Marlins Park is a weirdly, and somehow comfortingly, antiseptic environment in which to hold a baseball game. Inside its gleaming walls, you can try whatever odd experiment you'd like -- whether that's using a hard-throwing reliever with no control, or having fish swim in an aquarium behind home plate, or turning your GM into a manager -- and know that it will be unburdened by the contaminants of crowd noise or body heat or anyone caring about anything.
The Marlins' situation is a disaster for baseball in Miami, obviously, but as a fan of a franchise that taught me to embrace absurdity and obscurity, I find what the Marlins have to offer reassuring, now that I no longer have to watch it for more than a few days at a time. Marlins Park is emptiness. It is that fluorescent bulb you can tell is buzzing only when no one else is around. It is CNN. It is a corporate office park, or a laboratory, in the wee hours of the morning. Everyone else has gone home, and finally, you're free to sit at your desk and spend hours making paper clip chains or playing solitaire.
Anyway, the Marlins had Chris Narveson, the former Brewers pitcher, make his first big-league start since 2012 tonight, because Kendry Flores (who himself would have been making only his second career start) hurt his shoulder. The Pirates feasted on Narveson's sub-90-MPH offerings in the early going, and the last seven innings went by quietly (even by Marlins Park standards), as the Bucs won 7-2.
Josh Harrison started the game with a walk, and Andrew McCutchen drove him home with a double. The Marlins tied the game in the bottom of the first as Martin Prado blasted Jeff Locke's inside fastball to left for a solo homer. But the Pirates went off in the second. Michael Morse, Neil Walker and Chris Stewart led off with three straight hits, leading to two runs. After Locke bunted into a force out, Harrison walked again (!), and Starling Marte brought a run home with a single to center. Then McCutchen cleared the bases with a ridiculous three-run shot to left.
Locke gave up another run after allowing a leadoff double to Marcell Ozuna in the second, but he settled down after that. After the fourth inning, when Locke gave up two straight singles but then induced a double play, there was never much reason to think the Marlins were going to get back in the game. Locke went seven, striking out three and walking one, and Joe Blanton pitched two scoreless innings after that. Easy game. In just over two and a half hours, the Pirates dragged their last king to the top row, and all the cards bounced harmlessly to the bottom of the screen.