Players call team meeting

Being swept by the Phillies, and losing on a controversial call, raised the level of concern in the clubhouse to the point where the players had a team meeting.

Assembled by Wes Helms, a number of veterans spoke up about not letting the season get out of hand. Now, the end result wasn’t promising as the Cardinals, behind Adam Wainwright’s two-hit shutout, frustrated Florida, 7-0, on Friday night.

Still, the players got together to stress the urgency of finishing strong.

“This is where it’s going to draw the true character, individually and as a team,” Helms said. “You just don’t want to get caught in the rut where you say, ‘Hey, we’re out of it.’ Because we’re not out of it.

“Even if we were out of it, you still want to play baseball the way it was meant to be played. We’ve been kind of dead lately. Where we’re just out there playing. Not having good ABs and not being alert on defense. And not doing the little things that we need to do to win. As a team, this is where all 25 of us have to pick it up, start playing better with more intensity and having some fun.”

The Marlins have dropped five straight and are 53-56.

“We have fallen behind in the standings, and it’s going to be tough to make a playoff push, but we still can do it,” Helms said. “Right now, this is where it’s going to show the true color of our team. When we’re in a rut like this, falling nine or 10 games back, are we going to fall and quit or are we going to keep pushing?

“Or are we going to make strong push for the organization. We want to finish over .500 so we can build for next year, if we’re not going to make it this year. This is a crucial time for the team. It shows the character for the team. We’ve got to keep going.”

The Marlins played on Friday without Gaby Sanchez (tight right hamstring) and Cody Ross (stiff neck). Both will be game-time decisions on Saturday.

“We’re flat. There is no way around it. We’re just flat,” Uggla said. “We’ve got to dig deep inside of us and find that competitiveness we had on the road trip. We had some tough games against the Phillies, but that’s no excuse. We have to bounce back from that. We’re capable of doing that. It’s just a matter of doing it.”

— Joe Frisaro




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