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Marlins 4, Cubs 3: Swept out of Miami

... and the Cubs have to play these guys again next weekend in Chicago.

Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

Somehow, the Marlins have found ways to win one-run games this year and the Cubs have not.

Miami improved to 10-0 in one-run affairs in 2023 and the Cubs dropped to 2-5 in a frustrating 4-3 loss, a series sweep for the Marlins.

Justin Steele pitched pretty well, allowing two earned runs in six innings, with three strikeouts. Oh, right — there was that pesky unearned run in the third inning, the one that wound up the difference in the ballgame. Here’s how that happened [VIDEO].

As you can see, the Cubs had a 1-0 lead at the time. The passed ball charged to Yan Gomes on a dropped strike three wound up tying the game — and Jon Berti, who was on first, went all the way to third, where he scored on a single. Does Berti score on the single if he’s on second base? We’ll never know.

The 1-0 lead for the Cubs came on a double by Edwin Rios, followed one out later by this single from Dansby Swanson [VIDEO].

The Cubs trailed 2-1 heading to the fourth, partly on the aforementioned passed ball, but tied the game up right away. Seiya Suzuki tripled over the head of Jazz Chisholm Jr. and scored on a sac fly by Cody Bellinger [VIDEO].

The Marlins took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth. In the sixth, Bellinger tied the game with his seventh homer of the year [VIDEO].

Bellinger’s homer went off the facade of the upper deck [VIDEO].

A still frame with all the numbers:

Bellinger finishes April batting .297/.371/.604 (27-for-91) with five doubles, a triple, seven home runs and 22 runs scored. Yes, it’s still just one month but to me, he sure looks like he’s back to somewhere close to his previous level of performance.

The Cubs had a really good chance to score in the top of the eighth, when Patrick Wisdom and Trey Mancini singled with one out. Unfortunately, Nelson Velázquez smoked a ball right at Jean Segura at third base, and Segura doubled Wisdom off second.

In the bottom of the eighth, a walk, single and sac fly off Keegan Thompson gave Miami the lead and the Cubs could do nothing off A.J. Puk, and that’s the way the game ended, in a 4-3 loss.


Steele threw well, again, and has a chance to be named National League Pitcher of the Month for April. Here’s the pitch breakdown for Steele’s Sunday outing [VIDEO].

This, obviously, is not the way the Cubs wanted to end April. They’re simply going to have to do better hitting with RISP — they wound up 4-for-25 in that situation in this series and that’s not going to win many ballgames. Better relief work would have helped, too, especially in this game. Still, they finish the month with a winning record, something to build on.

Many of you likely did not see this game because it was on the Peacock streaming service. We’ve been over MLB’s cash grab from streaming and that’s not likely to change. In any case, the broadcast was well-produced and the announcing team of Chris Vosters, Ryan Sweeney and Tommy Hutton was decent. The best thing about them is that they (mostly) focused on the game instead of sideshows, except for a silly bit about a Cuban sandwich sold at the ballpark in Miami, and having Chisholm mic’d up. Honestly I could do without players wearing microphones during games — it’s distracting to the player and really doesn’t add anything to the broadcast. The Cubs are scheduled for one more game on Peacock this year, Sunday, June 18 against the Orioles at Wrigley Field.

Hopefully, things will get better in Washington, the Cubs’ next road trip stop, where a four-game series begins Monday. Drew Smyly will start for the Cubs and Mackenzie Gore gets the call for the Nationals. Game time Monday is 6:05 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.