Some days, you just have to tip your cap to the other guy.
There! There’s your recap. See you later today after the Cubs/Marlins afternoon game!
Oh. That’s right. You come here for recaps of all the Cubs games and so, you shall have one.
Give some credit to John Lackey, too. Lackey had another solid start Friday night. He made only one real mistake, grooving one to Giancarlo Stanton, and Stanton hit it far into the south Florida night for the only run the Marlins really needed. No shame there, lots of pitchers have been taken deep by Stanton.
The other Marlins run scored when Dee Gordon dumped a little popup into left field for a single. Truth be told, Gordon probably should have been on second base on that hit; he kind of jogged to first and by the time he saw the ball drop, it was too late to take second.
It didn’t matter, as Gordon promptly stole second and went to third when Miguel Montero’s throw went into center field. Montero has thrown out just one of 25 runners trying to steal against him this year.
Nevertheless, the error led to Miami’s second run. Lackey hit Stanton to put runners on first and third and Christian Yelich’s fly to center scored Gordon. The run was unearned, not that that mattered to anything except Lackey’s ERA.
I’ve just told you about two of the three hits Lackey allowed. The other was a first-inning double by Stanton.
Justin Grimm and Brian Duensing combined for 2⅓ innings of hitless relief, keeping the game close, but that’s the time when the Cubs started hitting into double plays. The Marlins turned three double plays over the last four innings. Albert Almora Jr. hit into two of them and Ian Happ provided the other one, and so the Cubs having lots of baserunners (six hits, four walks) turned out to be pretty meaningless. The Cubs had RISP in the first, third, fourth and fifth innings and failed to score.
And that, as you know, has been the tale of the 2017 season.
Kris Bryant was responsible for three of the four walks. He now leads all major leaguers in walks drawn with 51.
Normally in these recaps I show you some video highlights. The video package for this one had exactly one Cubs highlight, a sliding catch made by Jon Jay in the second inning [VIDEO].
Nice, but big whoop, right? In the end it didn’t really mean anything. Even the Cubs official Twitter account had to stretch to find something nice to say about this game:
Fortunately for the Cubs, the Brewers also lost Friday night, and so the Cubs remain just 1½ games behind Milwaukee. No one else in the division is better than six games under .500. (Don’t believe me? Look here.) The N.L. Central is still eminently winnable by the Cubs if they could just put together a decently-sized winning streak. The fact that Cubs starting pitching is doing much better of late is a good sign. The pitching staff in general is doing a good job lately: only nine total runs allowed in the last six games.
Get the offense going and maybe that winning streak we’ve been waiting for will actually happen.
One thing I will say is that I hope the Cubs make a roster move before Saturday’s game. Playing with a three-man bench isn’t optimal, and with the starting pitchers currently doing well, having a nine-man bullpen just doesn’t seem necessary.
The Cubs and Marlins meet again late Saturday afternoon, 3:10 p.m. CT. Jon Lester goes for the Cubs and Justin Nicolino for the Marlins. The game preview will post at 1 p.m. CT.