Star of the Game – Luis Valbuena – .340 (WPA)
Defense was on display for the Cubs on Thursday night in Miami, and it all started with Gold Glove 2B Darwin Barney. He made two very nice plays here and here. The flip to Castro was sensational, that’s the only way to record an out with Pierre running in that situation, and if they miss it the bases are loaded.
Castillo’s play also came with Pierre at the plate. A poor sacrifice bunt attempt saw Castillo aggressively going after the lead runner at third base in the ninth inning. Again, if he misses this play or is a split-second late with the throw, the bases are loaded and Marmol has no outs.
Sometimes it’s just as important to be lucky. And Rondon certainly was as he snagged this liner.
The Cubs jumped out to an early lead when Castro drove in DeJesus who led the game with a double. Edwin Jackson pitched 6 total innings, 3 of which were good, 3 of which weren’t so good. Jackson immediately gave the run back to the Marlins in the bottom of the first…on a bases loaded walk. The Marlins tagged him for a pair of runs in the 2nd. But back-to-back doubles in the fourth from Castillo and Schierholtz plus a sixth inning HR from Schierholtz left the game tied when Jackson exited. He is credited with a quality start, only in the statistical sense however, it was a mediocre outing.
Luis Valbuena was the Cubs hero, hitting a solo HR that proved to be the final difference. It was almost another case of taking a late lead only to eventually lose when Marmol issued a walk and a single before Pierre’s failed bunt attempt. Carlos turned it around and recorded the final two outs without incident. Cubs Win!
Matt Garza is scheduled to throw long toss on Friday. That’s because he was scratched from his rehab start in Double-A on Wednesday. The Cubs are blaming the missed start on a ‘dead arm’ – and that shouldn’t be concerning at all for a guy who hasn’t pitched in the majors since last July. He’s a comebacking line drive to the torso away from being adopted by Mark Prior.
Ian Stewart is trying to find his swing in Triple-A. May I politely suggest that instead of wasting time trying to find his swing, he should steal someone else’s. Stewart is “healthy and ready to go” and we know this because he’s bashing the ball in AAA. Hitting .083 (2-for-24) I’d argue that he’s found his swing, it’s probably just best to promote him now before he goes into a slump.