Following an extended rain delay that threatened the start of tonight's game, the Marlins continued their east coast series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Riding the right arm of Tom Koehler, Miami was looking to squeak out a victory before the upcoming pitching duel between Gerrit Cole and Jose Fernandez.
That right arm of Tom Koehler has been an inconsistent figure on an otherwise solid and efficient starting rotation. Those inconsistencies continued tonight as Koehler had a pretty solid performance while showing off the same flaws that has hurt him throughout the 2013 season. Throughout his appearance tonight, Koehler was extremely successful in working his pitches around the inside and outside corner which lead to eight Pittsburgh strikeouts. While that strategy was effective for a majority of the game, Koehler's pitch count quickly elevated as the innings went on.
That elevated pitch count eventually lead to issues for Koehler as his pristine controls eventually gave way to pitches in the heart of the strike zone which looked like meatballs to the solid Pittsburgh offense. A solo blast by Andrew McCutchen in the 4th inning which put Pittsburgh on board but there would be issues in the following inning. In the 5th inning, that pristine control completely evaporated as Koehler did his best impersonation of Ricky Vaughn as he totally lost control of the plate as you can see from the following play log.
While Koehler had an all-around average night, Miami's offense continues to struggle as they barely supported their own pitching staff. Besides a solid output in the 4th inning which initially put Miami ahead 2-0, starting pitcher Craig Morton and the rest of Pittsburgh's pitching staff did a solid job containing Miami's below-average offense.
In a pretty forgettable game, Wednesday's matchup will ultimately be the mid-card bout to tomorrow's main event match between Jose Fernandez and Gerrit Cole who are two of the hottest young pitchers in the league. That game will be Miami's final day in Pittsburgh as they'll be heading to Atlanta to face off against the red-hot Braves who are currently on a 13 game winning streak.