Cubs feeling seasick after another blowout loss to Marlins
Every time the Miami Marlins visit Wrigley Field, they play like they're the National League's next up-and-coming powerhouse.
The standings say otherwise.
The Marlins started play Saturday in last place in the NL East, nine games below .500. They were just swept in St. Louis while scoring 3 runs in three games.
But they've taken batting practice at Wrigley two days in a row. Miami cranked 4 home runs Saturday and crushed the Cubs 11-1. The two-day totals are 7 home runs from the Floridians. They've outscored the Cubs 21-3.
The Cubs scored their only run on a Jason Heyward solo homer in the eighth, and their most effective pitcher was Eric Sogard, who moved over from second base to retire the side in order in the ninth.
"Yeah, I don't know what else to do with that one but flush it, and on to the next one for sure," Cubs manager David Ross said. "We didn't play very well in any facet of the game, to be honest with you -- hitting, pitching, baserunning defense. Not our day, flush that one. Every season I've been a part of in my playing career, you have a couple of those."
The Cubs contributed their share of flubs. A Miami run scored on a wild pitch, another when Kris Bryant and catcher Jose Lobaton got crossed up and let a pop up drop in front of the mound.
From the very start, nothing went right. Cubs starter Jake Arrieta gave up two soft grounders to lead off the game, but Miami ended up with runners on first and third. Jazz Chisolm beat out a grounder to first and stole second on a play that was reversed by replay. When Starling Marte followed with a grounder to short, Javy Baez threw to third and would have had Chisolm out, but Bryant dropped the ball.
Two batters later, Adam Duvall reached for an outside fastball and parked it over the wall in right field and Miami led 3-0.
"The stuff was as good as it's been in a long time," Arrieta said. "The first homer that Duvall hit, 0-2 pitch, it was actually a really nice sinker off the plate. It's about a ball off the plate at 95 and he hit it the opposite way pretty deep. That's pretty much exactly where I wanted to put it. Got to give him credit for swinging the bat well there."
This isn't even the same team that beat the Cubs two straight in last year's wild-card series.
About half the regular lineup has changed, and the Cubs didn't see right-hander Pablo Lopez in the 2020 playoffs. He allowed just 1 hit and 2 baserunners in 7 innings of work on Saturday.
Duvall, who has 4 home runs and 10 RBI so far in this series, didn't play for the Marlins last season. He's something of a journeyman slugger who had his best years with the Reds in 2015 and '16.
"It doesn't really matter who you're playing," Arrieta said. "Regardless of the record, I do believe their staff has one of the best ERAs in baseball (it's seventh at 3.43) and they have some nice pieces in their lineup. They can swing the bat. Wind blowing out with mistakes, they're going to make you pay, just like anybody else will."