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Game Thread 142: Marlins at Pirates

The hottest hitter on the team since returning from the DL, Lewis Brinson gets bumped up to the cleanup spot for Saturday’s game.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Please leave any Icthy picks in the comments below. Remember, we introduced a new grand prize for the contest this season.

9/8/18 Probable Starters

Name Team IP ERA FIP K/9 fWAR
Name Team IP ERA FIP K/9 fWAR
Wei-Yin Chen Marlins 114.1 4.64 4.55 7.24 0.8
Iván Nova Pirates 140.2 4.35 4.71 6.14 0.8
FanGraphs

Today's Lineups

MARLINS PIRATES
Miguel Rojas - SS Adam Frazier - 2B
Starlin Castro - 2B Starling Marte - CF
Brian Anderson - 3B Jordan Luplow - LF
Lewis Brinson - CF Josh Bell - 1B
Austin Dean - LF Jose Osuna - 3B
Peter O'Brien - 1B Pablo Reyes - RF
Bryan Holaday - C Kevin Newman - SS
Magneuris Sierra - RF Jacob Stallings - C
Wei-Yin Chen - LHP Ivan Nova - RHP

Matchup Summary

Take a good look, because that may have been the last time you’ll see Dan Straily pitch in a Marlins uniform. He suffered a left oblique strain in the fifth inning on Friday night and was removed from the game. Recovering from that injury typically takes multiple weeks, plus with the minor league season complete, he won’t have the opportunity to tune up with a rehab start. The team hasn’t made a decision quite yet.

Straily leads the Marlins in strikeouts (269), walks (112) and home runs allowed (51) since arriving prior to last season. He ranks second only to José Ureña in the other counting stats.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

As for the game itself, Straily performed fairly well and even tried to help his own cause. Pirates starter Chris Archer worked around a few jams until the sixth inning when a revitalized Lewis Brinson went deep for the first time since returning from the DL. That put the Fish in front, 3-2, but didn’t hold up—Tayron Guerrero’s issues in the bottom of the seventh allowed the home team to take the series opener.

I’ll have more info on Brinson in an article tomorrow because the tangible adjustments that he’s made should have Marlins fans extremely excited. Don Mattingly is clearly buying in, bumping him up to the cleanup spot for Saturday’s contest.

Wei-Yin Chen has been excellent since the start of August (31.1 IP, 1.44 ERA, 6 BB, 30 K), though pitching in a comfortable environment helps. Four of the five outings were at Marlins Park. The discrepancy between Chen’s home/road splits remains one of the season’s most confusing storylines.

Miami would need to go undefeated the rest of the way to match 2017’s win total. Turns out that flipping your most productive players for those with limited-to-zero major league experience can lead to short-term struggles!

Outside of our Marlins bubble, the world is grieving for rapper Mac Miller, who died Friday of an apparent drug overdose. Miller grew up in Pittsburgh, so his loss is particularly painful for the Pirates and many of their fans.

Thread Question: Brinson has bounced around the lineup during an inconsistent rookie campaign (batting 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 7th and 8th at times). Where do you expect Mattingly to use him most often in 2019?