MIAMI – The Cubs were swept in a series for the first time this season, falling 5-3 to the Miami Marlins on Thursday to fall to 3-10 and become the second team in baseball to record double digits in losses after the San Diego Padres.
HOW IT HAPPENED: A three-run triple from Darwin Barney in the second inning was a breath of fresh air from a struggling offense until it went back into its shell and struggled to score again. Jeff Samardzija struggled all day giving up five runs on eight hits and five walks in just 3 2/3 innings. In the fourth inning he was hit on his right hand by a comebacker and was removed from the game one batter later.
WHAT IT MEANS: Same old story. The offense is stagnant and not even a bases-clearing triple could reverse the trend. They did find themselves with more runners in scoring position, but other than Barney there were no clutch hits to be had. Batting left-handers Ian Stewart and Bryan LaHair back to back is making it easy for opposing managers to set up their bullpen personnel.
OUTSIDE THE BOX: Sure Marlins Park isn’t built for power, but the Cubs didn’t come close to hitting one out in the series. The Marlins, on the other hand, hit three home runs in the three games. The Cubs have now gone two of their four series on the season without hitting a home run. The other was the season-opening series against the Nationals at home.
OFF BEAT: Yes, that was an intentional walk to a player hitting well under his weight. Marlon Byrd, batting in the No. 8 spot, received a free pass in the third inning to load the bases. Byrd was batting .079 at the time of the walk. Jeff Samardzija, one of the Cubs better hitting pitchers, came to the plate and hit one hard to right field but it was caught to end the half inning.
UP NEXT: The Cubs return home for a six-game homestand with right-hander Chris Volstad (0-1, 4.91 ERA) taking the mound in the opener Friday against Cincinnati. The Reds will counter with right-hander Homer Bailey (0-2, 5.40) in the 1:20 p.m. start from Wrigley Field.