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MIA 0, CHC 2: Bats Go to the Saw-Mill, Drop Finale

Zach Thompson impresses in third start, but bats don’t help in go-away loss.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Chicago Cubs Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Marlins’ team that paid a weekend visit to Wrigley Field had, to quote, famous Chicago blues guitarist Muddy Waters’ 1957 hit, had their mojo working with the bats. The team outscored the Cubs’ 21-3 in the series’ first two games, thanks in large part to the commencement of streaky Adam Duvall, who hit 4 home runs and drove in 10 over Friday and Saturday.

As are most things, though, the offensive outburst was fleeting, and the team’s bats reverted to their usual struggles, as the Fish dropped the series finale 2-0. Miami has now been shut out 8 times through 72 games.

Cubs’ first baseman Anthony Rizzo, a native of Parkland, Florida, was picked off twice courtesy of catcher Jorge Alfaro, who nabbed the three-time All-Star at first in the 2nd inning and again while leading off second in the 4th.

Of note Sunday was the performance of starter Zach Thompson. Making just his third career start, Thompson, who, per the Elias Sports Bureau, became just the fourth player to make his first two career road starts at Fenway Park and Wrigley Field, respectively.

Thompson worked 4 hitless innings in Sunday’s loss, striking a career-best 7, allowing 1 unearned run while walking 3. Despite dropping to 0-2, Thompson impressed with his usage of the cut-fastball, which aided in his 12 swings-and-misses.

“It’s something I can count on to get swings-and-misses, to be an in-play pitch, whether that’s an easy groundball or pop fly,” said Thompson.

The 27-year old’s signature pitch forced 15 swings, 6 of which left batters with nothing but the Sunday Illinois breeze.

The Miami bats that scored 21 runs Friday and Saturday—three times the number of runs they had during their previous 4 game losing streak—were shut down in this contest. Alec Mills, who entered play with a 6.10 ERA, scattered 6 hits over 5 innings, striking out 3. A tandem of Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin, and Craig Kimbrel authored 4 perfect innings out of the Cubs’ bullpen.

A Jazz Chisholm 5th inning single off Mills would prove the final hit for the Marlins.

Kimbrel, who earned the save Sunday, his 368th, his now tied with Jonathan Papelbon for 9th all-time.

The Marlins have Monday off as they head home to begin a three-game set against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday. Sandy Alcantara will take the mound in search of his 5th win when he faces off against Ross Stripling. First pitch is set for 7:10 Eastern.

Miami Marlins (0) @ Chicago Cubs (2), Win Probability Chart, 20 June 2021

Fish Picks Answer Key

  1. Mills
  2. Under
  3. Under
  4. No
  5. Cubs