Cishek sharp after long layoff

Cishek sharp after long layoff

DENVER -- In three games against the Brewers where the Marlins failed to manufacture a run, Marlins closer Steve Cishek never left the bullpen.

Having not pitched since the final game before the All-Star break, Cishek was more than just a little relieved to finally step onto the rubber Monday night for his first save opportunity since July 4. He wasted no time picking up his 18th save, needing just eight pitches to strike out two and induce a quick groundout.

"I got up a couple times against the Brewers out in the bullpen, late," Cishek said. "It's not the same as, obviously, being in a ballgame, so it was good to get back out there."

Cishek recorded his second straight save Tuesday night, the first time he's had a save in consecutive games since the beginning of the month. He credits timely hitting for the Marlins taking the first two of a four-game series at Coors Field, the resurgent offense offering him a chance to close out games.

"It definitely helps," Cishek said of pitching more regularly after more than a week away from a live-game setting. "But you can't let that stuff get in your head, otherwise you're not going to be able to perform out there. So, really try not to think about it, but it's definitely nice if you can go out there at least every few days."

Ian McCue is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.