Saturday's 13-7 loss against the St. Louis Cardinals started out more or less in the same way as Friday's game: The Cardinals made contact from the get-go. In the first inning, Marlins starter Tom Koehler allowed four runs on four hits. Cardinals starter Lance Lynn wasn't very sharp either. Both seemed to have an issue with control early on.
The Marlins did what they could, putting up their most impressive run total of the season, but Lynn continued to receive some heavy support from the St. Louis bats, who knocked in 13 runs on 17 hits.
JP Keeps It Moving
Juan Pierre continues to put bat to ball for the Marlins. His 2-for-5 effort on Saturday stretched his hit streak to eleven games on the season. Of those eleven games, Pierre has multiple hits in seven.
What has been especially positive about Pierre's hit streak are his quality at-bats. He's shown some of his throwback plate discipline in recent games. With 19 strikeouts in 217 at-bats, Pierre has been difficult to strikeout all season. With that being said, June has seen Pierre with a particularly keen bat, with the left fielder striking out just twice in his 46 at-bats.
Though producing just sixteen hits in those 46 at-bats, Pierre has continued his workman-like approach to the lead-off role. His OBP is at .302 to this point in the season, a mark made even more impressive when one considers how often Pierre forces full counts from pitchers.
Miami's Tom Koehler has pretty lively fastball at a max speed of about 96 mph. He throws it about 49% of the time, a pretty normal rate.
Koehler's heater was supposed to help set up the secondary pitches. One of those pitches, his curveball, has been his most dependable strikeout pitch.
Koehler struggled to get his heater on target, hitting the second batter he faced in the first inning. That first frame saw Koehler surrender four runs on as many hits.
Whereas Koehler's fastball usage rate is normal, Lynn's is a different case.
The Cardinals starter, to say the very least, goes to his fastball a lot. Just over 66% of the pitches that hitters get from him are his heater (as high as 97 mph on the radar). As such, it's more than just a table-setting option on the mound. It's his deciding factor. As good as Lynn's fastball is, it basically determines whether or not he's going to have a quality outing.
Today, Lynn's fastball let him down early on. He couldn't find the zone, missing Yadier Molina's mark often. He left a heater high in the zone to Giancarlo Stanton, who quickly dispatched it to the nether regions of left field for his fifth homer of 2013.
Hits and Hands
Adeiny Hechavarria had a good afternoon at the plate on Saturday, finishing 2-for-5 with two runs and an RBI. As impressive as his day at the plate was, Hech's defense continues to show its upside.
He just looks comfortable out there, executing his defensive duties pretty comfortably.
In the top of the fourth inning, he recorded all three outs for the Marlins. After Koehler surrendered a hit, Hech picked off a hard grounder, paced on second base and rifled the ball to first base for a double play. The last out was a routine grounder. The more plays Hechavarria makes "routine", the better.