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Brian Anderson Delivers Walk-Off Double as Marlins Down Pirates 3-2

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For the second straight game, it took extra innings to settle the game between the Pirates and Marlins. After neither team scored in the 10th, the Bucs scored one in the 11th, but Brian Anderson delivered a walk-off two-run double in the home half of the inning as Miami defeated Pittsburgh 3-2.

The home plate umpire ruled Anderson was hit by a pitch, but upon further review, the ball hit the knob of his bat. Instead of taking his base, Anderson lined a double into the right-center field gap that plated a pair to give Miami the win.

Ben Gamel gave the Pirates the lead in the top of the 11th on an RBI-double, but it was all for not as Wil Crowe blew the save in the 11th.

The Pirates seemingly had no answer for Marlins starter Braxton Garrett, who picked up a career-high 11 strikeouts against the Pirates across his six-scoreless frames. Garrett recorded an eye-opening 23 swings and misses, many of those came on pitches well outside of the zone.

Zach Thompson turned in a quality performance for the Bucs against his former team as well. He tossed a career-high 6.2 innings and gave up just a lone earned run. Thompson lowered his ERA on the year to 4.09.

It looked like the Pirates combined to turn a perfect relay to gun down Billy Hamilton at home plate on a Joey Wendle double. After a Marlins challenge, the call was overturned and Hamilton was ruled safe, putting Miami ahead 1-0.

Diego Castillo hit a hard grounder down the third base line that got past Marlins third baseman Brian Anderson. Yoshi Tsutsugo hustled around the bases and tied the game after scoring all the way from first.

The Pirates had a golden opportunity to plate at least a run in the seventh inning after they set up shop with runners on the corners with nobody out, but couldn’t push across a run. Daniel Vogelbach pinch hit and struck out looking. Oneil Cruz, who was on first, had a poor jump on an attempted steal and was thrown out at second.

Then, with a 3-2 count to Kevin Newman, Anthony Bass delivered a pitch in the dirt and Newman checked his swing for ball four. For whatever reason, Jake Marisnick broke for home and was tagged out between third and home to end the inning.

Ke’Bryan Hayes extended his hitting streak to five games thanks to his first-inning triple. He was on base three times in this one as he also drew a pair of walks.

The Pirates head to Colorado for a three-game series with the Rockies beginning Friday night. Jose Quintana (2-4, 3.59 ERA) will faceoff with German Marquez (5-7, 5.66 ERA).

Takeaways:

  • Strong Starting Pitching: In this four-game series, Pirates starters (including Chris Stratton’s opener role on Tuesday) combined to allow only three earned runs across 23 innings. Mitch Keller allowed one earned run over seven innings, followed by Stratton getting tagged with just a lone earned run in 2.1 innings. On Wednesday, JT Brubaker tossed seven scoreless and in this one, Thompson allowed just one run across 6.2 innings. In total, Pirates starting pitchers recorded an ERA of 1.17 in the series. Those are numbers you’d expect the Pirates would do more with than split this four-game set.
  • Squandered Chances: Prior to the Gamel double in extras, the Pirates wasted numerous opportunities to push across a run with a man in scoring position. In fact, before the Gamel go-ahead double, Pirates batters combined to go 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position, and combined to go just 1 for 15 with RISP in the game. The Bucs even had chances to manufacture runs with sacrifice flies, etc., but it was a problem for them for most of the game as it has plagued them throughout the season.
  • Cruz Cannon: Cruz has had a reputation for possessing a very strong arm from shortstop for long time now. That was on display in this one as Cruz broke the record for the fastest throw by an infielder in the Statcast era. Cruz fired a 97.8 mph strike to Michael Chavis at first to retire Luke Williams, eclipsing Fernando Tatis’ previous record of 97.2 mph in 2020. This comes after Cruz threw onw to first 96.7 mph shortly after he was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis last month.

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