The Miami Marlins were faced with a situation that they’ve been faced with many times throughout this race to try to make it back to the playoffs. Miami had a one run lead heading into the ninth inning, which hasn’t always been good news for the Marlins. Considering the fact the Marlins have struggled to hold onto those leads, fans certainly weren’t comfortable with a one run lead. To make matters worse (sort of), the Marlins entered tonight’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 1-11 record at PNC Park since 2012, and when the Pirates had bases loaded with one out in the ninth, it seemed like the same old song was being sung all over again.
It turns out it wasn’t the same old song, as Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen grounded into a double play, which ended the game, and the Marlins pulled out a gutsy 6-5 victory. Miami was coming off a series where they dropped 3 of 4 games to the Cincinnati Reds, so they were in major need of a bounce back win, especially against the team they are chasing in the NL Wild Card race. With the win, the Marlins are a half game back of Pittsburgh for third, and they are 2.5 games back of the St. Louis Cardinals for the second NL Wild Card.
It didn’t seem like the Marlins would be in position to win the game in the seventh inning, an inning in which the Pirates regained the lead and tacked on three more runs to take the 5-3 lead. Miami didn’t keep the score like that for long, as they had a response in the top of the eighth. Miguel Rojas recorded his first homer of the season, as his solo jack cut the Pirates lead to 5-4. Christian Yelich then evened the score, when he brought Dee Gordon home after singling to center. Miami finally took the decisive lead in the ninth inning when Robert Andino singled to right, which scored J.T. Realmuto, and it gave the Marlins the 6-5 lead. Fernando Rodney came on to close the game in the ninth, and it certainly wasn’t easy, but he was able to save the game as the Marlins outlasted the Pirates, 6-5.
Tom Koehler took the mound for the Marlins tonight, and he had a decent outing, but he wasn’t as dominant as he has been in his past couple of starts. Koehler allowed two runs and eight hits, while striking out two batters in six innings pitched. Gerrit Cole got the start for Pittsburgh, and he also turned in a very average performance. He allowed 12 hits and three runs in 6.2 innings of work. Miami will look to win game two of this series when these two teams battle it out on Saturday evening at 7:05 ET.
Hero of the Game: Christian Yelich (0.55)
Goat of the Game: Andrew McCutchen (-0.61)
Play of the Game: Robert Andino singles to right, J.T. Realmuto scores (.307)