The Miami Marlins are not a good team. The Cubs are supposedly a very good team. This series has played out exactly the way it should. That feels rare for baseball. Some might want to temper the positives of this two game winning streak, but wins do not come with asterisks in the standings.
The biggest positive was another strong outing from José Quintana. The maligned southpaw has now pitched back to back outings of seven shutout innings. Quintana wasn't as impressive as the last time out, but more importantly he pitched deep into a ballgame. The Cubs plan was to be able to lean on a veteran and expensive pitching staff. The four and five starters for the Cubs dominated an anemic lineup on back to back nights. It does have to be factored that the Marlins lack many real threats, but both Q and Darvish have struggled against weak lineups in a Cubs uniform.
The Marlins had the tying or go ahead run on base in six innings, but apart from the eighth inning it never really felt like the Marlins had a chance. The Cubs have matched their longest winning streak of the season, two.
José Quintana and Pablo López traded zeroes for the first couple of frames. Quintana struck out three and López struck out two in those innings, but Quintana was the first one to give up a hit. López gave up single tallies in the third and fourth innings while Q rolled through seven scoreless innings. The Marlins would not reach past first base until two outs in the seventh inning. Austin Dean doubled to snap an 0 fer streak, but was left standing there as Quintana struck out his seventh batter to end the inning.
The Cubs did not have the same issues. David Bote doubled into right field to start the third inning. Albert Almora Jr. and Quintana made two quick outs, but Daniel Descalso was able to pull a ball through the shift to put the Cubs ahead 1-0. Kris Bryant grounded out to end the inning as he is still looking to get on track.
Javier Báez hit a one out single in the fourth inning and reached third base on Jason Heyward's single. Willson Contreras was hit by yet another pitch as he continues his best Anthony Rizzo impression. Bote hit into a fielder's choice, but scored Báez to extend the Cubs lead to two. Almora was intentionally walked and Q struck out again to end the threat.
The Cubs ran into outs in the fifth and sixth inning which ended potential rallies. Pablo López final inning was the fifth and Descalso ripped a ground rule double to start the inning. Descalso attempted to reach third on a Kris Bryant flyout, but was thrown out at third for the second out. Tyler Kinley entered the game in the sixth inning and Báez attempted to stretch a single into a double. He was initially ruled safe on his patented swim move slide but was correctly ruled out on the replay. Kinley was sent back out in the seventh inning and again gave up a single to start the inning. This time David Bote was picked off of first base for the first out. Kinley walked a pair of batters after that, but was again able to keep the Cubs off the board.
Adam Conley took over in the eighth inning and retired Anthony Rizzo fairly easily. Javier Báez unloaded on a pitch to put the Cubs up 3-0. Heyward had another multi-hit game with a sharp hit ball that Starlin Castro was able to knock down. Willson Contreras hit into an inning ending double play.
Quintana went back out there in the eighth inning, but an inning opening single was enough for Joe Maddon. Brandon Kintzler managed to remind why he was a reliever teams actually wanted by quickly getting a double play ball. However, the next batter was Brian Anderson and he obliged with another groundball. Unfortunately it wasn't at anyone and the Marlins inning continued. A Starlin Castro walk meant that trouble was brewing, and Jorge Alfaro hit a deep drive in to the deepest part of the ballpark.
Sergio Romo was the fourth Miami pitcher and he looked like the pitcher the Cubs saw in the 2015 NLDS. He walked David Bote to start the inning and a wild pitch allowed him to reach second base. That would turn into a critical play as the Cubs hit back to back flyball outs to move Bote to third and home. The Cubs manufactured a screw the closer run.
Pedro Strop pitched a stress free ninth inning to give the Cubs their second series win of 2019.
Well the Cubs have done it.