MIAMI -- The Marlins beat the Cubs, 6-1, on Sunday at Marlins Park, and got the run they needed in the sixth inning after a challenge, although Chicago manager Joe Maddon was a little confused about who was challenging what.The game was tied at 1 in the Marlins' sixth when
MIAMI -- The Marlins beat the Cubs, 6-1, on Sunday at Marlins Park, and got the run they needed in the sixth inning after a challenge, although Chicago manager Joe Maddon was a little confused about who was challenging what.
The game was tied at 1 in the Marlins' sixth when Giancarlo Stanton doubled to lead off against Jason Hammel and moved up on Justin Bour's flyout. Derek Dietrich was hit by a pitch, but that had to be confirmed through a review.
"I thought they challenged because they wanted Dietrich to hit," Maddon said. "I thought they challenged that he was hit by a pitch, which made no sense."
The Marlins challenged because home-plate umpire John Hirschbeck had called it a foul ball, but the review showed Dietrich was hit.
Adeiny Hechavarria then hit a potential double-play ball to third baseman Kris Bryant, but he paused on his throw until Ben Zobrist got to second for the force there. What happened?
"We were worried about the bunt there, and we were in a different defensive look," Maddon said. "That caused Zo to be off the bag a little farther. Had it been normal, it would've been an easy double play.
"At that moment right there, there's a lot to process. The other option may have been to hold the runner at third and throw to first. ... I'm not saying K.B. did anything wrong, there were other options. The only reason it broke down was because we were on guard for something else."
Zobrist did throw to first, trying to complete a double play, and first-base umpire Vic Carapazza originally called Hechavarria out. But the Marlins challenged the call at first, and after a review, it was overturned and the run counted.
"That was the perfect ground ball in a first-and-third situation to go for two, a one-hopper right to me," Bryant said. "We just did a bad job communicating where Ben was at in terms of his relationship with second base.
"I'll take the positive out of it -- I made a good throw to second with him on the run. That's a tough throw for me to make. It's a close play, and looking back on it, I probably should've gone home, but we went for it."
Maddon thought the Marlins had lost their challenge on the Dietrich play. Once he got that cleared up, he then asked for a review on the play at second, saying Dietrich obstructed play, but that call stood.
The Cubs now have lost six of their last seven games, and it's been defensive lapses, the bullpen's inability to shut down the other team and a sputtering offense that's to blame.
"I don't think we're panicking or anything like that," Hammel said. "It's a 162-game season. Sometimes you get the bounces, sometimes you don't. We ran into a hot Miami club that's playing good baseball and is a totally different team from last year. It's a learning experience for us, and we move on to Cincinnati."
The Cubs have been trying to maintain their impressive lead in the National League Central despite injuries to key players.
"There's no excuse," Anthony Rizzo said. "Whoever is on the field, we expect to win. We just have to tighten up a little on defense and that's it. A ball falls here, a ball falls there and we're right back to winning games again."
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.