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Marlins 9, Cubs 6: Get Well Soon, Everyone!

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The Cubs lost for the second time in this series.

John Lackey attempts to hypnotize a baseball into doing his bidding. Clearly, it did not work
John Lackey attempts to hypnotize a baseball into doing his bidding. Clearly, it did not work
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Unfortunately, I can't even get your mind off Saturday's 9-6 Cubs loss to the Marlins with another spectacular Javier Baez defensive play, because he didn't make any in this one.

That's not a criticism of Baez, just a fact, and he and the rest of his teammates pretty much stunk things out in this defeat.

For those of you who were complaining about Miguel Montero starting behind the plate in this game, you can at least watch his solo homer [VIDEO], which at the time it was hit, tied the game 1-1 in the second inning.

In the next inning, after Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo both made outs on the first pitch they saw, Willson Contreras walked and Baez was hit by a pitch. Addison Russell followed with this three-run homer [VIDEO], which gave the Cubs a seemingly solid 4-1 lead.

But John Lackey put together a rare bad outing. Justin Bour hit a monstrous two-run homer into the second deck in right field to make it 4-3 in the fourth, and then the wheels fell completely off in the next inning. Lackey allowed a single (which became two bases for Ichiro Suzuki on a throwing error by Russell), double and walk. That tied the game, and after Giancarlo Stanton gave the Marlins a 5-4 lead on a single, and as Lackey had already reached 95 pitches, Joe Maddon brought in Gerardo Concepcion.

That was no help. Bour doubled in a run and a sacrifice fly made it 7-4. Spencer Patton was touched for a pair of runs in the seventh, helped along by yet another error, this one by Rizzo.

The Cubs attempted a rally in the eighth; a leadoff walk by Russell and single by Montero put runners on first and third with nobody out. But Chris Coghlan hit into a double play. One run scored, but that's all the Cubs got out of something that started with promise. The Cubs managed another run in the ninth on a walk to Bryant and double by Willson Contreras. Contreras continued his hot hitting, going 1-for-3 with two walks, a run scored and one driven in, and did reasonably well in left field.

This was only the third time all season that a Cubs starter did not go at least five innings. The others: Jon Lester, May 21 against the Giants, and Jason Hammel, May 30 against the Dodgers, and that one was due to an injury to Hammel.

Lackey's ERA jumped half a run, from 2.78 coming in to 3.29. These kinds of things are going to happen. If you watched the game you likely saw a couple of closeups of Lackey not happy with some umpiring calls, but that wasn't the reason for his failure in this one. He just got too many pitches into the sweet spot of the zone for Marlins hitters, wasn't hitting his spots, and they took advantage. It happens.

The Cubs certainly had their chances in this game. They went just 2-for-11 with RISP, leaving 10 men on base. They did draw eight walks, which makes the season total 317, or 4.34 per game. That puts the season pace back over 700, at 703. But they are going to have to start taking advantage of all these baserunners.

You can see how much this club misses Dexter Fowler. The Cubs are 43-18 in games Fowler has started this year, just 5-7 when he doesn't. Ben Zobrist also missed Saturday's game after he was hit on the foot with a pitch Friday; hopefully that's just a one-day thing.

Give the Cubs credit for not giving up after going down by five, but the result's the same, a defeat, the fifth in six games. Hurry back, injured Cubs, the team needs you.

Salvaging a split in this series won't be easy, as Marlins ace Jose Fernandez will face Jason Hammel at 12:10 p.m. CT Sunday afternoon.