The Pirates and Marlins will close out their four-game series tonight at 7:10PM from Marlins Park as the Pirates try to split the series. We won’t see the Marlins again until mid-August for a three-game series at PNC Park.
Losing three-out-of-four wouldn’t be a crushing blow for the Pirates, but definitely not the greatest way to ring in an important month of June where the schedule is going to get increasingly more difficult.
And to avoid losing three straight games, the Bucs will have to turn to arguably their worst starting pitcher in Juan Nicasio. After blanking the Reds through 7.0 innings on April 29, Nicasio has given up at least four runs in every start since then, putting together an awful May (1-2, 6.75 ERA). He needs to be better for the Bucs to get back on track tonight.
The Bucs will face Wei-Yin Chen, the southpaw from Taiwan in his first season in Miami after pitching for the Orioles for four years of his MLB career. He signed with the Marlins in the offseason for 2 years/$28M. Chen is having his worst season so far with a 4.37 ERA (3.84 FIP) in 10 starts. The 30-year-old hasn’t seen much of the Pirates players and only faced Cervelli, McCutchen, Rodriguez, Stewart, Joyce and Freese in his career. Cervelli is 3-for-7 off him and Rodriguez took him deep once, but is 4-for-23 against Chen. His lone start against the Bucs came back in 2012 in Baltimore and he allowed four runs in 6.1 innings for the win.
Here’s the Bucs lineup for tonight: