Cubs

Observations: Mills, 'pen quiet Marlins' bats to snap skid

Cubs
USA TODAY

The Cubs beat the Marlins 2-0 on Sunday, improving to 40-32 this season.

Here are 10 observations from the game.

1. Two-thirds of the Earth is covered by water, and the other third by Javy Báez — who put on a fielding clinic in the second inning. Báez ranged far to his left for a grounder, pulling off a spin move and throw to first in one motion for an out. That preceded an absurd diving stop to his right.

2. For the first time since last Sunday, the Cubs scored without hitting a home run. Jason Heyward came around on a passed ball in the third. The Cubs entered Sunday with 12 runs this week — six on solo blasts and three on two-run blasts.

3. Patrick Wisdom did his best Anthony Rizzo impression with a 15-pitch at-bat in the fifth in which he fouled off 10 pitches. Wisdom reached on a single shortstop Miguel Rojas couldn’t handle — the Cubs’ first hit of the game.

4. Rizzo made two curious outs on the bases. He was caught stealing in the second on a pickoff throw to first base. In the fourth, he was picked off second by Miami catcher Jorge Alfaro. 

5. The Cubs desperately needed a quality outing from Alec Mills after back-to-back rough outings from Zach Davies (6 innings, eight runs) and Jake Arrieta (3 innings, six runs). Mills delivered, tossing five shutout innings.

6. Ryan Tepera helped bridge the gap from Mills to closer Craig Kimbrel a scoreless sixth and seventh, extending his scoreless streak to 20 1/3 innings. He’s allowed three hits and two walks over that stretch (18 appearances), striking out 26.

 

7. Andrew Chafin is on quite the hot streak himself, riding a 16-outing scoreless streak (15 1/3 innings). He tossed a scoreless eighth Sunday.

8. With Sunday's save, Kimbrel tied longtime Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon for ninth on MLB's all-time list (368). He needs nine more to tie Joe Nathan for eighth.

9. Ian Happ snapped an 0-for-13 skid with a well-struck single in the seventh — his second hit over his last eight games (2-for-21).

10. Adam Duvall’s reign of terror at Wrigley ended quietly with an 0-for-4 afternoon. The Marlins outfielder went 5-for-8 with four home runs and 10 RBIs Friday through Saturday.

On deck: The Cubs open a two-game series with Cleveland Monday at Wrigley Field. First pitch is 7:05 p.m. Adbert Alzolay (4-5, 4.06) and Aaron Civale (10-2, 3.48 ERA) are the probable starters.

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