From a .2 percent chance of making the postseason, the bottom feeder Miami Marlins are hungry for more. The story of Major League Baseball in 2020 is off to Houston, Texas after earning a series sweep against the Chicago Cubs.
After playing 28 games in 24 days, the Marlins had a few days to cool down before their Wild Card series. But instead of relaxing, Miami used their time to prepare for the pitching masterminds of the Cubs. Granted, Chicago’s offense wasn’t looking like 2016, and it showed during the series. Even with no offense, the Cubs’ Wild Card rotation was a forced to be reckoned with.
The first seven innings of Game 1 was a pitching battle between Marlins Ace Sandy Alcantara and Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks. Alcantara had a near-perfect 6 2/3 IP. And with four strikeouts and only three earned hits, it was looking like Sandy-Man would play all nine innings.
That was until Ian Happ showed up to postseason baseball, starting off the runs with a solo homer to left field. Even with the first strike, the Marlins came back and shut down Chicago. Corey Dickerson got Miami going with a three-run blast to nearly the same placed Happ hit his nuke earlier. This wouldn’t be all the Marins had in store for the seventh inning, as Jesus Aguilar reminded everyone of his power, hitting a two-run homer to bring all the momentum Miami’s way.
The bullpen would hold strong and the Marlins took Game 1 of the best of three series with a final score of 5-1.
After Game 2 was postponed to Friday, it was finally Sixto time in Chicago. Miami’s Sixto Sanchez went head to head against Cy Young Award contender Yu Darvish. Sanchez racked up six strikeouts very early, showing the world why he deserves some Rookie of the Year mentions.
Sanchez’s biggest test came in a bases-loaded situation for Kyle Schwarber to take advantage of. Luckily, Sixto remembered his roots and closed the Cubs out.
Yu Darvish was brilliant until once again the Marlins struck in the seventh inning. Garrett Cooper continued his premier season with a solo shot to left field. Magneuris Sierra would keep the Marlins rolling with an RBI single. And the Marlins Bullpen once again would back up their starter and secure the series sweep with a final score of 2-0.
With the series win, the Marlins are off to Houston to play in the NLDS against their N.L. East rival Atlanta Braves.
Offensive Player of the Series- Garrett Cooper
It’s really hard not to give the guy who hits the go-ahead home run to win the series this award. Cooper has been stunning all season and that has translated into October. He went 2-8 with one RBI, but he also excelled at first base.
Defensive Player of the Series- Matt Joyce
Fans know why Matt Joyce deserves this mention. In the fourth inning, Joyce had a cannon of a throw to home base to stop Wilson Contreras from scoring. All season long, Joyce has proven his worth to the Marlins and why he deserves a secured spot in the lineup.