The Miami Marlins are trying to finish off their mini-home stand on a positive note against the Pittsburgh Pirates as they finish off their two-game series. The Fish are coming off of a disappointing one-run loss to the Pirates, but they are sending out their ace of the staff, Josh Johnson, to see if he can continue his road to recovery to ace-dom. The Pirates are looking to continue on their winning ways despite their poor run differential and their offensive struggles.
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The Marlins are sending Josh Johnson out for his eighth start, and his previous start went particularly well. He struck out six batters in seven innings and only allowed two runs, one off a solo home run. Johnson's impressive start certainly makes us Marlins fans feel better about the potential of a return to the top-notch Johnson of 2009 to 2011. His strikeout and walk rates are still not up to par, but even his current 3.64 SIERA would be a welcome sight compared to his highly problematic 5.87 ERA of right now. Johnson will get to feast on a relatively weak lineup that has performed even worse than expected in 2012.
The Pirates counter with Correia, who lost much of his strikeout and swinging strike mojo the last season. The strikeouts disappeared last season and have gone down even further this year; Correia has only whiffed 8.7 percent of batters faced this season, while he has walked 7.3 percent of batters. He does have a strong 56 percent ground ball rate, but given his dependency on the Pirates defense, the Marlins should surely be able to sneak some hits in against the mediocre Correia.
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The Marlins will throw out the same lineup they did yesterday, with the exception of the inclusion of Greg Dobbs into the equation at first base. This lineup should produce decently, so there is nothing to complain about at this point.
Bold Prediction: Marlins def. Pirates 5-2