Tonight will showcase a battle between two of MLB’s top young Ace’s with Gerrit Cole coming into Jose Fernandez‘s house. First pitch is scheduled to be thrown at 7:10 at Marlins Park with the roof scheduled to be closed on this warm and humid evening in Little Havana. This is sure to be the matchup of the day in all of MLB. It’s a shame the unpaid world has to see Cincinnati and Colorado in the MLB Game of the Day.
Gerrit Cole enters this game with a 2.53 ERA and has actually accumulated just a 1.04 ERA in his past four starts. Just as fans were casting him off as a true Ace in Major League Baseball, he has lowered his ERA by a run and a half and reminded everybody why he was FOURTH in the Cy Young voting last season. Yes, this pitcher whom you all claim doesn’t put fear in any other team’s club is an ACE and viewed as such amongst all of MLB. He will bring his 2.51 career ERA in Marlins Park with him to try and shut down the struggling fish that will be without slugger, Giancarlo Stanton, for the sixth game in a row.
The 29-21 Pirates are coming into this game hot and fresh off of a 10-0 victory over the Marlins just 24 hours ago. They are also 11-4 in their last 15 games and have outscored their opponents by 39 runs. This team has been lead by two of the leagues top WAR producers in Gregory Polanco (2.5 WAR) and Starling Marte (2.1 WAR) which has helped pace Pittsburgh’s potent offense.
As a matter of fact, Gregory Polanco has simply torched the Marlins at Marlins Park. For his short career, he has batted .500 in 32 at bats with two doubles, two home runs, and nine RBI’s while playing in Marlins Park. Andrew McCutchen loves to see South Beach as well as he has hit .380 in 50 at bats while accumulating six extra base hits and 11 RBI’s. But wait, there’s more. David Freese, who will be coming off of the bench today, has also dominated in this park. He has hit .533 in 30 at bats while also accruing four extra base hits. With the Pirates being 19-6 vs Miami since 2012, it seems safe to say that whenever Pittsburgh comes to South Beach they be bringing’ the heat.
With all the success the Pirates have had verse the Marlins and especially at Marlins Park, there will be one person in their way to stop them. That is 23 year old Cuban named Jose Fernandez. Every time Jose takes the mound, they call it Jose Day in Miami and his numbers will show you exactly why. In 31 career starts at home, Jose has compiled a 21-1 record in 197.1 innings while striking out 241 batters and compiling a staggering 1.64 ERA. Nobody outside of Clayton Kershaw has dominated so well pitching at their home ballpark since 2012. For the season, Jose is 7-2 with a 2.82 ERA and 90 strikeouts. Like Cole, he started off rocky but has turned it on of late and in his last six starts he has gone 6-0 with a 1.89 ERA. He has only faced the Pirates twice in his career though, so this will be a big test between both parties.
The Marlins offense has been lead my Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich for much of the season. Like the Pirates, their outfield is very young, athletic, and productive with the bat. Many predicted these two outfields to be ranked #1 and #2, respectively, and if Stanton could ever put together a full healthy season, it would be no question. Ozuna, who was rumored throughout the offseason of being on the trade block, has turned in a .339 batting average while belting 10 home runs and 27 RBI’s in an All-Star worthy 2016. Yelich, has quietly recorded a .308/.408/.500 season.
With Dee Gordon suspended, this team has lost much of its speed recording just seven stolen bases from the remaining players. Cole should not have much to worry in regards to the running game, and can solely focus on the batter. As a team, Miami is hitting .272, which is tied for second in the N.L.
- Jaso 1B
- McCutchen CF
- Polanco RF
- Kang 3B
- Marte LF
- Cervelli C
- Harrison 2B
- Mercer SS
- Cole P