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Moran savors sibling moment, now looks to stay

@JoeFrisaro
September 6, 2019

MIAMI -- As much as Marlins reliever Brian Moran is trying to stay in the moment, the lefty can’t escape talk of the “sibling showdown” that took place on Thursday night against his younger brother, Colin, with the Pirates. Even as Moran was talking with the media on Friday before

MIAMI -- As much as Marlins reliever Brian Moran is trying to stay in the moment, the lefty can’t escape talk of the “sibling showdown” that took place on Thursday night against his younger brother, Colin, with the Pirates.

Even as Moran was talking with the media on Friday before the series opener against the Royals at Marlins Park, televisions in the clubhouse showed an MLB Network panel discussing "Moran vs. Moran."

“I’m trying to keep tunnel vision,” Brian Moran said. “You work so hard to get to the big leagues, you want to give it your best shot.”

Still, the elder Moran understands the magnitude of the moment.

“It’s hard not to appreciate everybody’s excitement,” the 30-year-old said. “My phone still hasn’t stopped buzzing.”

Since Brian Moran froze Colin on a full-count slider on Thursday in the Marlins’ 10-7 win over the Pirates at PNC Park, their sibling story has received national attention, transcending just sports.

“The coverage has been pretty cool,” Brian said on Friday. “I’m happy I am a little bit older. You feel like you’re ready for this type of thing, in terms of interest and talking to reporters and media.”

A week ago, Moran wasn’t even sure he would be a September callup. Not only did he make his big league debut three weeks before his 31st birthday, he found himself being part of MLB history.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Brian vs. Colin marked the first time since 1900 that brothers –- a pitcher matched against a batter -- in his MLB debut. It’s also only the seventh time since 1900 that a player made his debut against his brother’s team. The last time that occurred was June 7, 1988, when Alex Cora of the Dodgers faced Joey Cora, who was with the Mariners.

“It’s pretty incredible the amount of coverage that it’s gotten,” Moran said. “It’s exciting, honestly.”

In the past 24 hours, Moran’s phone has received about 100 messages.

Now that the sibling moment has passed, Brian’s focus is on using September to figure out what it will take to remain in the big leagues.

“That’s what I’ll try to figure out the most here this next month,” Moran said. “To get here. To realize how special it is. How do I stay here? I’ll try to keep sticking to what I feel I do best.”

Moran spent the season at Triple-A New Orleans, posting a 3.15 ERA in 43 games. In 60 innings, he had 77 strikeouts and 26 walks.

“He’s been more of a lefty guy,” manager Don Mattingly said. “Can he be a multiple-innings guy? Can he get right-handed hitters out? Because he’s definitely got a funky look for a lefty. So that’s going to be tough on lefties. We know rule changes are coming, and specialists are going to be tough. He has to show he can get righties out also. I think that is going to be the key for him.”

Lefties at Triple-A hit .086, while right-handers batted .252.

“That’s a big part of the equation,” Moran said. “I feel like my splits have always been a little bit better against lefties, but to be a big leaguer, you have to be a well-rounded pitcher.”

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.