Marlins Chen Cannot Solve Road Woes In Loss To Pirates

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 07: Wei-Yin Chen #54 of the Miami Marlins pitches in the second inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on April 7, 2017 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 07: Wei-Yin Chen #54 of the Miami Marlins pitches in the second inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on April 7, 2017 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Miami Marlins starter Wei-Yin Chen once again had issues on the road as he suffered a 5-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on the road Saturday.

The Miami Marlins would love Wei-Yin Chen to pitch on the road like he does at Marlins Park. Maybe it’s the friendly confines of being in his own bed at night or the spacious outfield that makes him a better pitcher. Whatever the reason, the veteran suffered another defeat in a 5-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday.

Mason Wittner of MLB.com echoed my sentiments in his story from last night.

"“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,” he wrote."

Chen and the Marlins cannot seem to solve the Pirates, who took the first two games of the three-game series. The final game is this afternoon.

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If Chen, who came over from Baltimore in 2016 and was the team’s Opening Day pitcher, could figure out more consistency, he would be a solid candidate for the rotation next season as a veteran presence on a young staff.

Given the team owes Chen $20 million in 2019, there will be some tough decisions made regarding his contract. Also, Chen has been healthy for the second half of 2018, something he could not say the previous two seasons.

When he spoke to the media following the game, Chen was able to pinpoint why he has been so erratic on the road and more at peace at home, especially on Saturday.

"“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.”"

An injury to Dan Straily on Friday night, a strained oblique has him listed as “day-to-day.” There is no further news on the injury. Marlins manager Don Mattingly needs a more consistent Chen to go along with Jose Urena in a sea of young arms trying to make a lasting impression for next season.

"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.”"

Despite the Marlins pitching woes, the bats were just as depressing, managing one run on the night.

"“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.”"

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