The highly-anticipated first postseason game for the Miami Marlins in almost twenty years came and went, and it did not disappoint. The Marlins beat the Chicago Cubs, 5-1, getting halfway through their seventh victorious playoff series in a row.
The last time the Marlins participated in a postseason series that wasn’t a World Series contest, they defeated the same opponent. Yesterday afternoon, the Marlins started the rematch of the 2003 NLCS with a massive come-from-behind win.
In the third postseason appearance in their history, the Marlins are proving to be one of the most dangerous teams in the NL bracket. Miami won a championship in each of their previous appearances in The Show. Therefore, they could shock the world again behind a balanced lineup and a strong rotation.
All the runs in the game at Wrigley Field came via the long ball. Ian Happ opened the scoring in the fifth inning with a homer off Miami starter Sandy Alcantara. However, that would become one of only four Cubs hits for the whole afternoon.
In the seventh, the Marlins finally broke the spell. Previously shut down by Kyle Hendricks, Miami took a two-run lead after a three-run home run by Corey Dickerson. That spelled the end of the game for the Chicago starting pitcher. Jeremy Jeffress came in relief and almost immediately allowed another home run. Jesus Aguilar gave the Marlins a 5-1 lead, which the Marlins bullpen would hold onto with three clean innings.
Win: Sandy Alcantara
Loss: Kyle Hendricks
Sandy Alcantara was beyond sensational in his postseason debut. The Dominican pitcher threw 6.2 innings, surrendering just three hits and a run, which came from Happ’s big fly. Alcantara has now allowed three or fewer runs in four of his last five starts this year. The Marlins ace made a good campaign after coming back from an injury, finishing the year with near-career bests in K/9 (8.4) and HR/9 (0.9).
The Marlins bullpen was not far behind. Three relievers – Yimi Garcia, Richard Bleier, and Brandon Kintzler – combined for three scoreless innings. They gave up just one hit and no walks, alongside three punchouts.
Starling Marte and Jesus Aguilar were the two Marlins hitters with two hits each during the game, while Ian Happ was the only Cubs batter to achieve this feat.
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As it’s well-known, the Marlins have not yet lost a postseason series since the team’s establishment in 1993. If the Marlins defeat the Cubs at Wrigley Field, it will not be an unfamiliar sight.
Miami’s last series in the NL postseason was the 2003 NLCS against Chicago, which went the distance. The Marlins had to overcome a 3-1 series deficit, winning the last three games. The last two of these were again in north Chicago, meaning the Marlins have won three straight against the Cubs and two straight at Wrigley Field in the postseason.
Overall, the Marlins are 13-4 in their history on the road in the MLB postseason. In addition, due to being wildcards in their previous two appearances as well, they have only had a home-field advantage in one of six series (1997 World Series).
The Marlins will try to clinch another postseason series on Thursday, again playing at Wrigley Field. Game Two is at 2 PM Eastern Time, Live on ABC.
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