The Pittsburgh Pirates lost to the Miami Marlins by a score of 3-2 on Wednesday night.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have now lost back-to-back games after being defeated by the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night. The Pirates fell to the Marlins by a score of 3-2, and now find themselves at 29-23 overall on the year.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are now just 2-4 through the first six games of this seven game road trip. Tomorrow, the Pirates will look to split this series and end the road trip on a good note as they battle the Marlins at 7:10pm. Anyway, here are tonight’s three Pittsburgh Pirates stars and stiffs.
Pinch hitter Matt Joyce – On Wednesday night the Pittsburgh Pirates pinch hitting extraordinaire Matt Joyce drove in both Pirate runs. This came when Joyce hit a two-run single through the right side on the infield in to top of the seventh inning. Joyce’s hit scored Francisco Cervelli and Josh Harrison, and tied the game at two.
Matt Joyce put together a very strong at bat against left-handed reliever Mike Dunn. In his career Matt Joyce has typically struggled against left-handed pitching, but he had no problems with Dunn on Wednesday night.
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Catcher Francisco Cervelli – After having a miserable May in which he hit below .200 and posted an OPS below .500, Francisco Cervelli’s June got off to a much better start. Even though Cervelli went 0-for-1 on Wednesday night, he was still on base three times. This is because Cervelli recorded his first career three walk game on Wednesday night.
After walking three times on Wednesday night, Francisco Cervelli now has a .363 on base percentage this season. Cervelli’s second walk led off the seventh inning, started a two-run rally, and he would come around to score a run. Cervelli’s third walk led off the ninth inning, and was the lone base runner the Pirates got in the ninth inning.
Starting pitcher Jon Niese – Despite lasting just five innings due to a high pitch count, left-handed pitcher Jon Niese still turned in his fifth consecutive strong start on Wednesday night. Niese allowed a pair of runs on nine hits, zero home runs, and six strike outs on Wednesday night. This start lowered Niese’s ERA to 4.36 on the season.
Jon Niese also did a great job of getting big outs when needed on Wednesday night. In the bottom of the second the Marlins loaded the bases with zero outs, but Niese got a ground ball to third base and a pair of strike outs to strand all three runners.
Both runs Niese allowed came in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins first run came when Christian Yelich grounded out to first base with J.T. Realmuto on third base. John Jaso fielded Yelich’s ground out, threw to the plate, the throw beat Realmuto, but due to the ridiculous Buster Posey Rule Francisco Cervelli could not block the plate and that allowed the first run to score.
Jon Niese’s final line on Wednesday night was not bad. However, he still pitched better than his final line was as his 2.52 FIP for the night indicates.
Relief pitcher Tony Watson – The Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star left-handed reliever had not allowed a hit since May 6th, but that changed tonight. Tony Watson came on in the bottom of the eighth with the game tied at two, and retired the first two Marlin hitters of the inning. Watson then got ahead of Derek Dietrich 0-2, and then the wheels came off.
Tony Watson’s 0-2 pitch hit Dietrich on the wrist. Dietrich was replace by pinch runner Miguel Rojas. Watson then threw a very poorly placed 3-2 fastball to Adeiny Hechavarria that was crushed into the left center field gap for a double. This double scored Rojas to give the Marlins a 3-2 lead that would hold up.
Shortstop Jordy Mercer – Jordy Mercer went 0-for-3 with a walk on Wednesday night. In the top of the seventh Mercer came to the plate with the game tied at two, two runners on base, and on the first pitch her saw the Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop hit into an inning ending 6-4-3 double play. Wednesday night was not a good one for Mercer.
Left fielder Starling Marte – Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Starling Marte was, uncharacteristically, held hitless on Wednesday night. Marte went 0-for-4 with three strike outs on Wednesday. Furthermore, Marte also stranded a trio of base runners.
Despite his poor game on Wednesday, Marte is still hitting .318 on the season. I look for him to have a big bounce back game tomorrow.
That will do it for tonight. The Pittsburgh Pirates will send right-handed starter Juan Nicasio to the mound tomorrow in an effort to split this series and finish their road trip 3-4. Unfortunately, every time Juan Nicasio starts I expect the Pittsburgh Pirates to lose. Hopefully, I am wrong tomorrow.