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Yelich gets breather after tough night at plate

Yelich gets breather after tough night at plate

Yelich gets breather after tough night at plate

WASHINGTON -- Even though the Marlins are locked into last place, they are trying to leave their imprint on the postseason picture.

Rookie outfielder Christian Yelich is trying to take a playoff series approach into Miami's four-game set with the Nationals, who are desperately trying to make up ground in the NL Wild Card race with nine games left.

"They're trying to make the playoffs, but at the same time, we're trying to keep it from them," Yelich said. "So in a way, it's kind of our mini-playoffs. If we can go into these games with the mindset of making it count, just as much as they are. They're fighting for their lives every day, because they are one or two losses from being out of here."

The Marlins dropped a tough, 3-2, decision in the first game of the series on Thursday night. Yelich was hitless in five at-bats with three strikeouts.

Manager Mike Redmond gave the 21-year-old rookie a "mental day" off on Friday.

"That's baseball," Yelich said. "There are so many ups and downs in this game. I'm just trying to find it right now, a little bit. I'm not feeling great up there right now, and that's kind of part of it."

Yelich has been solid, batting .279 with a .360 on-base percentage in 55 games.

The left-handed hitting outfielder has noticed the little things that separate winning and losing.

"Everything is a little more magnified right now," he said. "Little mistakes like, if you have a guy on second and nobody out, and you don't get him over. That could be the game for you."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter Less

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