Cishek can't catch a break, takes another loss

Cishek can't catch a break, takes another loss

NEW YORK -- There were no issues with Steve Cishek's velocity, which reached 93 mph. The quality of the right-hander's sliders also was sharp.

Still, the end result once again didn't go Cishek's way. With two outs in the seventh inning, Ruben Tejada's RBI double sent the Marlins to a 4-3 loss to the Mets on Sunday at Citi Field.

"I felt great," Cishek said. "My stuff was 92-93 [mph] with an 81-83-mph slider. It just wasn't enough."

Since being replaced as closer by A.J. Ramos in mid-May, Cishek has been striving to get on track, throwing in middle and setup innings. But not much has gone his way, as he's now 1-5 with a 6.98 ERA.

The 28-year-old also isn't catching any breaks. It started with the first batter he faced on Sunday, Juan Lagares. After getting ahead with two quick strikes, Cishek tried to get Lagares to chase an 81-mph slider.

Miami felt Lagares offered, but after appealing to first-base umpire Tripp Gibson, it was ruled a ball.

"I think he swung," Cishek said. "That's just the way it is going right now."

Marlins manager Dan Jennings agreed.

"Quite honestly, I thought he had a swinging strike," Jennings said. "He didn't get the call."

On the next pitch, Lagares singled to right, putting Cishek in immediate trouble.

If strike three is called on Lagares, the inning may have turned out entirely different.

"It's huge," Cishek said. "But you forget about it. You've got to continue to attack. I thought I made a pretty good pitch, down and away on the black. [Lagares] just had a good piece of hitting, and shot it the other way."

Even Tejada beat the odds, doubling on a pitch he has struggled with all season.

"On our sheets, he's hitting .150 against sliders," Cishek said. "I figured that would be a good pitch to even the count with. He put a good swing on it."

Despite Cishek's struggles, Jennings remains committed to his former closer.

"I don't worry about his mental toughness," the manager said. "You don't save 39 and [34] games in this league without being mentally tough.

"We're going to use him right now in those middle innings to bridge the gap. It's just about executing the pitch the right way in those situations. That call could have gone either way. It didn't [go our way] today. We'll run him back out there. I have a lot of confidence in him. The staff, we have a lot of confidence in him."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.