In pitching duel, Jarred Cosart comes out on top for Marlins
AUG 12, 2014 11:18p ET
Cosart had direct orders to not swing after being scratched from his last start in Pittsburgh because he tweaked his lower back during his first big-league hit Aug. 1.
With the way he pitched in the Marlins' 3-0 win over the Cardinals Tuesday night, he didn't need to produce at the plate.
Cosart threw seven scoreless innings of three-hit ball with three strikeouts and a walk for his first victory as a Marlin. He was acquired at the trade deadline from the Houston Astros.
"He threw just enough breaking balls to keep guys off his fastball," manager Mike Redmond said. "He threw some nice changeups. He hit his spots. He was able to move that ball in and out. He was able to get through a really good lineup. These guys can hit and put up the big number and he did a nice job shutting them down."
Both Redmond and Cosart agreed the 10 days between starts did him good. Including Tuesday, Cosart is now at 128 2/3 innings -- 25 shy of his career high between the minors and Astros last season.
When the Marlins scored three runs in the fourth, Cosart had retired 12 of the first 13 batters. He felt even more comfortable with the lead, continuing to pound the strike zone and get quick outs.
The 24-year-old compared his matchup with Wainwright, last year's NL Cy Young runner-up, to his major-league debut against David Price on July 12, 2013. In that start, he pitched eight scoreless two-hit innings for the victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
In the sixth on Tuesday, Cosart worked around a leadoff single to keep the Cardinals off the scoreboard. Pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso flied out but Matt Carpenter reached on an error. Cosart buckled down, inducing a fielder's choice and striking out Matt Holliday on a 94 mph fastball.
Of his 21 outs recorded, eight were via grounders (one double play), four fly balls, five liners and three strikeouts. He threw 102 pitches (63 strikes).
"You go into starts like this knowing runs are going to be limited on both sides," Cosart said. "The team hopefully puts up one or two runs the way we've been swinging the bats lately. I was confident the guys were going to score, and I have to do my job out there and keep them from scoring as little as possible. My head down and keep going out there trying to execute pitches. (Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia) and I were on the same page. The three times I shook him off they got hits, so I learned from that going forward."
Added Cardinals manager Mike Matheny: "He's got a good arm and the breaking ball was sharp today too. We were seeing some awkward swings at it, which tells you the kind of break that it had. He had some cut to it at times. He threw a nice game. You can't take that away from him."
Miami is now one game behind the Atlanta Braves for second in the National League East and 3 1/2 out of a Wild Card spot. The Marlins improved to 41-5 when allowing three or fewer runs this season.
Rather than toil in another possible last-place finish in Houston, Cosart has been in the thick of a postseason race since arriving in South Florida.
"It feels great," Cosart said. "I think that's why I got traded over. They have confidence in my ability to help this team and I have the utmost confidence in my own ability that I can come in and help these guys win games and make a playoff push. I appreciate that they had confidence in me. Now it's up to me to continue going out there and deliver quality starts, keep my team in the game. If we keep swinging the bats like this we're going to win a lot of games with no matter who we have on the mound."