Jose Fernandez struck out 13 Pirates as Gerrit Cole and the Bucs lost to the Marlins Sunday, 3-2.
The Pirates scored two in the second on an RBI double by Russell Martin and a single by Clint Barmes, but otherwise didn't do a whole lot, which, of course, is what often happens when you strike out 13 times in eight innings.
The Marlins themselves only had four hits, but they made them count, getting two of them (plus a sacrifice fly) after Gerrit Cole walked Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth. Stanton then crushed Cole's high fastball (Giancarlo Stanton seems to crush high fastballs, we're learning) to deep center in the sixth to make it 3-2.
Otherwise, it was a strong outing for Cole, who struck out eight batters over seven innings. Ultimately, though, Fernandez was just too much. The Pirates' best chance to tie the game came when they put two on against Steve Cishek in the ninth, but Cishek got Garrett Jones to ground out to end it.
One of the Marlins' reasons for not wanting to trade Stanton is that they feel like their young pitching can form a core around Stanton more quickly than they imagined earlier this year. After this series, I agree with them. Their hitting is still awful, but Fernandez is downright great, and their other arms look promising as well. It's a shame the Pirates couldn't take at least two in this series, but in their defense, the Marlins looked more like a big-league team than I expected them to. They're not good, but they're not the Astros, either.