Because of a disturbing sameness in losses, manager Don Mattingly feels fundamental changes are in order offensively if the Marlins are to ever end their long playoff drought.
Friday night’s 3-2 setback to the Braves was the latest example in which the Marlins’ hitters struck quickly before going silent. The Marlins scored two runs in the first but had only one hit after that, an Ichiro Suzuki single in the eighth.
“Those [types of games] are showing you we’re not making adjustments,” Mattingly said. “That’s about our individual preparation and us [coaches] doing a better job.”
In particular, Mattingly would like to see the team’s hitters make better use of available technology, such as video and advanced scouting reports on pitchers.
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“Other teams are doing it, I know,” Mattingly said. “They’re doing their prep work. They’re doing their homework. It’s going in and taking advantage of technology.”
One year after scoring the second-fewest runs in the majors, the Marlins have improved only slightly, ranking 26th in runs scored under first-year hitting coach Barry Bonds.
“There’s so much information,” Mattingly said. “If you would understand how to study, you would understand how to at least go after a guy. I do think we should make better use of it.”
FERNANDEZ START GETS PUSHED BACK
Jose Fernandez’s next — and perhaps final — start has been pushed back to Monday against the Mets. Adam Conley will be activated from the disabled list and start Sunday at Marlins Park.
Since Fernandez went eight innings in his last start, Mattingly said it was decided to give the pitcher an extra off day. It will very likely be Fernandez’s final start of the season.
Mattingly reiterated that Fernandez would not pitch again if the Marlins are eliminated from wild-card contention, which could come within a few days.
Conley has been on the DL since Aug. 13 with a hand injury. Mattingly said the left-hander likely won’t pitch for more than a few innings on Sunday.
▪ The Marlins will honor Ichiro for his 3,000th hit in a pregame ceremony Sunday.
“I’m thankful that the team has put aside a day like this for me,” he said. “I’m definitely grateful.”
Ichiro said he doesn’t plan on making a speech.
▪ By striking out the side in Friday’s eighth inning, Kyle Barraclough raised his season strikeout total to 110, tops among National League relievers. Since 1970, only five other relievers have recorded more strikeouts during their rookie seasons.
▪ Sunday: Marlins LHP Conley (8-6, 3.94 ERA) vs. Atlanta Braves RHP Julio Teheran (6-10, 3.10), 1:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
▪ Monday: Marlins RHP Fernandez (16-8, 2.86) vs. New York Mets RHP Bartolo Colon (14-7, 3.12), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.