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PIT 3, MIA 2; Pittsburgh strikes just enough to take another game

Once again, the Marlins offense didn’t do enough.

Michael Chavis #2, Jake Marisnick #41, and Kevin Newman #27 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrate after defeating the Miami Marlins 5-1 at loanDepot park on July 11, 2022 in Miami, Florida. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Miami, FL—After a tough series-opening loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Miami Marlins were looking to bounce back Tuesday by taking game 2 of the series.

Before getting to the game itself, there was a lot going on earlier in the day.

MLB announced that Garrett Cooper has made the National League All-Star team, replacing the injured Bryce Harper on the roster. Cooper finished third in the players’ vote among NL designated hitters and got in as a result because Harper won’t be able to play in the game.

Here was his press conference, held inside the Marlins clubhouse minutes after he was told the news:

Then, the Marlins made an unexpected roster move. Reliever Louis Head was placed on release waivers and claimed by the Baltimore Orioles. Head, the first acquisition of the 2021-2022 offseason for the Marlins, was on the IL with a left shoulder impingement at the time.

Also prior to the game, catcher Jacob Stallings received his Gold Glove award from 2021. Stallings was honored with a small video highlighting some of his biggest defensive plays from last season, then many of his accomplishments were announced.

After a game filled with offense last night for the Pirates, they didn’t want to stop that there against the Italian Stallion, Daniel Castano.

In the top of the 3rd, former Marlins outfielder Jake Marisnick hit his second homer of the season to give the Pirates an early 1-0 lead. Just like Marisnick’s homer on Monday, this went to left field. It was hit off of Castano’s cutter, which has been highly effective this season.

With the Pirates going with a bullpen game, Chris Stratton went only 2 13 innings. Stratton used his fastball mainly, followed along by his curveball and slider.

Right after Stratton was removed, former Marlin Dillon Peters entered the game. This was the first time Peters has faced the Marlins since being designated for assignment in 2018. Peters allowed a sac fly to Joey Wendle which drove in Brian Anderson (earned run charged to Stratton), then Peters struck out Jon Berti. After 3 innings, the game was tied 1-1.

The top of the 5th inning showcased some of the Pirates young talent going to work. It began with a single from right fielder Diego Castillo. Pirates' 6’7” shortstop Oneil Cruz hit an RBI triple to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead. Cruz is known for his high exit velocities and this one didn’t disappoint: 94.7 MPH. Cruz is currently the Pirates number 2 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

Another rookie, catcher Jason Delay, followed up Cruz by hitting an RBI single to extend the Pirates lead, 3-1. That would be Castano’s third and final run given up in this game.

In the next half-inning, the Marlins would strike back. Miguel Rojas reached base through a fielder’s choice. Miggy then stole second (his 6th of the year) to put himself in scoring position. With two outs and a 3-0 count, Marlins fan favorite Nick Fortes smacked an RBI single to get back a run and make this a 1-run deficit.

Although Dan Castano used his trusty cutter, the slider was a bigger factor than usual on Tuesday. Castano picked up swings-and-misses with four different pitches and even mixed in a few sinkers. He worked the bottom part of the strike zone as much as he could.

Overall, this was a nice bounce-back start for the soft-tossing pitcher. Can we expect Dan Castano to earn another start? Maybe yes, or maybe no. He is lined up to pitch again on Sunday against the Phillies.

Elieser Hernandez relieved Castano. He kept the score at 3-2 by going 3 scoreless innings.

Pittsburgh All-Star closer David Bednar entered the game to close it out. He stranded pinch-runner Luke Williams on second base, striking out Bryan De La Cruz for the final out.

The Marlins (41-45) fell to the Pirates (38-50) for their 19th one-run loss of the year (most in MLB). A team that is trying to gain ground in the Wild Card race is beginning to lose hope, it seems.

Manager Don Mattingly Press Conference

After the game, it was announced that Garrett Cooper suffered a contusion on the inside of his left knee. He is expected to be day-to-day.

“It’ll be good, nothing broken,” Cooper told the media.

Cooper also mentioned how a day can go from the highest of the highs—like making his first All-Star team—to the lowest of the lows. He said it is part of the game and it is just time to move on.

Dan Castano spoke to the media as well. He showed support for Nick Fortes for calling the game he did and applauded Elieser Hernandez for his relief role.

“Really happy for Elieser, you know,” Castano said. “It’s really good to see him come back in the groove, keep us in the game. Just thrilled for those two guys [Fortes and Elieser].”

The Marlins will go back at it against the Pirates in game 3 of the 4-game set at 6:40 p.m. EST. Pablo López will be on the mound against JT Brubaker.