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MIA 2, CHC 0; Marlins sweep Cubs

Sixto Sánchez and four Marlins relievers combined to shut out the Cubs, clinching the Wild Card Series and advancing to the NLDS for the first time since 2003.

@Marlins/Twitter

With great pitching performances and clutch hitting, your Miami Marlins remain undefeated in MLB postseason series with a 2-0 win on Friday, sweeping the Chicago Cubs to move on to the NLDS.

The pitching matchup between the Marlins and Cubs was as advertised—Sixto Sánchez and Yu Darvish both delivered incredible performances in Game 2. Sixto closed the regular season with a couple of shaky outings and needed to find his groove again. That’s exactly what happened today: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K on 89 pitches.

There were two times where the game could have flipped—the bottom of the 4th and 5th—but the Marlins overcame those challenges with an amazing throw by Matt Joyce and a bases-loaded fly out, respectively.

In the 7th inning is where the game and ultimately the series was decided. Garrett Cooper hit a home run off Darvish to take a 1-0 lead. It continued after that as Magneuris Sierra (starting in place of the injured Starling Marte) hit a single driving in Lewis Brinson.

The Marlins would not look back from there.

The bullpen for the Marlins deserves so much credit for today’s win. This performance should boost the confidence of the ‘pen as they move forward to play the Braves and one of the best offenses in the National League. Brad Boxberger, Richard Bleier and Yimi Garcia combined for three hitless frames. Then in the 9th, Brandon Kintzler showed what he is made of by striking out the final 3 batters to propel the team to the next round.

Fish Stripes original GIF

The Marlins have overcome every single odd imaginable. Incredibly, the “Bottom Feeders” are among the final eight MLB teams still fighting for a championship.

The future cannot look any brighter for the Marlins with potential ace Sixto Sánchez, Pablo López and Sandy Alcantara at the helm of the rotation. However, the offense deserves plenty of credit, too. Cooper, Corey Dickerson and Jesús Aguilar each homered against Cubs pitching to make the difference in the two Wild Card Series games, showing that the Fish are capable of hitting when needed. Entering Friday night, MLB teams are a perfect 11-0 during the 2020 postseason when outhomering their opponent.

Here my three stars of the game who helped secure today’s win for the Fish:

  • Garrett Cooper—1-for-4, homerun to give the Marlins the lead in the 7th
  • Sixto Sánchez—5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K
  • Brandon Kintzler—1.0 IP, 1 H, struck out 3 to send the Marlins to the NLDS

The Marlins showed after this win that they are here to stay and will not go down without a fight. Even without regular center fielder Starling Marte, they found a way to win thanks to great pitching, a home run and an incredible throw to the plate.

The Marlins have moved on to the NLDS where they will play the division rival Atlanta Braves inside the MLB bubble in Texas (best-of-5 series). The Marlins will most likely start Pablo López in Game 1 next Tuesday at Minute Maid Park. Also keep in mind, the time off allows Sandy Alcantara to handle that assignment on full rest.

In the meantime, enjoy our first NLDS appearance in 17 YEARS.


Marlins vs. Cubs Box Score

Fish Picks Answer Key

  1. Marlins
  2. Over
  3. Over
  4. Yes
  5. Marlins