The Cubs battled the Marlins in the second game of the series Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field following a victory in game one. Things did not look promising early for Chicago, but they finally took advantage of an opponent’s mistakes to grab a series victory.
Drew Smyly had a long 1st inning, throwing nearly 40 pitches and giving up a run on a Bryan De La Cruz single. Miami doubled the lead when former Cub Jorge Soler cranked a run home run deep to left in the 3rd.
Chicago had plenty of early chances as the Marlins went with a bullpen game Saturday. Matt Mervis had an impact yet again in his first weekend in the majors, this time with an opposite-field single in the 4th to put the home team on the board.
The bullpen, particularly Keegan Thompson, was very good and kept their team in the game despite numerous stranded runners by Cubs hitters. The Marlins appeared on their way to another one-run victory until they completely collapsed in the 8th inning.
Yuli Gurriel dropped a throw on what appeared to be a relatively routine Cody Bellinger groundout to the pitcher to open the frame. Right fielder Peyton Burdick then lost a Trey Mancini fly ball in the sun that bounced off the outfielder and rolled away for a double. Nick Madrigal made them pay with a ground ball past first base for a two-run go ahead single.
Miguel Amaya then pinch-hit and squibbed a grounder through the middle for his first career base knock to put the Cubs ahead 4-2. Adbert Alzolay came on in the 9th inning and picked up his first save of the season to seal the win. (Box score)
First major league hit for @mamaya_9!
HUGS! 🤗 pic.twitter.com/LcP1a99YCQ
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 6, 2023
The North Siders scuffled badly with men in scoring position against the Marlins in Miami. It was trending the same way Saturday before Madrigal finally came through, which had to make him and his entire team feel better.
Why the Cubs Won
The bullpen pitched well enough to keep them in the game so they could take advantage of Miami’s sloppiness late.
Stats That Matter
- Smyly just didn’t have it on Saturday but he was able to limit damage: 3.1 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 5 K, and 3 BB.
- Thompson was the sharpest he’s been all year: 3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 K, and 0 BB.
- Madrigal also made a terrific diving stab at third base to end the game.
- Nico Hoerner had two hits on Saturday.
It’s nice to see the Cubs bounce back and win a series after the rough road trip they just endured. If you keep getting runners on base, eventually someone is going to come through. Good process finally led to good results on Saturday.