While the NFL had the spotlight last night for the 2013 NFL Draft, the Miami Marlins were in Miami playing host to the Chicago Cubs. Although both the Marlins and the Cubs are teams that are struggling to find themselves in the W column, these two teams always seem to match-up great against each other, giving the fans an exciting game all the way down to the final pitch. Last night was no different as the Marlins and Cubs put on a show for the audience at the ballgame and for the audience watching at home or at a local sports bar.
The opening game of this four game series featured Miami’s Kevin Slowey and Chicago’s Edwin Jackson. Despite a win-less record, Kevin Slowey has impressed many Marlin fans this season with a couple of quality starts early on in the year. Last night however was easily Slowey’s worst performance of the season, giving up three earned in six innings of work. Unlike Slowey, Edwin Jackson has been a bit of a disappointment to Cubs fans. Jackson, who is 0-3 on the season continued to have his fair-share of struggles last night against a below average Miami offense, giving up three runs and four walks in six innings.
The Cubs started off the game the right way, after David DeJesus scored off of Starlin Castro’s single to center. With the Cubs holding an early lead, the Marlins needed to counter the Cubs offense. Surprisingly, they were able to do so after Edwin Jackson walked Rob Brantly with the bases loaded, scoring Placido Polanco. For the Marlins, scoring in the first inning has been a rarity this season. Not only were they able to start off by scoring in the first, but they were also able to score twice in the second after Juan Pierre and Giancarlo Stanton had RBI hits. Throughout the season it has not been a secret that the offense is historically bad, ranking last in almost every major category. The quick start was just what the Marlins needed in order to put themselves in a position to win a ballgame.
Unfortunately, the true Marlins offense showed up to play after the second inning, as they managed to only get two hits from the fourth to the ninth inning. The inconsistency of the Marlins offense showed last night. Much like the Marlins, the Cubs had their own problems trying to generate hits.
It wasn’t until late when the game started to get exciting. The ninth inning might have been one of the most exciting innings in a Marlins game this year. The Marlins sent out closer Steve Cishek to pitch the ninth inning. Sadly, Cishek continued to struggle, giving up a home-run to Luis Valbuena. The Marlins yet again were under pressure to score. After being able to match the Cubs run in the first inning, the Marlins felt like they would be able to do it again. The team was in a great position to tie up the ball game as well. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, the Marlins had runners on first and second. Placido Polanco stepped up to the plate with hopes of driving in the game tying run. Throughout the season Polanco has arguably been the Marlins best offensive weapon, as he leads the team in batting average, on base percentage and hits. Unfortunately, Polanco was unable to get the job done, after a fly out to center. With one out remaining and two men on, the Marlins had the right man up to bat; Giancarlo Stanton. Although he hasn’t exactly been money this season, Stanton has been able to get his batting average up over the past couple of games. Marlins fans have seen the clutch gene in Stanton before, but last night we were treated to a strikeout to end the game in a 4-3 loss.
The Marlins look to get back in the win column tonight, as they will send Wade LeBlanc to the mound to face off against Scott Feldman. Not only are both pitchers 0-3, but both of them also have ERA’s over 4.
Thanks for Reading!