Garrett Cooper homered against Yu Darvish in a two-run seventh, hard-throwing rookie Sixto Sanchez dominated for five innings and the Miami Marlins won their first playoff series in 17 years, beating the Chicago Cubs 2-0 Friday to complete a two-game wild card series sweep.
Led by manager Don Mattingly and CEO Derek Jeter, the Marlins remained unbeaten in all seven post-season series they have played following triumphs in the 1997 and 2003 NL Championship and World Series.
And this time, in empty Wrigley Field, they didn’t need a hand from a fan. In Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS, fan Steve Bartman deflected Luis Castillo’s foul ball as Cubs left fielder Moises Alou tried to make a leaping catch, which led to an eight-run, eighth-inning rally.
Miami had T-shirts with “Bottom Feeders” in its dugout Friday, a reference to a remark by Ricky Bottalico, a former Phillies pitcher and current NBC Sports Philadelphia analyst, after the Marlins’ opening-day win in Philadelphia.
“We’re here and the Phillies are at home, so I think the `bottom feeders’ is a good mantra to live on,” Cooper said.
Chicago, the NL Central champion, went 3 for 27 (.111) with runners on base in the series. Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo combined to go 0 for 12 Friday and finished the series 1 for 24. The trio is 19 for 142 (.134) with 52 strikeouts and six walks in the post-season since the 2016 World Series title as Chicago has lost nine of 13.