That was a fun win, wasn’t it?
Jen-Ho Tseng was hit hard in the top of the first. The Marlins scored three runs, and it seemed like it was going to become a throwaway game as the Cubs had scrambled to fill in for Yu Darvish.
But the thing is … the Marlins didn’t score again. Tseng pitched a scoreless second, Rob Zastryzny pitched a couple scoreless frames (with some help from his defense), and then the bullpen took over with aplomb. The defense tonight was excellent, too.
Offensively, the Cubs got two runs in the second when Joe Maddon elected to pinch hit with David Bote for Jen-Ho Tseng, with two on and two out. Bote rewarded the decision with a double. It was gutsy, knowing how many innings the bullpen was going to have to cover at that point, but the Cubs needed runs. Good call, and not just because it worked out.
The Cubs later tied the game in 6th, and then had an excellent chance to take the lead immediately thereafter, but Addison Russell popped a bunt back to the pitcher with one out. It had to have been a called safety squeeze, as Victor Caratini at third would have to know it was coming to have any hope at all of scoring. Way too cute. Sure, *maybe* Russell hits into a double play or maybe he doesn’t hit one deep enough that Caratini can score, but give the guy a chance. What are the odds that a bunt by a guy who never bunts is going to score a slow guy from third? Bad call, and not just because it didn’t work out.
Fortunately, the Cubs took the lead in the 8th inning when a blazing fast Kris Bryant scored from third on a Victor Caratini grounder straight to a pulled in Starlin Castro at second base. There wasn’t a ton of urgency in Castro’s play, but still, it was incredible that Bryant scored. It was the second time Bryant ribbed Castro in the game.