Matt Joyce is right on with this throw

October 3rd, 2020

did not register an outfield assist in the regular season, but he came up with a big one on Friday.

With runners on first and second and one out in the fourth, the Marlins' right fielder threw out Cubs designated hitter Willson Contreras at home plate to keep Game 2 of the National League Wild Card Series scoreless.

Jason Heyward struck a broken-bat single to right. Contreras, who had a slow read at second, still attempted to score, but Joyce threw a one-hop strike to catcher Chad Wallach, who applied the tag on Contreras for the second out. Statcast projected the throw at 83.1 mph.

Sixto Sánchez, who went on to toss five shutout innings in his postseason debut, stranded runners on the corners by getting Javier Báez on a fly ball to Joyce, ending a 27-pitch inning.

“It wasn't hit too hard,” Joyce said of Heyward's knock. “Contreras had to freeze, because it was a lower line drive, and he didn't know if he would catch it. Obviously, that gave me enough time. When I came up with the ball, I saw Contreras was just touching the bag and the coach was waving him. I was like, 'All right, all I have to do is deliver a strike.' Fortunately, I did.”

The rally-stifling play proved pivotal, as the Marlins edged the Cubs 2-0 to sweep the series and advance to the NL Division Series against the Braves, which will begin Tuesday at Minute Maid Park in Houston.