Miami Marlins 4, Pittsburgh Pirates 3: Stars And Stiffs
The Pittsburgh Pirates lost to the Miami Marlins 4-3 on Thursday night, to finish their seven game road trip at 2-5.
Thursday night was a very miserable game for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Bucs lost to the Miami Marlins by a score of 4-3 in 12 innings, and also lost four players due to injury. Center fielder Andrew McCutchen, catcher Francisco Cervelli, infielder David Freese,and shortstop Jordy Mercer all had to exit the game due to injuries on Thursday night.
Adding to the Pittsburgh Pirates pain on Thursday night is that they did not record their first hit of the game until the seventh inning. Hopefully, none of the injuries the Pittsburgh Pirates suffered were very serious but I am not optimistic about that at all. I will be very surprised if Cervelli does not miss a chunk of time. Here are tonight’s three stars and stiffs for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Right fielder Matt Joyce – Matt Joyce went just 1-for-5 on Thursday night, but his lone hit was a big one. In the top of the seventh inning with the Pittsburgh Pirates trailing 3-0 Matt Joyce laced a double to right field to plate Jung Ho Kang and Chris Stewart to cut the Marlins lead to 3-2. Joyce also played a strong defensive game in right field on Thursday night.
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Matt Joyce is having a great season for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Joyce now has a .328/.464/.642/1.106 slash line on the year, to go along with a .485 wOBA and a wRC+ of 213. This great season that Joyce is having is why I am not worried about Andrew McCutchen’s health moving forward, because Joyce has been a far superior player this season.
First baseman John Jaso – On Thursday night John Jaso entered as part of a double switch in the top of the ninth, only had two at bats, and he made those two at bats count. In the top of the ninth with the Pittsburgh Pirates trailing 3-2, John Jaso hit a two out single up the middle to score Jordy Mercer and tie the game at three.
Even though the Pittsburgh Pirates still lost this game, Jaso, briefly, tied it before the loss happened. John Jaso continues to prove to be a great, great signing by Neal Huntington this past offseason. Jaso would end up finishing the night 1-for-2 at the plate.
Starting pitcher Juan Nicasio – Juan Nicasio, once again, struggled on Thursday night. Nicasio allowed three runs on six hits, three walks, and four strike outs. This outing raised Nicasio’s ERA to 4.75, his FIP to 4.40, and his xFIP to 4.07 on the season.
Luckily for Pittsburgh Pirates fans, there is a good chance Juan Nicasio only makes one more start. This is because the Super Two threshold is only seven to ten days away, and at that point I expect Jameson Taillon to be called up and to replace Nicasio in the rotation. Thank goodness.
Second baseman Josh Harrison – One of the Pittsburgh Pirates best players, Josh Harrison, had a rough go of it on Thursday night. Harrison went 0-for-5 at plate, even though he did work a walk. Harrison’s big issue though came in the top of the seventh inning.
In the top of the seventh inning Harrison came to the plate with Matt Joyce on second, Gregory Polanco on first, and two outs. Harrison got ahead in the count 3-1, and then proceeded to swing and miss at ball four twice. As a result, the Pittsburgh Pirates still trailed 3-2 after seven innings.
First baseman David Freese – David Freese went 0-for-3 with a hit by pitch on Thursday night. Freese also struck out twice in his four plate appearances. Unfortunately for Freese, he had to leave the game after being hit by a pitch in the top of the eighth inning.
Furthermore, David Freese also had an error on Thursday night. Freese booted a ball hit by Ichiro Suzuki leading off the bottom of the seventh inning. Luckily, Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Jared Hughes was able to work around the lead off error and pitch a scoreless seventh inning.
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Thursday night was a miserable night for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and it capped off a miserable series. The Pirates lost three of four to an average at best Marlins team. Also, Gregory Polanco, Andrew McCutchen, David Freese, Jordy Mercer, and Francisco Cervelli all suffered injuries in this series. Hopefully the Pirates are able to take advantage of a bad Angels team that is coming to PNC Park this weekend.