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Disciplined Marlins create scoring opportunities, but fail to capitalize in 4-1 loss

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Miami’s small-ball offense drew a season-high eight walks. Didn’t do much with them, though.

Miami’s baserunning was uncharacteristically aggressive against the Cubs backup catcher, racking up a season-high four steals.
Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

Give the Marlins a shred of credit for going into Wrigley against the NL Central-leading Cubs and putting up a strong fight. However, Thursday’s series finale was arguably the most frustrating of those games with Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo home runs making the difference in the 4-1 loss.

Trevor Richards: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 2 HR (94 pitches)

Yu Darvish: 4.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 6 BB, 7 K (97 pitches)

Bryant, the former NL MVP, showed himself to be fully straightened out from a sluggish start to the season. He hammered Richards’ first-inning fastball a projected 416 feet to left field to open the scoring.

Bryant entered the series with four homers in 2019, but added three to that total against the Fish.

Albert Almora Jr. singled later in the inning to extend the lead to 2-0.

Fortunately, Richards would regain his composure. The soon-to-be 26-year-old right-hander had a stretch of retiring 11 out of 13 Cubs batters. Though relying less on his changeup than usual (accounted for 23.4% of all pitches), the nastiness was there:

The Marlins infield defense continues to impress. Miguel Rojas and Starlin Castro, in particular, made difficult plays behind him:

As we’ve gotten used to the past month-and-a-half, the bats didn’t hold up their end of the bargain.

With all due respect to what Yu Darvish accomplished earlier this decade, he is completely out of sync with his mechanics and pitch mix. The Japanese right-hander issued six walks, throwing barely half of his pitches for strikes.

The problem was, the Marlins went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Only Rosell Herrera had success under those circumstances, driving home Peter O’Brien in the top of the fourth to make it 2-1.

Rizzo’s two-run homer in the fifth—against a seemingly well-placed curveball—was a back-breaking blow:

A couple footnotes for the Fish:

  • Wei-Yin Chen contributed two scoreless innings, lowering his earned run average to 9.69.
  • Neil Walker reached safely three times and delivered the only extra-base hit. He has quietly established himself as the lineup’s best threat (.283/.383/.446 this season).

From here, the road trip moves on to New York for a three-game set against the Mets. Pablo López and Zack Wheeler are the probables for Friday’s 7:10 p.m. matchup.

Marlins vs. Cubs box score (MLB.com)

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