Looking to avenge a tough game 1 loss to the Chicago Cubs, the Miami Marlins offense got right to work in the first inning on Saturday. Against veteran lefty Drew Smyly, Miguel Rojas walked, Bryan De La Cruz singled, but with 2 outs JJ Bleday flew out to Ian Happ to end the inning.
The offense once again came close to scoring in the top of the 3rd, but end up being unsuccessful. Rojas reached first base on a force out and Jesús Aguilar singled, moving up Rojas to second. With 2 outs, Bryan De La Cruz singled to drive in Rojas...or so we thought.
The Cubs challenged the call at home plate. Thanks to a definitive camera angle from the Cubs television broadcast, the call was overturned and Miggy was out. Peyton Burdick earned his first major league hit during that inning as well.
The Marlins offense went down in a 1-2-3 order in the top of the 4th. In the next half-inning, the Cubs took a 1-0 lead. Ian Happ hit a double and Nico Hoerner hit another double right after him.
They made more quality contact against López in the 5th. Christopher Morel and Rafael Ortega both singled, and Cubs superstar Willson Contreras to hit an RBI single. That extended the Cubs lead to 2-0.
Then, Seiya Suzuki grounded into a double play, but that was enough to score the runner from 3rd, giving the Cubbies a 3-0 lead.
Even though it looked like the Cubs had figured him out, López took the mound again for the 6th. His final pitch of the day would be a home run to P.J. Higgins. It was the 5th homer of the year for the rookie catcher which went 406 ft in the air at a 103.9 MPH exit velocity.
After 5+ innings of work, Pablo López's afternoon came to an end. He was better than his previous start, but still not his usual self. He threw his curveball 15 times, which was his highest total for any game this season. Besides that, he went to his fastball and changeup combo as usual. He did get away from his cutter (only threw 5 of them).
Pablo’s control was on point—he threw 64 of 91 pitches for strikes (70.3%). But inconsistent command got him in trouble, including balls way outside and in the dirt as well as some misses in the middle of the strike zone. He walked 2 batters and struck out 6.
Pablo López’s Final Line: 5.0 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO, 1 HR, 3.57 ERA, 91 NP (3.57 ERA)
Drew Smyly ended with 6 2⁄3 innings of work. He shut out the Marlins and only allowed 5 hits. Miami is well known to struggle off of lefties like Smyly.
The soft-tossing pitcher mainly pitched to contact and dominated thanks to the Cubs defense. They took care of business on routine pop flies and ground balls. Smyly showed off his command and control and edged out Pablo with 11 swings-and-misses (Pablo had 10).
Drew Smyly’s Final Line: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 106 NP (3.97 ERA)
Jeff Brigham and Richard Bleier entered the game for the Marlins in relief of Pablo and did their jobs. The offense, on the other hand, did not. Mark Leiter Jr. kept the shutout alive after Smyly left.
Pablo López is the losing pitcher while Drew Smyly is the winning pitcher. Miami falls to a season-worst 11 games under .500 (48-59). Chicago goes to 43-63.
Don Mattingly’s postgame press conference
Miami will try to avoid the sweep on Sunday at 2:20 pm with Jesús Luzardo on the mound against Adrian Sampson.