2020 National League Wild Card Series 3
(Redirected from 2020 NLWC3)
|2020 National League Wild Card Series|
31 - 29 in the NL
|2 - 0
34 - 26 in the NL
|1||Miami Marlins 5 Chicago Cubs 1||September 30||Sandy Alcantara (1-0) Kyle Hendricks (0-1)||2:00 pm|
|2||Miami Marlins 2 Chicago Cubs 0||October 2||Sixto Sanchez (0-0) Yu Darvish (0-1)||2:00 pm|
Game 1 @ Wrigley Field
|WP: Sandy Alcantara (1-0); LP: Kyle Hendricks (0-1)|
|Home Runs: CHI - Ian Happ (1); MIA - Corey Dickerson (1), Jesus Aguilar (1)|
- Attendance: none
The Marlins continued to be invincible in their rare postseason appearances as they took Game 1 from the Cubs by a score of 5-1 thanks to one great inning. Both starting pitchers, Kyle Hendricks for the Cubs and Sandy Alcantara for the Marlins, were excellent as there was only one run scored over the first six innings, a clear indication of their domination. That run was scored by the Cubs in the 5th inning when Ian Happ hit a solo homer off Alcantara with two outs. After a scoreless 6th, the Marlins' bats finally awoke in the 7th. It began innocently enough with a one-out single by Miguel Rojas. But Chad Wallach followed with another single, and Corey Dickerson then put the Marlins on the board by blasting a three-run homer on a line drive to center field. The Marlins weren't done, however. Hendricks was replaced by Jeremy Jeffress, but he gave up a single to Starling Marte and another homer, this one a two-run shot by Jesus Aguilar. Five batters, five hits, five runs. The Marlins' batters could rest, their work done.
With two outs in the bottom of the 7th and a man on, Alcantara gave way to lefty specialist Richard Bleier who got Happ to hit into a force out to end the inning. Yimi Garcia then pitched the 8th, getting the Cubs in order. In the 9th, Cubs reliever Dan Winkler hit lead-off hitter Marte with a pitch, breaking the Marlins centerfielder's hand and likely putting him out of action for a while. Brandon Kintzler came out to pitch the 9th with a four-run lead. He gave up a lead-off double to Willson Contreras, but then retired the next three batters to nail down the win.
Game 2 @ Wrigley Field
|WP: Brad Boxberger (1-0); LP: Yu Darvish (0-1); SV: Brandon Kintzler (1)|
|Home Runs: Garrett Cooper (1)|
- Attendance: none
A rainout on October 1st forced the postponement of Game 2 by 24 hours. When the game was played the next day, the sun was shining even if the weather was a little brisk, and the same two scheduled starters took the mound, Yu Darvish for the Cubs and rookie Sixto Sanchez for the Marlins, both of whom were coming off strong seasons. For the first three innings they both looked untouchable as there was only one hit, a single by Ian Happ with two outs in the bottom of the 3rd. In the 4th, the Marlins put Darvish in the ropes when Jon Berti led off with a single and the next batter, Jesus Aguilar, was hit by a pitch. However, Brian Anderson grounded into a double play and the Marlins were unable to score. In the bottom of the inning, it was the Cubs' turn to mount a threat as Willson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber got things started with back-to-back walks. Kris Bryant then hit a sharp liner directly to 2B Berti and Contreras did well to return to the base without being doubled off. Jason Heyward followed with a broken bat single to right field. Contreras did not get a good jump off second base but was waived home anyway, only to be cut off at the plate by an excellent throw by RF Matt Joyce. Javier Baez then flew out to right and the game remained scoreless.
The Cubs had another great chance against a tiring Sanchez in the 5th, but again could not capitalize. Victor Caratini and Happ hit back-to-back singles with one out, then after a strikeout of Anthony Rizzo, Contreras was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Schwarber was up next, but he lifted a harmless fly ball to left field and that was the end of the threat. In the 6th, Brad Boxberger replaced Sanchez and retired the Cubs in order, then the Marlins got to Darvish in the 7th. Things started well for the Japanese hurler that inning as he retired the first two men he faced and had two strikes on Garrett Cooper, but he then threw a fastball down the middle of the plate and Cooper barreled it into the empty left field bleachers for a solo homer. Darvish, who had been outstanding up to that point, unraveled quickly as he gave up a double to Joyce, who gave way to pinch-runner Lewis Brinson, and after an intentional walk to Miguel Rojas, Magneuris Sierra hit a ball to right field that allowed the speedy Brinson to score a second run. Manager David Ross then called on Craig Kimbrel to come in and he struck out Chad Wallach, but the Marlins had already scored all the runs they needed.
Boxberger got one more out in the 7th, then lefty specialist Richard Bleier came in to retire pinch-hitter Cameron Maybin and Happ. In the 8th, Corey Dickerson drew a leadoff walk against Kimbrel and another pinch-runner, Monte Harrison, stole second base on the next pitch, although it did not matter as Berti walked as well. Aguilar was up next and hit a scorching grounder to short, but Baez fielded it beautifully, starting a double play so fast that Aguilar was still at least 20 feet away from the first base bag when 2B Bote's relay arrived. Against Yimi Garcia in the 8th, Contreras threw his elbow into the path of an inside pitch and began trotting to first base when home plate umpire Will Little called him back, reminding him that a batter had to attempt to get out of the way of a close pitch, not move his limbs to get hit. Notwithstanding this argument, two pitches later, Contreras was legitimately plunked, but he remained on first base as both Schwarber and Bryant hit routine fly balls to Harrison in center field. In the 9th, against closer Brandon Kintzler, the scenario from the 9th inning of Game 1 repeated exactly: Heyward hit a lead-off double, the first hit by the Cubs since Sanchez's departure, but he couldn't advance any further as both Baez and Bote were caught looking at strike three, then pinch-hitter Jason Kipnis struck out swinging to end the game. The Cubs were beaten by their inability to get hits in key moments - the trio of Bryant, Baez and Rizzo was particularly anemic over the two games, going a combined 1 for 24 - while the Marlins played solid fundamental baseball, pitched well, and put together one strong inning with the bat in each game to advance to the NLDS.
- Joe Frisaro: "To NLDS: Hungry Sixto leads Miami's shutout", mlb.com, October 2, 2020. 
- Gabe Lacques: "'You're just floating': Marlins' magical season continues with sweep of Cubs, trip to NLDS", USA Today, October 2, 2020. 
- Mike Petriello: "Marlins-Cubs position-by-position analysis", mlb.com, September 28, 2020. 
|Major League Baseball Wild Card Series|