BY SCOTT MORGANROTH
When the Miami Marlins and Chicago Cubs face each other for a pair of series every year, these series are Definitely Entertaining.
Let’s not forget that they’ve met a couple times in the playoffs, and Miami has emerged on the victorious side on both occasions, with the most recent meeting in 2020 when Don Mattingly piloted the team.
When you compare the venues, that’s worth a discussion in its own right.
Regardless of what the temperature is outside, the temperature is always 72 degrees inside in the retractable dome which is called Loan Depot Park. There are no rain checks as a result of rainouts.
Wrigley Field is another story. The elements come into play and you never know when the wind comes into play in the Windy City. This is an entirely different ballgame.
The Cubs made their lone appearance to South Florida from April 28-30 for a three-game series and all of these games were entertaining. The Marlins did sweep the series and all three contests were one-run affairs.
Keep in mind that the NFL Draft took place during this weekend.
In the opener on Friday, April 28, the Marlins topped the Cubs 3-2 in front of 12,340.
On Saturday, April 29, Miami’s bats came alive as the Fish emerged with a 7-6 triumph in front of 14,994.
Finally, the game I covered was on Sunday, April 30 and Miami faced one of the Cubs top hurlers. Left-handed pitcher Justin Steele entered the contest with a 4-0 mark with a 1.19 ERA.
The Marlins scored three runs off of Steele and he yielded seven hits, but wound up with a no-decision.
Off-season additions, Dansby Swanson, Cody Berlinger and Eric Hosmer made their presence in a losing effort for Chicago.
Swanson had a pair of hits, Bellinger had a home run, while Hosmer also had a hit. Judging by what I saw, these guys have found a new home in the Midwest and could be a big factor in keeping the Cubs competitive in 2023.
Miami’s offense came from Jon Berti, who had a pair of hits and scored two runs. Luis Arraez reached base twice, Nick Fortes reached base twice and scored a run.
Right-hander Bryan Hoeing entered the game with an 0-1 record and a 9.82 ERA.
He had a quality start by going five innings, yielding two runs with four strikeouts. He would have a no-decision, but kept his club in the game.
Tanner Scott would pick up the win in relief to improve his record to 2-1 and AJ Puk earned his fifth save of the game.
The best news of the day is the crowd. The Marlins saw 20,345 fans walk through the turnstiles and it felt like Wrigley Field South, as the Cubs fans made their loud presence felt.
When these two teams met in the Windy City with the series starting on Friday May 5 and concluding on Sunday May 7, once again all of the games were close.
In the opener, the Cubs defeated the Marlins 4-1 in front of 31,181 fans.
On Saturday, Chicago managed a 4-2 victory as 36,418 fans attended this contest.
In the finale on Sunday, reigning Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara was on the hill and he proved to the Windy City crowd as to why he earned the honor.
Alcantara pitched 8.1 innings, yielded two runs, struck out nine and didn’t walk a batter. He would end up with a no-decision as this contest was decided in 14 innings.
The crowd of 38,196 fans saw Miami get the win, 5-4 and the Marlins snapped a five game losing streak.
Every year, these two squads play each other quite competitive and in 2023 was no exception.
As I mentioned earlier, the major difference between these two teams are the ballparks they play in and it’s hard to debate that by the attendance figures, which venue is the hotter ticket.
You can hear my thoughts about these two teams as I appeared on two episodes of Cubfidential on Sideline Sports. These two shows are in this story and I hope you enjoy them with Myself and JB Ellis.
Scott Morganroth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can see his broadcasts by Subscribing to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel.