Despite the singular efforts of one Giancarlo Stanton, baseball is a team sport and today Pittsburgh played the part of a better team, downing the Marlins 4-2 this evening.
Top of the 1st Dee Gordon bounced one to first baseman Pedro Alvarez who must've been expecting Charlie Morton to cover because he half ran and hesitated before flipping to Morton, allowing the light-footed Gordon to dance by the pitcher safely. Gordon stole 2nd base on the next pitch and moved over to 3rd on an Marcell Ozuna groundout. Giancarlo Stanton then knocked a single past a diving Jordy Mercer into left field for the first run of the game, 1-0 Fish.
In the bottom of the 2nd the Pirates answered. Neil Walker hit a single to left, then the Marlins shifted over for Alvarez. You could see "El Toro" acknowledge this by throwing his bat out to bunt it to the wide open cavern on the left side of the diamond, which he missed, but he was able to get the job done anyway when his single bounced off of Martin Prado's glove into right field, Walker advancing to 3rd due to the lack of coverage from the aforementioned shift. Francisco Cervelli then hit high fly ball that carried into the right field bleachers for a three run shot, his first homerun of the year. Pirates take a 3-1 lead...
...but I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Giancarlo Stanton made a spectacular, lunging catch to end the inning, crashing off of the right field wall and robbing Josh Harrison of sure extra bases.
Stanton followed this with a 3rd inning solo homerun that carried much in the same fashion that Cervelli's had, landing in almost the same spot in the crowd. 3-2 Pirates.
In the sixth, Alvarez launched a line-drive homerun that was determined, after crew chief review, to have cleared the fence without fan assistance, and the Pirates padded their lead, 4-2.
David Phelps was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the seventh, his night over after pitching six innings giving up four runs on eight hits, walking two and striking out four. All four RBIs came on a pair of homeruns, the first Phelps had given up all season long. His counterpart Morton went seven innings giving up two runs on seven hits with three K's and no walk. Impressively, Morton induced 18 ground ball outs from Marlins hitters.
Recent call-up Vin Mazzaro made his season debut and worked a scoreless 7th and 8th against his former team, though in the latter inning he would require some assistance from the Marlins' defense. After Starling Marte singled, Walker hit a deep fly ball that bounced off the centerfield wall. Ozuna played it perfectly, relaying to Gordon who threw a strike to Realmuto to easily nail Marte at the plate.
Tony Watson pitched through the eighth for the Pirates without too much trouble, and Mark Melancon shut it down without incident.
Stanton re-took the RBI lead in the National League with 42 (though he is also second in strikeouts at 60). Gordon still leads the world in average at .376 and stolen bases at 18. Ichiro remains tied with Mel Ott on the all time hit list. The Marlins will try again in game two, tomorrow evening 7:10 EST.
Hero of the Game: Francisco Cervelli (+.256)
Goat of the Game: David Phelps (-.207)
Play of the Game: Francisco Cervelli three run homerun in the bottom of the 2nd (+.239)