Chicago Cubs turn to bullpen early in 8-4 Opening Day win

(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Hook, line, and sinker. The Chicago Cubs opened up their campaign, starting a four-game set with the Miami Marlins. It totally went how everyone had imagined.

On a beautiful, yet windy afternoon in Miami, the Chicago Cubs took the field with hopes of starting another World Series title run. After a successful and productive camp, things started off with a massive bang.

Before we begin, we do not advise anyone to leap into Lake Michigan after Ian Happ (1-for-5) launches a home run on the first pitch of the season. Sorry, Michael Cerami but you’re going to have a tough time living this one down.

Backed with multiple home runs coming, Joe Maddon‘s now first-place club has a few things they need to work on. Although homering late in the game, outfielder Kyle Schwarber experienced a couple of miscues while playing left field.

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Two of which were crucial early on as the Marlins chipped away at what once was a 4-1 lead heading into the third inning.

With Miami applying pressure, Maddon was forced to remove Jon Lester (0-0, 8.10 ERA) from the game after just 3 1/3 innings of work. Lester started off strong but began to struggle with his command as time went on.

At least he did not manage to hit several batters unlike his counterpart, Jose Urena did in the first inning.

It was his first outing of the regular season, so a few bumps were expected. There is absolutely no need to raise any caution flags this early on.

Bullpen holds it down

One major takeaway from today’s season opener victory is how well the bullpen managed to keep the Marlins at bay. Specifically, former Miami Marlin righty, Steve Cishek. Cishek, who picked up the win in the decision, entered the game for Lester with runners on first and third and only one out.

He did not surrender a run in his debut, pitching 1 2/3 innings with a walk and two strikeouts under his belt. As for the rest of the bullpen? Perfect. Since both teams were forced to pull starters early, it was a long day for both sides reliever wise.

Compared to Miami, the rest of the Cubs pen did not give up a hit, allowing their offense to get things going again in the seventh inning of play. Extra relief arms combined for four innings, three strikeouts, and two walks.

Looking for lo…more runs

An unsung hero in today’s victory over the Marlins has to be infielder Tommy La Stella. La Stella has always been a vital piece of this team, usually coming off the bench with a hot bat on his shoulder.

And yes, ladies, he’s still single. Tommy’s RBI double in the seventh inning broke things wide open, scoring Addison Russell and Jason Heyward. All following Schwarber’s towering home run to right-center field — Chicago’s third homer of the game.

Oh, and Anthon Rizzo managed to go yard as well. Rizzo nearly had a homer early on in the game, but it had hooked foul. Two would have been nice, but we’ll take the one to get things started, for now.

Next: Cubs/Marlins series preview

Tomorrow, the Cubs look to make it 2-0 on the young campaign when Kyle Hendricks (0-0, 0.00 ERA) takes on Caleb Smith (0-0, 0.00 ERA). For now, let’s Fly The W.