Game Seventy-Four – Cubs 1, Marlins 6
WP – Jose Fernandez (10-3) LP – Jason Hammel (7-4) Save – None
Jason Hammel turned in a good outing Sunday and scored the Cubs only run on a sacrifice fly by Kris Bryant. The Cubs could not figure out Jose Fernandez. The Cubs managed only five singles while striking out 15 times. And the Cubs lost another series in Miami to the Marlins.
The game was much closer than the final score indicates. It was tied at one as late as the sixth inning. The Marlins scored single runs in the sixth and seventh before breaking the game open with a three-run eighth off Justin Grimm, Spencer Patton and Gerardo Concepcion.
Two missed double plays, one in the sixth and one in the seventh, gave the Marlins the lead and opened the door for an insurance run. The Cubs helped the Marlins all weekend and it was more of the same on Sunday. Too many free baserunners and mistakes in the field typically lead to losses and that’s what took place in Miami. The Cubs are a better team that played and lost the four-game series (1-3), even with all the injuries.
The Cubs struggled with the greatness that is Jose Fernandez. The Marlins right-hander is one of the best pitchers in baseball. And he makes sure any one that watches him pitch knows it. The Cubs could not make enough contact against Fernandez. Each player in Maddon’s starting lineup struck out at least once Sunday against Fernandez. The Cubs finished the game with five hits, all singles, four came off Fernandez in his seven innings of work.
Jason Hammel did his job and kept his team in the game. Hammel pitched in and out of trouble in the fourth and fifth innings. It was an overturned call on what was almost an inning ending double play that allowed the Marlins to take the lead.
With the game tied at one, runners on first and third with one down in the sixth, Adeiny Hechavarria grounded a 1-0 pitch toward third. Ben Zobrist was shaded toward first in case of a bunt. Kris Bryant decided to turn two on a hard hit ball instead of throwing to the plate. Bryant had to wait for Zobrist and those few seconds kept them from turning two. Zobrist made a quick release and appeared to complete the double play. Replays showed otherwise. Don Mattingly challenged the call and it was overturned. Giancarlo Stanton scored and the Marlins took a 2-1 lead.
Jason Hammel turned the game over to the pen in the seventh. Hammel was charged with two runs on four hits and two walks. Hammel hit two batters and struck out three on 93 pitches, 52 for strikes, in six innings.
The Marlins added on in the seventh on a single to center by Christian Yelich. And Martin Prado turned a close game into a blowout with a bases clearing double off Gerardo Concepcion in the eighth.
The Cubs lost the series to the Marlins and thankfully do not have to return to Miami again this season.
With Sunday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 48-26 on the season.
The Cubs open a three-game series on Monday (6:10pm CDT) in Cincinnati. Jake Arrieta is scheduled to face Dan Straily in the opener.