Cubs win in extras despite shaky Darvish debut
|Saturday, March 31, 2018, 11:11 PM- -|
MIAMI -- It was a back-and-forth type of affair tonight in Miami.
The Miami Marlins (1-2) grabbed the lead early, but the Chicago Cubs (2-1) took it back and ultimately won 10-6. The last time the Cubs played back-to-back extra-inning games was last September 21-22 against the Brewers.
The fireworks started early for Kyle Schwarber as he absolutely crushed a 3-1 pitch halfway up the upper deck in right field to tie the game at 2-2 in the second inning. It was his second homer of the season and it traveled an estimated 407 feet and had an exit velocity of 111 MPH according to Statcast.
He also had a stand-up double in his next at-bat that was hit at 115.7 MPH as it appears that he is locked in early this season.
Newcomer Yu Darvish struggled in his 2018 debut only lasting four and 1/3 innings as he gave up five runs on five hits, two walks, four strikeouts, and two hit batters. It was also Darvish's first start in Miami which could have affected him, but he seemed to lose a bit of his luster later in the fifth inning after taking a batted ball off his foot. Darvish was not eligible for the win since he did not make it five full innings.
His first mistake of the evening was hitting leadoff man Lewis Brinson on the elbow which gave Derek Dietrich's home run into the right-field corner extra weight. Despite having given up those runs, Darvish settled in and did not allow a hit until the fifth inning. His pitches were erratic and he seemed to lack the usual bite on his fastball although he did not suffer a dip in velocity.
The Marlins employed mostly right-handed hitters which should not have been much of a problem for Darvish as he has held righties to a .199 batting average over his career, but this lineup has been pesky and did not allow him to navigate his way out of the fifth inning. The seven-eight-nine hitters all reached setting up Brinson for an RBI opportunity. Darvish jammed him inside, but Brinson hit the ball over Addison Russell's head for a bloop single. Kris Bryant prevented a possible bases-clearing double by nabbing a line drive from Dietrich and nearly doubling up Bour at third base.
Despite that effort, Darvish gave up two more runs on a Starlin Castro single and then lefty Brian Duensing relieved Darvish and prevented any more runs from being scored.
"I’m sure there were a bit of nerves & he (Darvish) will admit it," Bryant said during a postgame interview. "But his stuff is so nasty and he is such a presence on this team. He’s gonna do well for us this year and we are happy to have him here this year. I bet he can’t wait to get back out there."
Jason Heyward had an RBI sacrifice fly in the sixth inning that to put the Cubs up 6-5. However, the Marlins battled back to tie it up in the eighth inning after some questionable strike zone calls by the umpire on reliever Pedro Strop.
A leadoff double by Javy Baez got the Cubs started in the tenth inning with Addy Russell following him with a walk. Ben Zobrist became the hero with a huge single that scored Baez from second base to put the Cubs up 7-6.
Kris Bryant busted the game wide open with a bases-clearing double to make the score 10-6 Cubs. Long reliever Mike Montgomery pitched the final three outs in a non-save situation.
Tomorrow the Cubs will continue the series in Miami pitting Jose Quintana (0-0, 0.00 ERA) against Dillon Peters (0-0, 0.00 ERA). Peters has only six career starts and a 5.17 ERA.
Game time is scheduled for 12:10 PM CDT at Marlins Park.