Friday night’s matchup between the Chicago Cubs and Miami Marlins began at 7:10 PM ET, but it took 17 innings and over 5 hours to determine a winner as the Marlins won in walk-off fashion.
The Cubs’ lone run came off of the bat of Kris Bryant, as he launched a solo home run in the top of the third inning. Both he (3-for-6) and Ben Zobrist (3-for-7) had solid contact all night long, and the two combined for six of the team’s eight hits on the night. Several of the outs they recorded also came on balls that were hit very well, but they went right to a defender.
Kyle Hendricks was given the ball and he turned in a very solid start. He threw 88 pitches over 6 innings of work, and had his spot in the lineup not come up in the top of the 7th frame he may have gone deeper than that. The only run that he allowed was on a single by former Cub Starlin Castro in the bottom of the third, and that was really the only downside of what was a very good outing. Hendricks finished with five strikeouts, three walks, and he also allowed four hits en route to his first quality start of the year.
Another Cubs pitcher would have earned a quality start as well – if the game would have started with 2 outs in the bottom of the 10th inning. That was when Eddie Butler – the guy who was considered by many to not be assured a spot on the Opening Day roster – came into the game. In a scenario where each pitch he threw and every batter that came to the plate could have ended the game for the Cubs, he responded by giving the team what was arguably the best outing of his major league career. He even outpitched The Professor, throwing 90 pitches over 7 innings of relief.
But despite his phenomenal effort, he still got saddled with the loss. After getting the first two batters out in the bottom of the 17th, he allowed a pair of singles to Brian Anderson and Cameron Maybin and was replaced by new reliever Brandon Morrow. The second pitch Morrow threw to Miguel Rojas got lined into center field, and Anderson came around to score from second base.
It was a tough loss for the Cubs, but an even tougher loss for Butler after giving such a dominant performance. But this is baseball, and that’s just the way it goes sometimes.
The third game of this series will take place Saturday night, with the first pitch scheduled to start at 7:10 PM ET. Free agent signing Yu Darvish will make his Cubs debut as he gets the call to start.
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