Jarred Cosart's Independence day return to the rotation went over about as well as a dud firecracker, the right-hander getting terrorized by Kris Bryant and the Cubs early and giving the Marlins too much of an uphill battle to overcome in game two of the series.
Cosart's rough start to come was in evidence almost immediately as Kris Bryant homered in the first inning with Dexter Fowler aboard to give the Cubs a quick 2-0 lead. The next inning saw Fowler walked in with the bases loaded. Cosart then got Anthony Rizzo to strike out but Bryant was lurking on deck and he capitalized again, hitting a grandslam just beyond the ivy in centerfield.
One and two third's innings in and Jarred Cosart's night was over, having given up seven earned runs on four hits and three walks, striking out three. Insert appropriate American Revolution related pun here, if that's your pleasure.
The Marlins appeared that they weren't going to go quietly into the night, loading the bases against Richard in the third and capitalizing on an error by the busy Bryant to score their first run of the game to make it 7-1 Cubs. With an out recorded already, however, JT Realmuto struck out swinging and Miguel Rojas grounded out to end the threat.
David Phelps came on and pitched admirably in long relief, going three and a third scoreless, striking out two, walking none and plunking a batter which I swear caused a ghost of a smile to appear on José Fernandez's face when he got on television to speak to the national Fox broadcast about his return.
Dee Gordon walked and came around to score on an Adeiny Hechavarria roped double down the left field line, bringing the score to 7-2 Cubs. Clayton Richard's return went much better than Cosart's, giving up the two runs on eight hits through six and two thirds, striking out four and only walking the one batter.
A scary moment came in the seventh as a hot smash off of the bat of Addison Russell caught Cubs third base coach Gary Jones in no man's land, and he fell hard and lay motionless after the ball had struck him. It wasn't clear initially where the ball had hit him exactly but after about a minute Jones was able to sit up and continue on. Replays appear to show him taking the brunt of the impact on his elbow, and a visibly relieved Russell proceeded to strike out.
Bryan Morris and Brad Hand also pitched well in the relief, combining for three scoreless innings. Cole Gillespie swung a good bat tonight, hitting a couple of solid doubles. Dee Gordon hit another single and ended the night at a .344 average. Justin Bour received a couple of ABs with a chance to extend his homerun streak but struck out swinging and walked, respectively. Following the game, the Marlins optioned Cosart to AAA and activated Mike Morse from the DL.
The Marlins win streak ends at four but they will try anew in the rubber match tomorrow afternoon, 2:20pm EST start time.
Hero of the game: Kris Bryant (+.257)
Goat of the game: Jarred Cosart (-.382)
Play of the game: Kris Bryant two run shot in first inning (+.138)