Miami Marlins 3, Pittsburgh Pirates 2: Stars And Stiffs

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

On Sunday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Pirates shot themselves in the foot in a 3-2 loss against the Miami Marlins. With the loss, the Pirates were swept by the Marlins this weekend.

The Pittsburgh Pirates’ rough weekend against the Miami Marlins has come to an end. On Sunday afternoon, the Bucs were defeated by the Fish by a score of 3-2 as Miami finished off a sweep of the Pirates this weekend. The Pittsburgh Pirates will finish the regular season just 1-6 against the Miami Marlins.

Sunday’s loss was a very disappointing one. Not only did it lead to a sweep, it was a game in which the Pirates’ shot themselves in the foot. Much like their loss to the Marlins on Friday night, this is a game the Pirates should have won. Anyway, here are the Pittsburgh Pirates’ three stars and stiffs from Sunday’s loss.


Starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong – Ryan Vogelsong‘s good work as a starting pitcher continued on Sunday afternoon. Vogelsong pitched six innings and allowed just three runs, he walked just two batters, and he struck out five. Even though Vogelsong allowed three runs, only one was earned.

Ryan Vogelsong also had a sacrifice bunt in the third inning. And this sacrifice bunt came after he took the previous pitch up and in. This had to have caused flashbacks to being hit in the eye for Vogelsong. Ryan Vogelsong is one gritty, tough, and tenacious ball player.

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Center fielder Andrew McCutchen – The Pittsburgh Pirates’ center field just might be back. In recent weeks McCutchen has been hitting well and playing strong defense. Both of those continued on Sunday.

In the Pirates’ loss, McCutchen went 2-for-4 with a run scored. McCutchen also made a remarkable catch in the top of the first inning. Marlins’ third baseman Martin Prado smashed a ball into the left-center field gap. Andrew McCutchen was able to run the ball down and make a diving catch to rob Prado of extra bases.

First baseman Josh Bell – Sunday afternoon was Josh Bell‘s first career Major League start. The Pirates’ highly touted prospect was called up to replace Jung Ho Kang who was placed on the disabled list with a shoulder injury. And in his first career start, Bell performed well.

Josh Bell went 1-for-3 at the plate with a sacrifice fly. Even though he did not have to play a very active first base on Sunday, he still did not make any defensive errors. Which is always good to see from Bell.


Shortstop Sean Rodriguez – Sean Rodriguez got the start at shortstop for Jordy Mercer on Sunday. In Sunday’s game Rodriguez collected a base hit. However, he made an extremely costly error that may have cost the Pirates the game.

In the top of the fifth inning with the Pirates leading 2-1 Marlins’ shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria hit a slow roller to shortstop. Rodriguez fielded the ball and made a throw in the dirt that allowed Hechavarria to reach base. This error started a two-run rally for the Marlins. It allowed the Marlins to take a 3-2 lead they would not relinquish.

Catcher Eric Fryer – Anyone else miss Chris Stewart, yet? Eric Fryer was 0-1 with a walk and a sacrifice bunt on Sunday afternoon. On the season, Fryer now has just a .294 wOBA and a wRC+ of 82.

Where Fryer is truly inferior to Stewart is defensively. With the game tied at two in the top of the fifth inning Ryan Vogelsong threw a wild pitch that allowed Dee Gordon to score what would prove to be the game winning run. Despite being ruled a wild pitch, this was more of a passed ball. In was a breaking ball in the dirt that Fryer should have blocked.

Manager Clint Hurdle – I am a huge Clint Hurdle fan. However, Sunday afternoon was not his best day at the office. Specifically the bottom of the seventh inning.

With the Pittsburgh Pirates trailing 3-2 Sean Rodriguez singled to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning. After his single Hurdle had Eric Fryer sacrifice bunt Rodriguez to second base. After this John Jaso struck out and Josh Harrison flew out to center field.

Sacrifice bunting with position players is incredibly stupid. In fact, it statistically lowers a team’s chances of scoring in an inning. I mean, after all, you’re giving away a free out. Having Fryer sacrifice bunt was not Hurdle’s only error in the seventh inning. First off, Eric Fryer should not have been hitting and should have been pinch hit for. Secondly, either Matt Joyce or Adam Frazier should have pinch hit for Ryan Vogelsong instead of John Jaso.

As I said above, I am a huge Clint Hurdle fan. However, today was not his best day as manager. But these days happen with every manager.

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That will do it for this weekend, thankfully. As Clint Hurdle would say, the Pittsburgh Pirates need to ‘shower it off’ and move forward after this weekend’s sweep. The Pittsburgh Pirates are still firmly in the postseason chase as they sit just three games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the second National League Wild Card spot.

This week the Pirates will host the Houston Astros for a three game series starting tomorrow night. Then the Pirates will travel to the House of Horrors that is Miller Park to play a four game series with the Brewers from Thursday through Sunday. Game one of the Astros’ series will be at 7:05 Monday night when the Pittsburgh Pirates send Jameson Taillon to the mound and the Astros will counter with Doug Fister.