Hero of the Game: Henderson Alvarez (hitting version) (0.242 WPA)
Goat of the Game: Giancarlo Stanton (-0.157 WPA)
Play of the Game: Henderson Alvarez homered in the second inning. Ed Lucas and Jeff Mathis scored. (+0.224 WPA)
The Miami Marlins may as well have called it the Henderson Alvarez show.
What started off like a potentially terrible game for the Marlins starter versus the Chicago Cubs turned into a career performance at the plate and a decent one on the mound. The Cubs jumped ahead early against Alvarez, and I mean early. The first four Cubs all reached on singles, and Alvarez gave up three runs in the inning. Thankfully, following the Nate Schierholz sacrifice fly (with accompanying Justin Ruggiano error), the Marlins were able to strand the runner at third base with two consecutive outs, including a critical two-out strikeout of Junior Lake.
Then, Alvarez settled down, picking up two more strikeouts and a walk and only allowing three more hits along the way. More importantly, he settled in offensively as well. After Christian Yelich knocked his third home run of his Major League career, Alvarez got a chance to crack his first big league shot when he stepped up against Wood in the second inning. Ed Lucas led the inning with a double, and Jeff Mathis followed up two batters later with a single that failed to score Lucas. Alvarez finished the job by turning on a Wood fastball and sending it down the left field line to put the Marlins up 4-3.
Yelich homered in the first inning as part of a three-hit game. In the first, he drove a hanging curve from the lefty Wood into the right field seats. He also added two singles in the fifth and seventh innings, pulling his line up to .281/.353/.399 (.333 wOBA) on the season. Steve Cishek came in and put up a relatively quiet inning for his 29th save of the season.