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Games of the Decade: March 30, 2018

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The first Marlins win of the Derek Jeter era was an all-night affair.

Chicago Cubs at Miami David Santiago/El Nuevo Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Nothing compares with the rush of tuning in to live Marlins games. But as you are all aware, unfortunate circumstances have delayed the start of the 2020 regular season. Need help filling that void? Fish Stripes will be presenting full-length FOX Sports Florida broadcasts from the 2010-2019 Marlins seasons.

The “Games of the Decade” series is a collaborative process between the Fish Stripes staff and audience. Please continue recommending games that deserve to be rewatched!


Cubs 1, Marlins 2 (F/17)—March 30, 2018

Starting Lineups

This was the second game of the 2018 season. Neither starting pitcher provided much length on Opening Day—3.1 IP for Jon Lester, 4.0 IP for José Ureña. So both clubs where hoping to get through the evening without leaning too heavily on their bullpens.

Well, about that...

Making his Marlins debut, Caleb Smith escaped a stressful first inning without allowing a run. Overall, he performed well against one of the National League’s deepest lineups (Javy Báez batting eighth!!!). The lone blemish: a Kris Bryant solo homer in the third.

Starlin Castro’s RBI single evened the contest at 1-1. Aside from that, the CubsKyle Hendricks was his usual efficient self (88 pitches in six innings).

Overshadowing the starters, Jarlin García (6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K) and Eddie Butler (7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) were extraordinary in extras. This was only the second game in Marlins history that featured pitchers from each team working six-plus innings out of the bullpen (also June 8, 2013). The stalemate dragged on well past midnight on the east coast.

Nearly four-and-a-half hours elapsed between the first Marlins run and Miguel Rojas’ walk-off single.

Full FOX Sports Florida game broadcast (with Paul Severino, Todd Hollandsworth and Craig Minervini)

TL;DW (Too Long; Didn’t Watch)

Win Probability Chart
FanGraphs
  • Garrett Cooper’s frustrating injury history began here when he took a hit by pitch on the right wrist in the fourth inning and was removed from the game. Not even a particularly hard pitch—86.6 miles per hour from Hendricks—just caught him in the wrong spot. Cooper would land on the injured list the following week, then return to action briefly over the summer before aggravating the injury, requiring season-ending surgery.
  • Marlins CEO Derek Jeter stuck around the entire night and attracted plenty of camera time from the owner’s suite. His 14th-inning snack inspired this popular Fish Stripes GIF.
  • On the heels of an unremarkable Opening Day, Lewis Brinson made a huge impact. He went 4-for-8 at the plate with some quality contact and a run scored—only Rojas contributed a higher Win Probability Added among Marlins position players. (This remains his only four-hit game as a major leaguer.)

  • Speaking of Brinson and Rojas, here’s the postgame Gatorade shower:

The “Games of the Decade” series is also available as a YouTube playlist (games listed there in chronological order)