On Wednesday, the Chicago Cubs faced off against the Miami Marlins in a best of three wild card series. This is the first postseason matchup between these clubs since the 2003 NLCS in which the Cubs blew a 3-1 series lead. Now, 17 years later, the Cubs look for revenge trying to win two of three games to move on the divisional series. However, things didn’t go Chicago’s way as they lost 5-1 in Game 1 against Miami.
Both starting pitchers came into this matchup, pitching relatively well in 2020.
Kyle Hendricks, the Chicago Cubs’ starting pitcher, wasn’t at his best against the Marlins in game 1. Hendricks allowed two walks or fewer in 41 straight starts, setting a Cubs’ record. However, his streak would end on Wednesday as he allowed three walks and even hit a batter. Hendricks was efficient through six innings though as he hadn’t given up a run yet. That was until he allowed a three-run home run to Miami’s left fielder, Corey Dickerson, in the seventh.
As a result, that would end his day as Hendricks went 6 1/3 innings giving up three runs on five hits and conceding three walks.
On the other side, the Miami Marlins’ starting pitcher, Sandy Alcantara was every bit of fantastic in his MLB postseason debut. The Cubs’ hitters had no answer for Alcantara’s commanding fastball as it topped off at 98 mph. He did his job in Game 1 as he only allowed a solo shot to Ian Happ in the 5th inning.
Alcantara pitched 6 2/3 innings allowing one run on three hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
Yet again, the Cubs struggled to get anything going on offense. The Cubs sole run came in the fifth inning when Ian Happ hit a solo home run off of Alcantara. Other than that, the Cubs couldn’t get the bats going in Game 1. The Cubs only had three runners in scoring position and not a single one reach third.
Happ, Javier Baez and Willson Contreras were the only three Cubs hitters to get a hit in Game 1. Happ with a single in the thirrd and a home run in the fifth while Baez had a single to left-field in the second inning. Contreras tried to rally the Cubs in the 9th inning with a leadoff double, but it wasn’t enough.
For Miami, they got their bats going in the seventh inning. In that inning, they scored five runs on six hits to take the lead. The Marlins scoring would first come when their left fielder, Corey Dickerson, hit a three-run shot off of Hendricks.
The scoring wouldn’t stop there as Jesus Aguilar also hit a two-run shot in the inning off of the Cubs’ most efficient relief pitcher, Jeremy Jeffress.
The Marlins would finish the game with eight hits.
When a team hits more home runs than the other team in a postseason game, their chances to win increases immensely. Last season in the playoffs, the team that hit more home runs in the game, won 75 percent of the time.
Going all the way back to the Cubs’ 2016 World Series run, they were 9-1 in games where they hit more home runs than their opponent.
With the Marlins hitting more home runs (2) than the Cubs in Game 1 (1), that showed in the final score.
The Marlins will look to advance to the divisional series with a win in Game 2 while the Cubs look to force a win or go home Game 3. The Cubs will give the rock to their star pitcher, Yu Darvish and the Marlins will give the mound to the their young 22-year-old pitcher, Sixto Sanchez. Game 2 of this series is scheduled for Thursday, October 1 at 1 est.
Featured Image Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune