There are plenty of ways to talk about this game; one is to say that the Pirates lost two of three to the Marlins, who are generally pretty terrible and have the NL's worst record. Another would be to point out that since June 8th, the Marlins are 23-19, which is the NL East's best record in that span. You can point to all of the strikeouts (13 at the hands of rookie Jose Fernandez today) and say that it's proof that the Pirates need to find a bat, or you could point out that the Pirates' winning percentage in games where they strike out 11+ times is just about the same as their winning percentage in every other game and that maybe the strikeouts don't matter nearly as much as they seem like they do on afternoons like today. It's worth pointing out that Gerrit Cole was pretty nasty today, striking out eight in seven innings and throwing a nasty slider all afternoon. And, of course, it's worth wondering why he came anywhere near the strike zone with Giancarlo Stanton in the sixth inning of a 2-2 game.
Here's what matters: the Pirates lost two of three this weekend, but the Cardinals and Reds both got swept. What is almost certainly the biggest series in the history of PNC Park starts on Monday, with the Cardinals holding a 1 1/2 game lead on the Pirates before a five-game set. If the Pirates play well against the Cardinals, we'll forget this ugly weekend in Miami ever happened.
The weekend wasn't "ugly". That would have required being swept and looking bad in the process. The Bucs aren't playing all that well, are still trying to get conditioned to losing Grilli on back end of pen and yet we went 5-5 on the roadtrip. A few yrs ago we would have considered a split of 10 road games a triumph and expected 3-7 or 2-8. I think the Reds schedule these next 2 months is more difficult than Pittsburgh's. We may not catch St. L. but we need to stay ahead of Cincy.
I still contend last August 27-29 when the Cardinals came to town with a 2 game lead over the Pirates for the final playoff spot was a bigger series than this one. People seem to forget about that one but it was huge if the Pirates get swept the season was essentially over but if they would have swept it would have valuted them back into playoff position headed into September.