Game Seventy-Eight – Cubs 1, Marlins 2
WP – Tom Koehler (7-4) LP – Jason Hammel (5-4) Save – A.J. Ramos (13)
The Cubs’ magic ran out Friday afternoon against the Marlins at Wrigley Field. The offense managed only one run while the Marlins hit two homers off Jason Hammel as the Cubs dropped the opener of the weekend series.
The Cubs had opportunities to put runs on the board on Friday afternoon. And left the tying run on second base in the ninth to end the game. The offensive struggles continued. The Cubs were 1-for-6 with RISP and left eight men on base.
Miguel Montero (1-for-4 with a RBI) singled in Kris Bryant (1-for-3 with a double, a walk, a run scored and a stolen base) and tied the game at one in the first inning … the Cubs only run of the game.
The Cubs managed six total hits, two walks and a HBP. Anthony Rizzo (0-for-2 with a walk and a HBP), Chris Denorfia (1-for-4), Chris Coghlan (1-for-4), Jonathan Herrera (1-for-4) and Addison Russell (1-for-4) reached base in Friday’s loss.
Jason Hammel put together a good outing. Hammel made two mistakes and those two pitches cost him and the Cubs two runs. Christian Yelich hit a solo home run in the first inning and Justin Bour smacked a solo shot in the sixth that ended up in the right field basket. Bour’s fourth home run in four games broke a 1-1 tie and gave the Marlins the lead.
Jason Hammel gave up two runs on four hits with a walk and five strikeouts. Hammel made 97 pitches, 64 for strikes. Hammel retired 18 of the last 19 batters he faced and turned the game over to the pen after seven innings.
Joe Maddon had to use three relievers to record three outs in the eighth. James Russell struck out two of the three batters he faced. Dee Gordon singled in between the strikeouts and stole both second and third base. Maddon went to Neil Ramirez to get the final out. Ramirez walked Adeiny Hechavarria, the only batter he faced. Travis Wood issued a five-pitch walk to Justin Bour to load the bases. Wood struck out J.T. Realmuto swinging after a lengthy at bat to end the inning.
Justin Grimm set down three of the four batters he faced in the ninth (walk) and kept it a 2-1 game.
With Friday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 42-36 on the season.
Dee Gordon led off the game with a bunt to third. Kris Bryant charged, made an excellent pick and throw to first just ahead of the speedy Gordon. Christian Yelich followed and gave the Marlins an early lead. Yelich lifted a 2-2 pitch out to left center. The ball carried into the bleachers … 1-0 Marlins. Justin Bour should have ended the inning with a grounder to first. Rizzo fielded the ball cleanly but Hammel did not cover. Bour beat Rizzo to the bag for an infield single. A rattled Hammel issued a four-pitch walk to J.T. Realmuto. With two on and two down, Miguel Rojas tapped back to the mound to end the inning.
Jason Hammel labored in the first inning and it took him 21 pitches (12 strikes) to record three outs.
Dexter Fowler grounded out to second (1-2 pitch) and Anthony Rizzo, after a long at bat, flied out to left on a 3-2 pitch. Kris Bryant ripped Koehler’s first pitch to left. Bryant ended up at second with a double and scored on a single to right by Miguel Montero. With the game tied at one, Chris Denorfia grounded out to second for the third out. Tom Koehler made 17 pitches in the first, 12 for strikes.
The game was tied at one after one complete.
Jason Hammel and Tom Koehler settled in after the first inning. Hammel retired 12 in a row after giving up an infield single to Cole Gillispie in the second inning. And the Cubs could not string together any hits off Koehler.
The Cubs and Marlins were still tied at one after five innings.
Jason Hammel started the sixth after throwing 70 pitches, 48 for strikes, in the first five innings. Hammel sat down Yelich (swinging strikeout) and Hechavarria (grounder to short) for the first two outs. That was 14 in row for Hammel.
Justin Bour jumped on Hammel’s first pitch and got just enough of it to put the ball in the basket in right. And the biggest home run of Bour’s career gave his team a 2-1 lead … that was Bour’s fourth home run in as many games. Hammel retired Realmuto on a grounder to Bryant for the third out. Hammel made 83 pitches, 56 for strikes, in six innings.
The Cubs did nothing against Tom Koehler in the sixth. And after six innings, the Marlins led 2-1.
And that would be the final score. The Cubs relievers (James Russell, Neil Ramirez, Travis Wood and Justin Grimm) were not sharp on Friday afternoon but each one did his job and kept the Marlins from tacking on to the lead.
Newly acquired Clayton Richard will make his Cubs’ debut against Jarred Cosart on Saturday night (6:15pm CDT) under the lights on the Fourth of July.