Cishek not ready to hit panic button
Marlins closer blows third save in six chances in walk-off loss to Giants
SAN FRANCISCO -- So much has gone right for Steve Cishek in the past that the Marlins closer isn't ready to start tinkering with things now that he is going through the roughest stretch of his career.
Cishek blamed "poor execution" for what occurred in the ninth inning Sunday, as the Giants rallied to a 3-2 walk-off victory at AT&T Park.
Matt Duffy capped the afternoon with a bases-loaded, two-out single to left. But the save chance for Cishek was gone one batter earlier, when Nori Aoki drew a bases-full walk.
Cishek nearly wiggled out of a bases-loaded, one-out mess when he struck out Angel Pagan. He even had Aoki at 1-2 before throwing three straight balls for the game-tying walk.
In 2014, Cishek was 39 of 43 in save chances. He's 3-for-6 and sports an 8.18 ERA this year.
"I don't want to push the panic button now and try to reset everything," Cishek said. "Keep plugging away and grinding. Things can only get better from here."
The loss Sunday prevented the Marlins from taking three of four at AT&T. Instead, they went 2-2.
In the ninth, Cishek gave up a one-out single to Andrew Susac, which came on a two-strike fastball.
"I felt like I had good command of my fastball down and away," Cishek said. "I felt confident putting him away with it. Stupid pitch, really. Usually, I put them away with my slider. I can't second-guess myself now, I guess. It really needs to be a better executed pitch."
Cishek actually got help from Ichiro Suzuki in right field, when the veteran decoyed Gregor Blanco's long drive that went off the high wall in right. Ichiro acted as if he would catch it, preventing pinch-runner Joaquin Arias from scoring from first.
"I knew if I turn around right there, the run scores," Ichiro said. "This is a stadium where you don't necessarily want to do that because you don't know how it's going to bounce off the wall. But I took that risk."
The Aoki walk is what haunted Cishek.
"I tried to put him away up in the zone with a heater," Cishek said. "After I missed down and away with a slider off the plate, I knew I could throw a better pitch than that, especially with 3-2 and the game on the line.
"I stuck to my guns and went for it again and didn't make the adjustment I needed to make."