PITTSBURGH -- Wei-Yin Chen showed on Saturday that pitching away from Miami continues to be a problem as the left-hander allowed three earned runs over four innings in the Marlins' 5-1 loss to the Pirates at PNC Park.
Chen is now 1-7 with a 9.13 ERA and 1.817 WHIP in 11 road starts this season, but the southpaw has put up respectable numbers pitching in the comfort of Marlins Park. He's gone 5-3 while posting a 1.77 ERA and 0.986 WHIP through 12 home games in 2018.
Pitching on a rainy Saturday afternoon in Pittsburgh, the left-hander seemed to lose his command as his outing went on, missing spots and falling behind in counts. Marlins manager Don Mattingly stated that Chen "kind of had to battle every inning, and just didn't seem to have that same command when he needed to."
Chen felt his command wasn't as sharp as it had been in recent starts, but wouldn't blame his struggles on the weather conditions.
"More or less, it's the command," Chen said through an interpreter. "Maybe it's the weather, the rain. But as a player, that's the thing you have to overcome, so that's not a reason you can say 'because of the rain.' Because as a player, you have to be able to pitch in the rain."
Chen got off to a strong start as he struck out three through a scoreless opening frame. He began the second inning by giving up a leadoff double to Jose Osuna before issuing a four-pitch walk to Pablo Reyes to put two on with nobody out. In the ensuing at-bat, Kevin Newman ripped an RBI single to center field to put the Pirates up, 1-0.
Facing the top of the Pirates order in the third inning, Chen retired the side in order on just 13 pitches. However, he began the fourth inning by missing the zone on three straight pitches before eventually walking Josh Bell to lead off the inning.
The walk would cost him when Jacob Stallings poked a 3-2 slider into center field for an RBI single and the ball rolled past Lewis Brinson to plate another run via a fielding error.
"I think I should be able to make some adjustments during the game, maybe to attack the hitters more and make them more uncomfortable," Chen said. "But I didn't do that really well [Saturday], so that meant they were able to attack on some of my pitches."
Chen was lifted for right-hander Brett Graves, who hung a 3-2 fastball to Bell in the sixth inning that resulted in a leadoff home run to extend Miami's deficit to 4-0. Starling Marte added to the Pirates' advantage with a seventh-inning RBI double to center field off righty Elieser Hernandez.
Trailing by five runs in the eighth inning, the Marlins bookended a Starlin Castro double with a pair of walks drawn by Miguel Rojas and Brian Anderson to load the bases with one out. Rojas later scored on a wild pitch, but a fly out and pop out ultimately ended the scoring threat.
"We didn't really get anything going," Mattingly said. "We had a couple chances there late. I thought we had some guys on and could've had a big inning there. We just weren't able to really put anything together."
The Marlins were recently eliminated from the Wild Card race, but Saturday's loss officially eliminated them from the National League East Division race and knocked them out of postseason contention.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
O'Brien's first hit with Fish: First baseman Peter O'Brien collected his first hit as a Marlin on Saturday when he hit a liner to left field that bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double in the ninth inning.
HE SAID IT
"He's been pitching really well. And his last time on the road was really good. So he's been pretty solid, other than he had the road woes early in the year. But he's probably been one of our top guys as far as throwing a baseball and keeping us in games, getting deep in games. He's been pretty good." -- Mattingly, on Chen
Two straight rainouts aren't disrupting Jose Urena's schedule. The Marlins will start the right-hander against the Mets on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET at Citi Field. Over his past seven starts, Urena has a 3.76 ERA. He comes off a win against the Phillies. Jacob deGrom, a National League Cy Young Award candidate, will start for New York.