Miami Marlins starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco was excellent in a losing effort versus the New York Mets. - USA TODAY Sports
The Miami Marlins had a bright spot in Ricky Nolasco's stellar second spring training start in an otherwise dismal loss to the New York Mets, 4-1.
The Miami Marlins put up a dismal offensive effort against the New York Mets and starting pitcher prospect Matt Harvey en route to a 4-1 loss. However, as bad as the offense was against a mediocre Mets pitching staff, the Marlins still can boast some positives out of this game. In particular, Ricky Nolasco was fantastic in his second spring training start, going 3 2/3 innings and shutting the Mets down.
Nolasco Fantastic In Start
Given all that we know as Marlins fans about Ricky Nolasco, it gets difficult to remember a time when he was a promising secondary ace to former ace Josh Johnson's status on the team. But as of late, times have been rough for the pitcher who once boasted a 3.52 ERA and a bright future back in 2008.
But at least for this game, Nolasco showed some promise of the bounce back we have been expecting from him since 2010. Nolasco struck out six batters in just 3 2/3 innings while walking none. He allowed three hits and an unearned run off of an error by second baseman Chris Valaika. But other than that, the outing was completely clean for Nolasco, and that is a highly positive sign for the team's "ace" to start the 2013 campaign.
Unfortunately for Nolasco, the Marlins' offense put up a performance that may happen a few more times by the end of this upcoming season as well. The team mustered just two hits versus Harvey and a cavalcade of Mets relievers. Harvey led the way for the Mets, shutting the Fish out of the hits column in 4 1/3 innings and striking out five Marlins along the way. Reliever Josh Edgin ended up giving up the Marlins' first hit of the game in the sixth inning, a meager single by Juan Pierre. Pierre promptly stole second base, resulting in the second of two steals by the team (the other was by Chone Figgins), but that led to nothing.
The Marlins' only run came from a solo home run from catcher prospect J.T. Realmuto in the ninth inning. The effort at least put up that sole run on the board, but it is clear that the offense was not ready to face an elite pitching prospect like Harvey today. The club's struggles in this game mirror the problems the major league team will likely face similar problems.