But in the end, the Marlins prevailed 10-9 in 10 innings on Christian Yelich's walk-off single.
"It was just one of those nights," Cishek said. "I don't know if it was Zombie Night, or whatever. We just couldn't find the zone."
Five Miami relievers combined to give up eight runs on four hits with six walks and six strikeouts.
"The best part about baseball is it's a team game," Cishek said. "Our boys picked us up offensively. It was a great outcome in the end."
Manager Mike Redmond pinpointed the problem -- command.
"We couldn't throw strikes," Redmond said.
After Dan Haren turned an 8-1 game over the bullpen in the seventh inning, David Phelps labored, giving up two hits and two walks. He got a tough break when Giancarlo Stanton in right field lost Desmond Jennings' liner, which was called a hit. Sam Dyson entered and had a strikeout and two walks.
"G lost that ball in the lights, but we somehow lost the strike zone," the manager said. "I don't know if we were probably trying to be too perfect. But with a seven-run lead, we were just looking for outs right there."
Cishek had some bad luck in the ninth, trying to preserve a one-run lead.
Brandon Guyer led off with a double to right. He poked the pitch the other way and it stayed fair. Guyer scored the tying run on Asdrubal Cabrera's fielder's choice grounder to third. If the ball was hit harder, it could have been a game-ending double play.
"Guyer, you can't do anything about that. Hats off to Guyer. He shot it down the line," Cishek said. "We struggled tonight as a group. We have a very solid bullpen. It's a fluke, in my opinion."