Miami Marlins Monday, Oct. 5, 2020: Fish Sweep Cubs to Advance to NLDS

by Mike Ferguson

Photo courtesy of YouTube/ABC broadcast

A season for the ages continues for the Miami Marlins.

After clinching just their third playoff appearance in franchise history, the Marlins showed they weren’t just happy to be there. In the best-of-3 Wild Card series at Wrigley Field, Miami swept the National League Central champion Chicago Cubs to advance to the National League Division Series.

With the victories, the Marlins improve to 7-0 all-time in playoff series. Miami will now face the Atlanta Braves, who beat the Cincinnati Reds in two games.

The National League East champion Braves took six of the 10 meetings between the teams this year. In the only prior postseason match-up, the then Florida Marlins beat Atlanta in six games in the 1997 National League Championship Series.

Week in Review

Miami Marlins 5, Chicago Cubs 1
Wednesday, Sept. 30 (National League Wild Card Series Game 1)

A 3-run home run by Corey Dickerson and a 2-run blast by Jesus Aguilar highlighted a 5-run seventh as Miami took the opening game. Miami starting pitcher Sandy Alcantara allowed just a run on three hits and three walks in 6.2 innings of work. Ian Happ had two of the four hits for the Cubs, including a solo home run in the fifth. Aguilar and Starling Marte each had two hits for Miami.

Miami Marlins 2, Chicago Cubs 0
Friday, Oct. 2 (National League Wild Card Series Game 2)

Two runs in the seventh inning off Chicago Cubs’ starter Yu Darvish was all Miami needed to advance to the National League Division Series. Garrett Cooper got the scoring started with a solo home run before Magneuris Sierra brought a run home with an RBI single. With the help of an outfield assist from Matt Joyce, Miami starter Sixto Sanchez went five shutout innings. Ian Happ and Jason Heyward each had two hits for Chicago in the loss.

In the Playoff Race

The Miami Marlins will now get set to face the No. 2 seed Atlanta Braves in a best-of-5 National League Division Series. The sixth-seeded Marlins are the lowest remaining seed in the National League. Whoever wins the series will advance to face either the top-seeded Los Angeles Dodgers or fourth-seeded San Diego Padres in the best-of-7 National League Championship Series.

Who’s Hot, Who’s Not

Who’s Hot

Sandy Alcantara, P
In Wednesday’s 5-1 win over the Chicago Cubs, Sandy Alcantara put together a fourth straight quality start for Miami. Alcantara allowed just a run on three hits and three walks while striking out four. Since June 15, Alcantara has posted a 1.73 ERA.

Brandon Kintzler, P
He’s not a hard thrower, but Brandon Kintzler continues to be money at the back end of the Miami bullpen. Kintzler worked a pair of scoreless ninth innings in the series with the Chicago Cubs. In Friday’s series clincher, he struck out the side to earn the save. Kintzler has not allowed an earned run since Labor Day.

Who’s Not

Brian Anderson, 3B
Arguably the Marlins’ MVP for 2020, Brian Anderson went 0-for-9 in the National League Wild Card Series and never got on base. Anderson struck out four times in addition to grounding into a double play.

News, Notes and Recognitions

With the series victory over the Cubs, the Marlins became the first team ever to win a playoff series after losing at least 100 games the season prior.

Miami outfielder Starling Marte left Wednesday’s game after being hit by a pitch. He suffered a fracture in his hand and is questionable for the National League Division Series.

Game 2 of the series at Wrigley Field was originally set for Thursday, but was postponed by weather.

Miami catcher Francisco Cervelli announced his retirement after 13 seasons in Major League Baseball.

Upcoming This Week

Monday, Oct. 5 (National League Division Series Game 1): vs. Atlanta Braves, 2 p.m. (Fox Sports 1)
Tuesday, Oct. 6 (National League Division Series Game 2): vs. Atlanta Braves, 2 p.m. (MLB Network)
Wednesday, Oct. 7 (National League Division Series Game 3): vs. Atlanta Braves, 2 p.m. (Fox Sports 1)
Thursday, Oct. 8 (National League Division Series Game 4, if necessary): vs. Atlanta Braves, 2 p.m. (Fox Sports 1)
Friday, Oct. 9 (National League Division Series Game 5, if necessary): vs. Atlanta Braves, 2 p.m. (Fox Sports 1)

Mike Ferguson is the managing editor for Fifth Quarter. Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. Follow all of Mike’s work by liking his Facebook page.

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