Chen, Marlins can't contain dominant Cubs

May 9th, 2018

CHICAGO -- Anything goes when the winds are blowing out at Wrigley Field.

discovered that the hard way on Wednesday afternoon, surrendering three homers and a career-high nine runs in three innings in the Marlins' 13-4 loss to the Cubs in the series finale.

had a two-run homer and three hits and knocked a solo big fly in the ninth for the Marlins, who finished their road trip at 2-4.

"I take full responsibility for a lot of what happened today," Chen said through an interpreter. "I couldn't control [my emotions]. I see it as an opportunity, and I'm going to learn from today -- whether it is mechanics or emotion control, anything. I see that as an opportunity for learning."

After taking two of three against the Reds at Great American Ball Park, it was a different story for Miami in Chicago. On Wednesday, the winds were 17 mph coming out of the southwest at the start of the game, and the ball was flying out.

"We know we've beaten a lot of good teams," Rojas said, noting the Marlins had won four straight series before being swept. "This is something that slapped us in the face and kind of wakes us up a little bit."

Chen, in his first career start at Wrigley Field, repeatedly elevated his pitches, and the Cubs made him pay, doing most of their damage in an eight-run third inning. The Miami lefty threw 36 pitches in the inning, and he yielded a three-run homer to and a two-run shot to , who opened the frame with a double.

"As a pitcher, the wind and the defense, that's part of the game," Chen said. "Actually, I don't get affected by those much. Mostly, I was upset about the strike zone. That's what got to me."

Wednesday's matinee was a chance for Chen to bounce back from his last start on the road trip, a loss at the Reds last Friday. In that game, he surrendered four runs in four innings, including two home runs.

"That wasn't any fun," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "Obviously, Wei-Yin, they were hitting him pretty good. The ball was carrying today. [Chen] wasn't missing any bats. They're a good hitting club, and Wei-Yin is a fly-ball pitcher. Not the best circumstances for him, but obviously, we expect him to be better than that."

The nine runs are a career high for Chen, who previously gave up eight in 2 2/3 innings with the Orioles on Aug. 27, 2013, against the Red Sox. Chen is also the second Marlins starter this year to give up nine runs; the first was on April 7 at Philadelphia.

"It was a little bit of everything," said Holaday, who was behind the plate for Chen. "We made a lot of mistakes, and they didn't miss any of them. That's the bottom line. We didn't make very good pitches, and that's a really good hitting team. A team you can't do that against. You got to the point where everything was going their way. They get comfortable in there, and then it just swings even more in their favor."


homered and laced an RBI double in his first two at-bats, and it appeared he would get a hit again in the fourth inning when he lined a drive to left. But Marlins left fielder robbed Bryant of extra bases with a leaping catch on the warning track.

According to Statcast™, Bryant's drive had an exit velocity of 105.4 mph and a hit probability of 88 percent. On the play, Maybin landed awkwardly and favored his right side. He remained in the game and grounded out in the sixth inning, running carefully down the line. Maybin was replaced by J.B. Shuck in the bottom of the frame.

"There's a lot of games. You're never going to feel as good as you want to," Maybin said.

As for the catch on Bryant's liner and playing defense with the winds howling, Maybin added: "The wind was really tough today. Swirling all over the place. It was a very difficult day on defense."


The series taxed the Marlins' bullpen, specifically their long relievers. Rookie threw three innings of relief on Wednesday and 68 pitches, exactly the same as Chen. He also picked up his first career hit. On Monday, also threw three innings in Miami's 14-2 loss. Mattingly said the club is considering potential roster moves to bring fresh arms to the bullpen.


On the mound, Chen had one of his toughest starts. At the plate, he enjoyed a little more success. Leading off the third inning, Chen singled off . It was just his second big league hit in 62 at-bats.


"For us, this was a good case of, 'We have to keep playing.' We can't sit on how many series we won in a row. We have to keep playing, because if we don't, we can hit bumps like this. We have to get our heads straight now that we got beaten by these guys. We have to keep playing hard." -- Rojas


One of the hottest starters in the league, takes the mound on Thursday in the Marlins' series opener against the Braves at 7:10 p.m. ET at Marlins Park. In his past three starts, Smith has an 0.96 ERA with 26 strikeouts. Atlanta counters with Mike Foltynewicz.