Cohesion and consistency will be key for Marlins

Cohesion and consistency will be key for Marlins

NEW YORK -- Though in one game it may be the defense and in another it could be the bullpen or the lack of a timely hit, the constant for the up-and-down Marlins this season has been the quality of the starting pitching.

What the team is still striving to do is put everything together.

"Lot of mistakes against good teams," Michael Hill, president of baseball operations, said. "If you're going to make 'em, prefer to make them now, and hopefully we don't repeat them.

"But at this point, I really believe a lot of mistakes we've made, we'll learn from them, and it will benefit us come later in the summer -- part of that whole growth and maturation of a roster. But this is a resilient team, a tough team that plays hard day in, day out, even after tough losses."

Jarrod Saltalamacchia, a part of Boston's 2013 World Series title team -- he received his ring on Sunday -- sees a Marlins team that is competitive but lacks overall consistency.

"I don't mean to say the defensive side is costing us games, or the bullpen, because it's not," Saltalamacchia said. "It's a team effort. We have to do it all together. Everything has to click together. When it does, that's when you get a championship team."

The Marlins' top offseason acquisition, Saltalamacchia stepped up in a big way on Saturday night, homering in the 10th inning to lift Miami to a 7-6 win over New York at Citi Field.

The dramatic extra-innings win came after a heartbreaking 4-3 loss on Friday, when the Mets celebrated in walk-off style.

"I think we've done a pretty good job of sticking in a lot of games in some tough ballparks," Saltalamacchia said. "It happens. But we've still put ourselves in a decent situation right now. We're pretty unfamiliar with each other, and we're still playing good ball."

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