The Cubs started their 2018 season on the right foot Thursday afternoon in Miami. A big first inning, featuring a leadoff homer by Ian Happ, gave the Cubs an early 3-0 lead. Jon Lester struggled mightily in his 3.1 innings of work, but the bullpen was there to back him up with 5.2 scoreless innings.

Newcomer Steve Cishek inherited a tough situation in the bottom of the 4th, but was able to get out of it with no damage done. After Cishek’s second inning of work, Brian Duensing, Pedro Strop, Justin Wilson, and Mike Montgomery each threw a scoreless inning of their own.

After Happ’s home run, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber also hit solo shots. Tommy La Stella had the dagger in the bottom of the 7th when he had a pinch hit 2-run double, which gave the Cubs an 8-4 advantage.

Players of the Game:

1. Steve Cishek

The right-handed hurler did not disappoint in his Cubs debut. Lester gave up a single immediately before he departed, leaving Cishek with runners on first and third with 1 out. He managed to escape the jam and keep the game tied, then came back out to pitch a scoreless 5th inning.

2. Tommy La Stella

The Cubs know exactly what they have in La Stella. The small but mighty infielder offers premier pinch-hitting skills. Tommy was back at it on Thursday, delivering a  huge 2-run double in the bottom of the 7th to “ice” the game for the Cubs.

Up Next:

The Cubs and Marlins will play game two of their four game set at 6 p.m. central time Friday evening. Kyle Hendricks will square off against lefty.


Photo: Price/Chicago Sun Times



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