Coming of age

A simple message is being driven home to the youthful Marlins: Win or lose, shake it off and come back the next day.

The Marlins experienced a tough loss on Wednesday night, dropping a 6-3 decision to the Astros. It was a costly defeat because they lost ground in the N.L. East and Wild Card standings.

Now 5 1/2 games behind the Phillies in the division, the Marlins entered Thursday’s series finale with Houston three games back of the Rockies in the Wild Card race.

Veteran Wes Helms was on 2007 Phillies, which overcame being seven games out with 17 games to go to overcome the Mets in the N.L. East. The Marlins have 42 games left to make up ground.

“From here on out, it’s pretty much, you have to win all your series,” Helms said. “If you win all your series, you pretty much have a shot. It’s pretty much that way. We’ve got to take one day at a time.

“This time of year, you play one day at a time. If you lose, you throw it out the door. If you win, you throw it out the door, and you come back the next day. You can’t carry it over to the next day. I think this team has more maturity this year.”

Helms is seeing offense take a more simplified approach than in past seasons. It’s no secret that the Marlins are an aggressive offense with a lot of power. Of late, players being more patient and taking singles when they present themselves rather than swing for the fences.

“They’re handling stuff a lot better,” Helms said. “That right there can be a big reason why you see [we’re in it]. The resiliency has been unreal.

“Last year, we might have been trying to hit the grand slam, and three-run doubles and stuff. That just comes with maturity and experience. It’s natural for a young guy to want to do that. They want to make an impression. These guys now have three, four years under their belts. They’re starting to realize, ‘let’s win, and not worry about ourselves.’ ” 

— Joe Frisaro



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