Ryan Weathers breaks down outing as Marlins start 0-3

All things considered, Ryan Weathers thought he threw the ball well Saturday. He was getting first-pitch strikes. He had more quality pitches than not. He mixed in his entire arsenal, throwing enough changeups and sweepers along with a few sinkers to balance with his four-seam fastball.

On that note, he is fine with how his first start of the season went.

But the results? Not so much.

That’s understandable considering he only went four innings in the Miami Marlins’ 9-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates as lengthy at-bats crushed his pitch count and forced an early exit.

Miami falls to 0-3 for the first time since 2015.

“Today,” Weathers said, “just wasn’t good enough.”

The 24-year-old lefty needed 94 pitches to get through four innings. That included a 30-pitch third inning and 32-pitch fourth with Pittsburgh (3-0) scoring three runs in those two frames. Weathers needed just 32 total pitches to get through the first two innings.

Weathers wasn’t necessarily laboring throughout the outing. He was just the victim of lengthy at-bats the second and third times through the order.

Six of the 14 batters he faced in his final two innings saw at least five pitches. He threw first-pitch strikes to nine of those 14 batters. Five of those nine ended in base hits.

“They just had a lot of good ABs today,” Weathers said. “I was making a lot of quality pitches, but just had several ABs that were just long, and if you leave one pitch over the heart of the plate, that turns into base hits. I thought I threw the ball fine. Just my pitch count ran up quick.”

Result aside, both Weathers and Marlins manager Skip Schumaker pointed to the aspects of Weathers’ game they hope he can build upon as the season continues.

He threw first-pitch strikes to 16 of 22 batters. He induced 13 whiffs on 44 swings. His four-seam fastball velocity averaged 96.7 mph and touched 98.3.

“Overall, his stuff actually looked good,” Schumaker said. “If he throws like that, I think we’ll be OK, but 95 pitches in four innings is not ideal.”

Especially after the Marlins’ bullpen had already thrown 14 innings over the first two games of the series. Jesus Luzardo only went five innings in Miami’s 6-5, 12-inning loss to begin the season on Thursday. A.J. Puk followed with a two-inning start in Friday’s 7-2 loss.

Sixto Sanchez covered a pair of innings to get Miami through the sixth but a four-run seventh by Pittsburgh against Marlins lefty Andrew Nardi essentially put the game out of reach.

Jake Burger and Jesus Sanchez drove in the Marlins’ three runs, with Burger hitting an RBI double in the fourth and Sanchez hitting a pair of RBI singles in the fourth and sixth.

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