Throughout the first 21 days of this roller-coaster Marlins season, this has been a constant: exemplary defense.
After another error-less game Sunday, the Marlins own the best fielding percentage in baseball and have the fewest errors (five). No other National League team entered Sunday with fewer than nine errors.
Of the Marlins’ five errors, two were committed by catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, one by right fielder Giancarlo Stanton and one each by shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (on a questionable call) and second baseman Dee Gordon.
Closer Steve Cishek said the Marlins’ infield defense is as good as he can remember in his time with the team. “Hech and Dee up the middle are incredible,” Cishek said. “Martin Prado has always been great.”
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First baseman Michael Morse, who has split time between first base and the outfield in recent years, has “done very well” defensively at first base, Marlins infield coach Perry Hill said. “Mike saved the [butt] of a couple guys by picking up several balls.”
Hill, who always has praised Hechavarria’s defense, said Gordon “has made every play he should have. And Prado is a pro.”
BOUR MAKES CASE
First baseman Justin Bour, who went 2 for 3 on Saturday in his first game since his promotion from the minors, said he hopes to get more opportunities against right-handed pitchers.
Morse continues to struggle, striking out in his first three at-bats against lefty Gio Gonzalez on Sunday before an infield single against right-hander Blake Treinen raised his average to .221.
Bour impressed the Marlins by hitting .352 in the 15 games that he started last season. He had an infield single as a pinch-hitter Sunday.
THIS AND THAT
▪ Hechavarria has 16 RBI in 19 games this season. Last season, he didn’t drive in his 16th run until his 72nd game.
▪ Stanton entered Sunday with a career .705 slugging percentage against Washington, joining Albert Pujols as the only active players with slugging percentages of .700 or more against any team, according to Elias. Pujols’ high mark is also against the Nationals, and their predecessors, the Expos.
▪ Gordon was thrown out for the sixth time (most in baseball) in 14 stolen base attempts. He was 64 for 83 on steals last season.
▪ Justin Nicolino, the Marlins’ top left-handed pitching prospect, is 2-0 with a 0.79 ERA at Triple A New Orleans and hasn’t given up an earned run in his past three starts, covering 18 innings.
▪ Marlins TV analyst Tommy Hutton hopes to return Monday after missing three games with the flu.
▪ Monday: Marlins RHP Jarred Cosart (1-1, 3.63 ERA) against New York Mets RHP Dillon Gee (0-1, 5.60), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
▪ Tuesday: Marlins RHP David Phelps (1-0, 3.55) against Mets RHP Rafael Montero (0-1, 4.15), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.