Last place teams will meet in Wrigley Field for three games beginning on Monday as the Miami Marlins conclude a nine-game road trip against the Chicago Cubs in the final meeting between the teams this season. The Marlins are just 1-5 on their trip thus far, but defeated the first place Atlanta Braves 7-0 on Sunday to snap a six-game skid.
For the Cubs, the series continues a nine-game homestand. Chicago took the final two games of its most recent series against the Philadelphia Phillies after dropping the opener to get off to a 2-1 start on their homestand. But since trading Alfonso Soriano to the New York Yankees in late July, the Cubs are just 13-24.
With a 50-85 record, the Miami Marlins are the worst team in the National League and in last place in the N.L. East. The Cubs come in 58-78 and in last place in the N.L. Central. Chicago however, is just a game back of fourth place Milwaukee in the division.
The series will be a match-up of the two worst teams in the National League in terms of batting average. Anthony Rizzo leads the Cubs with 21 home runs and 71 RBIs, but promising young infielders Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro have really struggled at the plate this season.
The Miami Marlins are baseball’s worst team in virtually every offensive category including batting average where the team is a dismal .229. Giancarlo Stanton despite missing a number of games early this season, leads the club in home runs, RBIs and runs scored. Justin Ruggiano is tied for the team lead with 42 RBIs and is two home runs behind Stanton with 16.
In the final game of the series on Wednesday, Brian Flynn will make his big league debut for Miami as he takes on Chicago’s Jeff Samardzija. Flynn’s start pushes Jose Fernandez back to Thursday meaning the Cubs will not see Miami’s All-Star right-hander in the series.
In the series, Miami and Chicago will start at 2:20 P.M. EST on Monday and Wednesday sandwiched around an 8:05 start in the middle game on Tuesday. The series will also mark the final games outside of the eastern time zone for Miami in 2013.
Chicago leads 3-1. The Cubs took the first three games of a four-game set when the teams met in South Florida back in late April. All four games were decided by two runs or fewer. Miami topped the Cubs 6-4 in the series finale to avoid the sweep. Two of the winning pitchers for the Cubs in that series, Shawn Camp and Scott Feldman, are no longer with the team.
Monday – Henderson Alvarez (MIA) 2-3, 3.90 ERA vs. Travis Wood (CHC) 8-10, 3.09 ERA
Tuesday – Tom Koehler (MIA) 3-9, 4.72 ERA vs. Edwin Jackson (CHC) 7-14, 4.90 ERA
Wednesday – Brian Flynn (MIA) 0-0, 0.00 ERA vs. Jeff Samardzija (CHC) 8-11, 4.13 ERA