The Marlins have many a fond memories of Wrigley Field.
Monday’s dull loss to the Cubs wasn’t one of them.
Not even the return of Steve Bartman could have spared the Marlins from what turned into a sluggish 5-0 loss to the Cubs.
The Marlins were held scoreless for the third time in their past five defeats, with Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks going the distance for the shutout.
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“He did a nice job with us,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Hendricks, who scattered seven hits by keeping the Marlins off balance at the plate all night.
Mattingly said it’s pitchers like Hendricks who have been giving the Marlins a lot of trouble.
“He changes speeds,” Mattingly said. “The guys who throw 98 or 97, we’re right on. But they start throwing change-ups over and over, those are the guys that give us trouble. It’s an area where we’re going to get better.”
Meanwhile, Monday’s outing was a monumental struggle for Adam Conley, who couldn’t find the strike zone. Conley walked six batters (one intentionally), hit another, and gave up five hits over just four innings.
He threw 97 pitches, only 50 of them for strikes. Conley threw 36 pitches in the first inning alone.
“Those first two innings, mechanically, I just wasn’t putting myself in position to get on top of the ball,” Conley said. “You saw me miss east and west a lot more.”
But out of all that, the Cubs could manage just two runs, with both coming in the first on Addison Russell’s two-out single. The Cubs left the bases loaded in the second without scoring, and left two on in each of Conley’s other two innings.
“Obviously I minimized (the damage) the best I could,” Conley said. “But I just eliminated the opportunity to get deep into the game with those first two innings.”
The four innings equaled Conley’s shortest outing of the season, excluding his first start on when he went just one inning against Washington.
The Cubs padded their lead after Dustin McGowan took over for Conley, coming up with a pair of runs in the fifth and another in the sixth. Hendricks, who brought an .086 average into Monday, drove in one of the Cubs runs.
The Cubs sent no fewer than five batters to the plate in each of the first six innings.
Hendricks cruised throughout in notching his third career complete game.
He received some help from the Marlins due to poor base running. Derek Dietrich was thrown out at third when trying to stretch his fourth-inning double into a triple. Adeiny Hechavarria was doubled off first base in the seventh on Ichiro Suzuki’s line drive out.
Suzuki’s quest for 3,000 hits remain stalled, as well. Suzuki, pinch-hitting in the seventh, smoked a sharp liner that Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant reached up and caught before throwing over to first to double up Hechavarria.