It didn’t take long for the Cubs to make an impression on Miami Marlins starter Jose Urena. Leadoff batter Ian Happ drilled the very first pitch of the 2018 season into the right field seats for a quick 1-0 Chicago lead.
Urena then proceeded to face eight more Cubs in the opening frame. He walked two (including a bases-loaded free pass to Jason Heyward), drilled three, struck out one (Willson Contreras), and got Kyle Schwarber and Jon Lester to ground out to the right side. The Miami Marlins trailed, 3-0 after just one-half inning.
We already thought we were off to a rough start, then Anthony Rizzo hit a two-out home run in the second inning to make it a 4-1 Cubs lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Marlins started to mount a comeback. Justin Bour collected an RBI-groundout with runners on the corners, Anderson got his second RBI on a line drive to left field, and Garrett Cooper scored Anderson on a one-out single to tie the contest at four.
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The tie didn’t last very long. After hitting a one-out double in the next inning, Kris Bryant scored on a Contreras double to give the Cubs a 5-4 lead. It would hold through the rest of the game, with Chicago adding three more runs in the seventh for good measure.
"Everyone knows that’s a good team on that side, but we’re right there with them – Derek Dietrich, via FSFL"
- Lewis Brinson underwhelmed with four groundouts and a fly-out to right field, going 0-for-5 in his Marlins debut.
- Cameron Maybin made an impact with a leadoff pinch-hit double in the fourth inning, but was eventually stranded 90 feet from home when Justin Bour flew out to end the inning.
- Tayron Guerrero has long been thought the “afterthought” of the trade in 2016 where the Marlins gave up Josh Naylor, Carter Capps, Luis Castillo, and Jarred Cosart (for Colin Rea and Andrew Cashner, smh). In today’s appearances, just his second in the majors, he struck out the first four Cubs he faced before allowing a Schwarber seventh-inning shot.
- Derek Dietrich reached base three times, with a single, a triple, and a late free pass by way of HBP. In doing so, he extended his team-record in the metric to 73. He already leads the NL in the category, and may never this season be in second.
- For the “staff ace,” Jose Urena looked very touchable. He ended up with the loss, giving up six hits and four walks in just four innings. He struck out two and allowed five earned runs.
- Brian Anderson may have been the most impressive Marlin for the day, with a pair of RBI-singles, a walk, and several sparkling defensive plays.
Throughout the season, I’ll be tracking Wins Probability Added (WPA) and highlighting the Heroes (and Zeroes) of each contest. This is not a predictive metric, but instead a story-telling statistic that lets us know who performed best under pressure in the highest leverage situations.
Brian Anderson 23.0%
Anderson hit an RBI-single in the first, an RBI-single in the third, led off with a groundout in the fifth, and drew a leadoff walk in the seventh.
Steve Cishek 21.8%
Cishek inherited runners on the corners and one out in the fourth, and closed the door on his former team by striking out Starlin Castro and getting Justin Bour to fly out to left. He then got through the fifth inning unscathed despite allowing a walk to Garrett Cooper and a Miguel Rojas double.
Jason Heyward 13.4%
Heyward drew a bases loaded walk in the first, doubled with one out and a man on first in the third, led off with a fly-out in the fifth, got to first on interference in the seventh, then later scored, and finally flew out to the left side in the ninth.
Justin Bour -15.8%
Bour walked in the first, hit an RBI groundout in the third, flew out to end the fourth with runners on the corners, flew out to left to end the sixth with a runner on first, then ended the game by grounding into a 4-6-3 double play.
Bour has better days ahead.
Jose Urena -37.1%
Urena’s struggles are documented above, but to recap, he lasted four innings and allowed five runs on 13 baserunners. Somehow, he kept opposing batters to a .143 average with runners in scoring position (one-for-seven). Still, that’s a 2.500 WHIP, not even counting the three hit batsmen.
Jon Lester -48.2%
Sure, the Cubs won, but it wasn’t due to anything that Lester did. Handed a 4-1 lead, the Marlins managed to touch him for three runs on seven hits and three walks in just 3 1/3 innings. That’s an in-game WHIP of 3.000.
Thanks for reading. Join us tomorrow for more Marlins’ news. First pitch will be 7:10 PM, as Caleb Smith takes on Kyle Hendricks in game two of the four game series. In the meantime, follow us on Twitter at @MarlinManiac, like us on FaceBook, and keeps us bookmarked for all the latest Marlins’ news.