The Miami Marlins were staring down the barrel of Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals as they continued their uphill climb towards a playoff spot. But it turned out that it was Jarred Cosart, making his second Marlins start, who was dealing in tonight's contest. Cosart went seven innings and pitched shutout baseball throughout, earning his first pitcher win as a Marlin.
Cosart's seven innings included three strikeouts, one walk, and only three hits allowed. He did what he does best on balls in play, as he got 11 grounders out of 20 balls in play in total. While Miami would probably like to see a few more pitches swung on and missed, Cosart at least registered strikeouts alongside a blazing 94 mph fastball. He did only get five whiffs on the night, and he was not exactly in full control of the zone as the Fish would like, but this represents a decent improvement over his performance in his first time out for Miami.
Meanwhile, the offense turned out and delivered again. After squandering a bases-loaded situation in the first inning with two consecutive strikeouts by Garrett Jones and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the Fish would not waste another opportunity that came up in the fourth. Casey McGehee doubled on a soft liner to left field that Matt Holliday did not approach correctly; what should have been a single on a play in front of him turned into a double thanks to aggressive baserunning by McGehee. Jones grounded to the second baseman to move the runner, and Saltalamacchia lined one to the right field gap for an RBI single.
One batter later, Donovan Solano pulled out the big guns with this home run. It came inches from being not a home run, as Solano banged the shot off the foul pole and bounced it back into fair play. It was so close to not a homer that he stayed in the batter's box for some time before jumping out and getting going. Miami took a 3-0 lead and never looked back.
A.J. Ramos, Bryan Morris, and eventually Mike Dunn combined in the eighth and ninth inning to deliver the game despite a late-inning threat from the Cardinals. The Fish have guaranteed a series victory over a Wild Card competitor and have pulled to within 3.5 games of the second spot in the Wild Card.
Hero of the Game: Jarred Cosart (0.303 WPA)
Goat of the Game: Garrett Jones (-0.089 WPA)
Play of the Game: Donovan Solano homered in the fourth inning. Jarrod Saltalamacchia scored. (+0.190 WPA)