Game Seventy-One – Cubs 2, Marlins 4
WP – Kyle Barraclough (4-2) LP – Pedro Strop (1-2) Save – David Phelps (3)
David Ross tied the game at two with a solo homer in the eighth inning. The Cubs pitched to Giancarlo Stanton with two down in the eighth, first base open and the go ahead run in scoring position. Stanton delivered the game winner with a single to right. Stanton scored an insurance run on a double by J.T. Realmuto. And for the first time this season, the Cubs lost their fourth game in a row.
The Cubs offense is just not clicking right now. And with Anthony Rizzo unavailable due to a stiff back, the Cubs offense is far from the one that made headlines early in the season.
Down 4-2, the Cubs loaded the bases in the ninth inning, but once again could not come up with a clutch hit. Addison Russell (1-for-4) and Albert Almora Jr. (1-for-4) reached with back-to-back one out singles. David Phelps was called for a balk with David Ross (1-for-3 with a home run and a walk) at the plate. Russell and Almora Jr. moved up 90 feet.
David Ross walked to load the bases with one out. Carl Edwards Jr. ran for Ross and Chris Coghlan pinch hit for Pedro Strop. Coghlan struck out swinging (2-2 pitch) and Ben Zobrist (0-for-4 with a walk) popped the first pitch to center. Marcell Ozuna hauled it in to end the game.
The Cubs had seven hits and three walks. And the Cubs finished the game 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position while leaving eight men on base.
The Cubs actually scored first Thursday night, but it should have been more than just one run. The Cubs made Wei-Yin Chen look extremely good. The Cubs allowed him to settle in and in the end it cost them a game.
Jason Heyward (1-for-4 with a run scored) led off the fourth with a single to center. Marcell Ozuna can really hit a baseball. His reputation of a lackadaisical fielder showed up on Heyward’s single. Ozuna allowed the ball to roll past him then just jogged after it as Heyward turned it on following the error. Heyward made it to third and came within an eyelash of a Little League Home Run. Adeiny Hechavarria’s throw to third sailed and hit the dugout railing.
Kris Bryant (1-for-2 with a walk and a sac fly RBI) did his job and hit Chen’s first pitch to left. Heyward scored and the Cubs took a 1-0 lead.
Willson Contreras (1-for-4) followed with an infield single. Javier Baez (1-for-4 with a double) doubled to left. With runners on second and third with one out, Addison Russell rolled the first pitch to third base. The inning came to an end when Albert Almora Jr. flied out to left center.
The Cubs did not manage another hit or baserunner until the eighth inning. Chen retired 11 in a row. And he started the eighth with a 2-1 lead.
David Ross worked a full count before launching a homer down the left field line. Ross tied the game at two and Don Mattingly went to his pen for Kyle Barraclough.
Matt Szczur batted for Lester and was caught looking for the first out. Ben Zobrist walked. Heyward was robbed of a hit by a diving Miguel Rojas at the hole at second. Zobrist advanced to second. The Marlins intentionally walked Kris Bryant. Willson Contreras struck out swinging on a 1-2 pitch.
Pedro Strop started the eighth and caught Martin Prado. But a walk to Christian Yelich put the go ahead run on base. Strop retired Ozuna on a pop out to center field. The first pitch to Giancarlo Stanton got away from Ross. Yelich went to second on what was ruled a wild pitch. Strop fell behind Stanton 3-0. Stanton ended up singling to right on a 3-2 pitch. Yelich scored, 3-2 Marlins. Stanton took second on the throw to the plate. And he scored on a double down the third baseline by J.T. Realmuto. Baez tried to play the ball to his side, it got past him. Stanton scored, 4-2 Marlins. Chris Johnson popped out to right to end the inning.
Jon Lester pitched another very good game. Lester made two mistakes and both left the park. Giancarlo Stanton hit a solo homer in the fourth that tied the game. And Marcell Ozuna hit a solo homer in the sixth that gave the Fish a 2-1 lead. Lester put his team in position to win the game.
Jon Lester allowed two runs on five hits with three walks and seven strikeouts. Lester made 100 pitches, 64 for strikes, in seven innings.
Injuries, poor performance and inexperience are taking the toll on Joe Maddon’s team.
With Thursday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 47-23 on the season.
Kyle Hendricks gets the ball in game two on Friday night (6:10pm CDT) and will oppose RHP Tom Koehler.