Well, for the second straight game, Tyler Chatwood got absolutely KNOCKED AROUND early, allowing five balls in play in the first inning, four of which were over 95 MPH in exit velocity (two of which were over 107 MPH). And unlike last time, he was very wild throughout his appearance, spiking more than a few fastballs in front of the plate, walking two Tigers in the first inning and three more in the second inning before his outing was over. Yikes.
Chatwood was returning from a back injury that likely impacted his last start as well, so we can give him a little bit of slack here, but it was just a wholly disappointing performance in a season too short to deal with too many of those. At least last time we could say he wasn’t wild and was *just* knocked around, this time it was very much all bad. Fortunately, Duane Underwood Jr. came in and struck out former Cubs prospect Jeimer Candelario as well as Niko Goodrum to end the threat.
It is an absolute miracle that Chatwood left this outing with just 2 earned runs. But that was the end of the miracles for the Cubs tonight.
While Jose Quintana (also returning from the injury list tonight) came into this game and spun three scoreless innings, he ran into some hard contact in the 6th that ultimately chased him from the game with a run scored, no outs, and runners at the corners. Casey Sadler came in to relieve him, walked the first batter, and promptly gave up a grand slam, putting everything far out of reach. All thing considered, it wasn’t a terrible return for Q, who just looked fatigued by the end of his outing, but it ended on a very sour note.
But the real story tonight was the bats … or lack thereof. The Cubs ultimately had just four hits and three walks in this one, with just one run scored (a late, solo homer by Willson Contreras (which, to be fair, was nice to see)).
There was a TON of hard contact – by both sides, really: 28 balls in play with an exit velocity over 90 MPH, 15 of which were AT LEAST 100 MPH hour. But it just wasn’t enough. Baez did have a hit and smoked two other balls that found gloves and Jason Heyward hit a triple, but there was just no offense. Again. It’s definitely tiring and I’m not really interested in excuses.
That was a frustrating loss to a bad team. Goodnight.