The Cubs are playing out the string of the 2022 season with many players you’d never heard of before this year began.
Several of those players had nice games Tuesday evening, so give credit where it’s due for a well-played 2-1 win over the Marlins that snapped a three-game losing streak.
The Marlins took a 1-0 lead on Adrian Sampson in the second inning, but he settled down and put together yet another solid six-inning outing. This has been Sampson’s season:
Make that 83 IP, five QS in 16 GS and 12 total starts of at least 5 IP https://t.co/oma2VBnMpA— Ryan Herrera (@ryan_a_herrera) September 21, 2022
That’s all been worth 1.8 bWAR, so Sampson is likely to have a 2 bWAR season in just a bit more than half a season’s worth of play. He turns 31 in about two weeks, so he’s nothing like any sort of long-term piece for this team. Nevertheless, I’d certainly consider him as part of a 2023 rotation for a better Cubs team. He can certainly be a fifth starter on a contender.
David Bote launched a ball into the seats in the seventh, tying the game [VIDEO].
And Bote was responsible for the Cubs’ other run in this game, the game-winner in the eighth. Michael Hermosillo was hit by a pitch to begin the inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Zach McKinstry on which the throw was late, so McKinstry was safe. Another bunt attempt, this one by Esteban Quiroz, also resulted in a baserunner and Quiroz was given a single, his second hit of the game.
With the bases loaded and nobody out, Bote plated Hermosillo on this deep fly to left [VIDEO].
Not a lot of scoring, but enough. Adbert Alzolay threw the seventh and eighth, retiring all six men he faced and throwing 22 pitches. This is the sort of relief appearance he might be ticketed for in 2023, though I still think he could be a closer with that nasty slider.
Brandon Hughes appears to have that closer role for the rest of this year, and he recorded save number six after allowing a leadoff double in the ninth. Here’s the final out [VIDEO].
That’s a nice grab by Nelson Velázquez to nail down the win.
I mentioned Esteban Quiroz earlier and he does deserve a bit of recognition. After seven years in the Mexican League and five minor league seasons, he made his MLB debut with the Cubs over the weekend and Tuesday, recorded his first MLB hit [VIDEO].
Props to Alfonso Rivas for the pick on that catch, too.
Quiroz is probably not a Cub past this year, but I thought I’d note his good play in this game. Ten years from now he’ll be a “let’s remember a guy!” (Maybe even ONE year from now.)
The win, the Cubs’ 63rd of the season, means they will not lose 100 games this year. They also still have an outside shot at avoiding 90 losses. They’ll have to go 10-4 to do that, not an easy task, but also not impossible.
They’ll go for one of those 10 possible wins Wednesday night in Miami, as well as a series victory. Marcus Stroman will start for the Cubs and Jesus Luzardo will go for the Marlins. Game time is again 5:40 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.