The second day of the MLB Wild Card series kicked off in the early afternoon on the east coast of North America in a March Madness-type atmosphere of daylong competition. The Chicago Cubs, along with the other National League teams, were scheduled for their first game of the Wild Card Series in their first postseason meeting with the Miami Marlins since the 2003 National League Championship Series against the then-Florida Marlins. The Toronto Blue Jays, after losing a close Game 1 on Tuesday, faced elimination at the hands of their division rival, the Tampa Bay Rays.
Toronto sportswriters were very critical of Jays manager Charlie Montoyo‘s decision to start Ryu in Game 2 of the series rather than Game 1 in order to give him an extra day of rest. However, it became clear that Ryu may have needed even more rest to be effective. He was tagged for seven runs (three earned) on eight hits in 1.2 IP.
The Jays were unable to catch up, scoring their only runs on two solo shots by catcher Danny Jansen, resulting in an early exit from their first postseason appearance since 2016.
Hendricks was his usual solid self for the Cubs, but he was matched by Marlins flamethrower Alcantara, who allowed only one run on a solo homer by Ian Happ, one of just four hits for the Northsiders in the game.
In the top of the 7th inning, Cubs manager David Ross made his defensive substitutions ahead of a final inning of work for Hendricks. After retiring the leadoff batter, Hendricks gave up singles to Miguel Rojas and Chad Wallach. Hendricks remained in the game to face Corey Dickerson, who hit a go-ahead three-run bomb to center field.
Jeremy Jeffress replaced Hendricks but was unable to stop the bleeding. He served up a two-run blast to Jesús Aguilar to put the game out of reach for the anemic Cubs offense that was weakened by the addition of light-hitting substitute Billy Hamilton.
The Cubs will take the field at 2:08 PM CT this afternoon. Yu Darvish, the Cubs’ Cy Young Award candidate, will be charged with saving the Northsiders’ season.
Featured Image: Joker in hand.