Excited to stay in Chicago, Drew Smyly leads Cubs past Marlins

Smyly took a shutout into the seventh inning, and the bullpen preserved it. Smyly retired 11 batters in a row at one point and earned his first victory at Wrigley with the Cubs.

SHARE Excited to stay in Chicago, Drew Smyly leads Cubs past Marlins

Drew Smyly threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings Saturday, striking out four over 106 pitches.

Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Cubs catcher Willson Contreras and outfielder Ian Happ could have helped a contender for the rest of the season. Left-hander Drew Smyly might have done the same, but he’s glad he won’t find out for a very personal reason.

‘‘My wife and I had our third kid, like, three weeks ago,’’ said Smyly, whose young son Landon sat on his lap during his postgame news conference. ‘‘It just would’ve been chaos if I did get traded. We’re very happy here in Chicago, so we’re excited just to stay put and finish the season here.’’

Smyly was also happy after his performance in the Cubs’ 4-0 victory Saturday against the Marlins. He pitched 6‰ scoreless innings and struck out four to earn his first victory with the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Smyly, a member of the World Series champion Braves last season, has battled injuries this season, but he looked healthy enough to contribute to a team with postseason hopes, at one point retiring 11 Marlins in a row.

Smyly almost fell behind in the third, when Miguel Rojas appeared to score on a single to right by Bryan De La Cruz, beating a swipe tag from catcher P.J. Higgins after a throw from Seiya Suzuki. After review, however, Rojas was called out to keep the game scoreless.

That was the last chance the Marlins had against Smyly.

Higgins said that Smyly’s fastball had more life as the game went on and that he was throwing it wherever he wanted. There was also a better connection between the two than there was the last time they worked together July 10 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. In that game, Smyly allowed four runs in two innings.

‘‘We executed the game plan, what we talked about previously,” said Higgins, whose solo home run in the sixth gave the Cubs a 4-0 lead. ‘‘It kind of makes it easier to flow during the game. In L.A. when I caught him, [it] was kind of iffy. But talking to him a little more [and] being on the same page with him [Saturday] made it a lot easier for both us.’’

Though there wasn’t as much speculation about his fate as there was about Contreras’ and Happ’s, Smyly said he’s glad the trade deadline is over. As a veteran with recent championship experience, Smyly signed a one-year deal worth a reported $5.25 million, plus incentives, with the Cubs that could’ve fit into most teams’ budgets, lending credence to trade rumors.

Smyly said he thought there was a 50% chance he would be traded but reiterated he’s glad he stayed in Chicago.

‘‘I’m very happy just to be here and stay here to help the younger guys and just be around to watch our guys grow and gain experience at the major-league level,’’ Smyly said. ‘‘We have a young team, but . . . it’s such a fun group of guys to show up and play with every day.’’

Last season, Smyly experienced the pinnacle of his career by contributing to a Braves team that defeated the Astros in the World Series. He won’t be a part of something like that this season with the Cubs, who essentially are playing out the string, but there are other things Smyly appears to enjoy about his current situation, even though it won’t include playoff baseball.

‘‘Everybody’s hungry and everybody just wants to get better,’’ Smyly said. ‘‘Win or lose, you always want to come out and win. It makes things more fun, but it’s still exciting to show up every day and play here at Wrigley Field with these fans.’’

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