Enhanced Box Score: Marlins 6, Cubs 1 – June 26, 2016
Jason Hammel managed to wiggle out of jam after jam until the bottom of the sixth inning, when the Marlins scored their second run on a late-by-a-millisecond double play attempt by the Cubs with runners on first and third, one out.
Having previously squared to attempt a squeeze on the pitch before, the Cubs were positioned abnormally for the second pitch to Adeiny Hechavarria. Specifically, Ben Zobrist was not playing at double play depth, and was instead shaded way over toward first (to cover Anthony Rizzo, who was ready to charge (it even looked like, just before the first pitch, Joe Maddon was showing indicating to someone that they should follow a charging player – my guess is it was Zobrist, being told to cover first)). Because he was so far over, when Kris Bryant fielded a perfectly-made double play ball, he had to double clutch before throwing to second. By the time Zobrist got there and threw to first, it was a fraction of a second late (as in, it took a replay to show that it was late). The run scored. The Marlins had enough to win.
It seems like the Cubs, and the Cubs’ fans, have been getting a whole lot of lessons in “baseball being baseball” this week, and that was just another one. What can you do? It was kind of a freak series of events that led to that run scoring, and the Cubs were still so close to getting out of it.
Of course, the flip side to that is that the Marlins had runners on base all day long and couldn’t come through. Eventually, they were going to.
… and they did later on quite a bit, tacking on four more runs.
For their part, the Cubs did almost nothing, which would have been a good bet at the start of the day. Jose Fernandez is good, and the Cubs are really scuffling at the plate. Bad combination.