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."
Salty presented with World Series ring
NEW YORK -- Actually seeing his World Series championship ring was worth a thousand words to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The photos didn't do it justice.
"The pictures you see on the Internet don't describe what it looked like when I first saw it," Saltalamacchia said. "The detail of everything, it's just amazing."
Early in the season, the Red Sox honored their 2013 title team at a ring ceremony at Fenway Park. Saltalamacchia, part of that squad, received his ring on Sunday morning.
It was prearranged that Allard Baird, Boston's vice president of player personnel, would present Saltalamacchia with his ring in New York.
Prior to game at Citi Field, Baird presented Saltalamacchia with the elaborate ring, inscribed with the catcher's name and uniform number, and the slogans "B Strong" and "Bearded Brothers."
"It's bigger than I thought it was going to be," Saltalamacchia said. "It's nice to actually have it in hand. It's really cool. I knew Allard Baird was going to come in and give it to me."
The Marlins' top free-agent acquisition this past offseason, Saltalamacchia is striving to be part of a championship culture in Miami. Receiving his ring puts closure to his 2013 season in Boston.
"It represents everything that we went through the whole year," he said. "A lot of guys play a long time to get one of these or even make it, so I'm pretty fortunate."
He immediately inspected the ring to make sure his last name -- the longest in Major League history -- is spelled correctly.
"It fits, and they got the name right," he said. "It fit. I had to check it twice to make sure it's spelled right."
Jones trying to let things come naturally
NEW YORK -- When joining a new team, players commonly try to do more to make an impression right away. It's human nature, even if it isn't always intentional.
First baseman Garrett Jones, a 32-year-old veteran, realizes that it is best to relax and let your given skills take over. But sometimes that's easier said than done.
"Maybe a little subconsciously, you want to get with your new team and do well, and impress, and just help your team win," Jones said. "You want to get off to a great start. You don't think about pressing, but sometimes you take a little harder swing, and you foul a pitch off. Where, if you take your normal swing, you square a pitch up. Little things like that."
After spending the past few years with the Pirates, Jones is adjusting to his new home with the Marlins. The left-handed-hitting first baseman entered Sunday batting .233 with four homers and 11 RBIs.
He delivered an eighth-inning homer on Friday that gave Miami a one-run lead in a game it ended up losing, 4-3, to New York.
Jones has performed better on the road than at home, batting .250 with three homers and five RBIs. At Marlins Park he is hitting at a .217 clip, with one homer and six RBIs.
"But I'm feeling more relaxed, knowing I'm in there playing every day," he said. "I just need to go out there and continue to play my game, and the results will take care of themselves."
Furcal experiences setback in rehab
NEW YORK -- A setback in Rafael Furcal's recovery has pushed back his possible return to the Marlins.
The Marlins announced on Sunday that they have returned Furcal from his rehab assignment, meaning it will be at least another week before he can get back into game action.
The 36-year-old strained his right groin on Friday night while playing for Double-A Jacksonville after opening the season on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring.
On Saturday the veteran did some baseball activities to test the groin. Rather than risk anything, the club shut him down.
Before Furcal is reinstated, the club wants him to play all nine innings of back-to-back games, but for now that's a ways away.
Once he is placed on rehab assignment again, he could have a maximum of 20 days to get ready.
Derek Dietrich has been handling a majority of the work at second base with Furcal on the DL.