Pittsburgh Pirates Return to Action, Lose to the Miami Marlins

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 22: Jason Delay #61 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a solo home run for his first MLB home run in the third inning during the game against the Miami Marlins at PNC Park on July 22, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 22: Jason Delay #61 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a solo home run for his first MLB home run in the third inning during the game against the Miami Marlins at PNC Park on July 22, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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8. 82. 1. 4. Final

Friday night the Pittsburgh Pirates kicked off their post-All-Star Break portion of the schedule by losing to the Miami Marlins

Friday night the Pittsburgh Pirates returned to the field for the first time since the All-Star Break ended. Hosting the Miami Marlins for the first game of a three-game weekend series at PNC Park, the Pirates fell to the visitors by a score of 8-1. The loss dropped the Pirates to 39-55 on the season.

Entering Friday night’s game the Marlins had been shutout 34 straight innings. This grew to 37 straight innings prior to the team scoring in the 4th inning. Once the Marlin bats came to life, they did not slow down.

Pirates waste golden early opportunity

Kevin Newman rallied from an 0-2 hole to draw a walk to start the bottom of the 1st inning. This was followed by an infield hit from Ke’Bryan Hayes, which extended his hitting streak to nine games which a season high for a Pirate batter. With runners on first and second with no one out, the Pirates appeared to be on the brink of a potential big 1st inning.

Unfortunately, this would not be the case. Miami starting pitcher Braxton Garrett would respond with three straight strikeouts. The strikeouts saw Michael Chavis chase a pitch in the dirt, Yoshi Tsutsugo look at a pitch that was right down the middle for strike three, and Diego Castillo also strikeout looking.

The Pittsburgh Pirates entered play on Friday on pace to be the worst hitting team in MLB history with runners in scoring position. These woes continued on Friday night, with the 1st inning being the worst example of that as the Bucs went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts in RISP in the inning.

First career home run for Jason Delay

One positive from Friday night’s loss was the first career home run of catcher Jason Delay. With the game scoreless in the bottom of the 3rd inning, Delay launched a Garrett pitched over the left field wall. Delay’s solo home run gave the Pirates a short-lived 1-0 lead, and give him his first MLB home run.

Zach Thompson falls apart after a strong start

For the second time in eight days righty Zach Thompson started for the Pittsburgh Pirates against his ex-club. Thompson pitched 6.2 strong innings his last time out against Miami, and find 3 scoreless innings to begin Friday night’s loss. However, starting with the 4th inning, things came off the rails for Thompson.

Thompson allowed 4 runs on four hits and a walk in the 4th inning. The most disheartening part is that this came after Delay’s solo home run had broken the scoreless tie and given the Pirates the lead.

Thompson would start the 6th inning, but failed to finish the inning. After getting the first out of the inning he allowed three straight hits, including a double, to end his night. Dillon Peters relieved Thompson, and allowed a run-scoring double to Joey Wendle with the run counting against Thompson.

In 5.1 innings pitched Thompson allowed 7 runs, 6 earned, on nine hits, two walks and just two strikeouts. On the season Thompson now owns a 4.52 ERA, 5.30 FIP, and just a 15.4% strikeout rate. While Thompson remaining in the rotation the rest of the season to eat innings is fine, he does not miss nearly enough bats to be a viable long-term rotation piece. He entered the night in the 46th percentile of baseball in chase rate and 29th percentile in whiff rate, with both of these numbers getting worse on Friday night.

Next. Four Pirate Prospects to Watch the Rest of the Season. dark

Game two of the series on Saturday will see veteran lefty José Quintana (3.99 ERA, 3.32 FIP) make what could be his final start with the Pirates before being traded. Max Meyer, one of the top prospects in all of baseball, will make his second career start for the Marlins. First pitch from PNC Park is scheduled fro 7:10 PM ET.