The Rundown: Chatwood’s ‘Busy Delivery,’ Pitching Staff Ranks, Brewers Move to 11 Over
Awful game last night. I was at the U2 concert so I am glad I missed it. Reading the recaps are brutal enough, so enter at your own risk.
Ian Happ's pinch-hit homer gets us within nine runs in the 9th.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 23, 2018
Tyler Chatwood continues to struggle with his command. Three of Chatwood’s walks came in the third inning, bringing his major league-leading total to 40, and the Wrigley crowd really got on him. Joe Maddon said Chatwood has a “busy delivery” that the Cubs need to “harness.”
“If you watch his delivery closely, there’s a lot going on,” Maddon said. “That tends to lead to lack of command of the fastball, and he’s not the only guy. There are other pitchers that are like that, too.”
The Cubs were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 11 on base. Moving on.
Cubs News & Notes
The team’s starting pitching FIP is 21st in baseball, up a couple spots from a week ago when the only teams worse were the likes of the Tigers, Jays, Marlins, Royals, Rangers, Orioles, White Sox and Reds. In starting pitching WAR, they moved up one spot from a week ago to 22nd with a plus-1.5, when they were a negative WAR beginning last week.
Chatwood (1.49), Jose Quintana (1.47) and Yu Darvish (1.43) are all posting unsightly WHIPs so far this season. Yet the Cubs lead the NL in ERA. If you are a “glass is half-full” fan, the staff seems likely to improve. On the other hand, a complete implosion may be on the horizon. So many numbers do not seem to support each other.
The Cubs will turn to left-hander Jon Lester (4-1, 2.52 ERA) to try to create positive momentum tonight in his 10th start of the season. The 34-year-old has limited opponents to 40 hits in 50 innings this season while walking 21 and striking out 44. The Indians will counter with neophyte Adam Plutko, who will be making his second career start and his fourth career appearance for Cleveland.
How About That!
The Brewers defeated the Diamondbacks last night 1-0 to move 11 games over .500, the team’s high water mark of the season.
Jose Bautista signed with the Mets yesterday.
Unhappy with the strike zone, Yankees manager Aaron Boone was thrown out in the 6th inning after yelling something to plate umpire Pat Hoberg from the dugout in response to a high strike called on Gary Sanchez. It was the first ejection of his managerial career.
Brandon Crawford hit a home run off of his brother-in-law, Gerrit Cole, yesterday. It helped Cole that the Astros were leading by five runs at the time of the homer and that Houston went on to win the game 11-2.
Reigning champion Aaron Judge will not be participating in this year’s Home Run Derby during All-Star weekend.
The Dodgers have won five of their past six games and — despite an unbelievably bad 16-26 start — sit only 4 1/2 games out of first place. Yasiel Puig is leading the turnaround. Puig also got off to an awful start to the season, but in his past eight games he’s hit .318/.464/1.045 with five homers.
The Cardinals were already trailing when Greg Holland entered the game, but his performance is worth a look. He didn’t get anyone out while allowing three hits, a walk and two earned runs.
Tuesday’s Three Stars
- Scooter Gennett – The Reds second baseman was 2-for-3 last night with a home run and 6 RBI. Gennett now has more 6-RBI games with the Reds (2) than Joey Votto (1), Tony Perez (1), Joe Morgan (1), Pete Rose (1) or Ken Griffey Jr. (1).
- The Brewers Bullpen – They lead the majors in bullpen ERA so protecting a 1-0 lead against the Diamondbacks was no big deal. Matt Albers, Josh Hader, and Cory Knebel held Arizona to just one hit over four innings with four punchouts.
- Matt Harvey – The Reds starter has looked good since coming over in a trade wth the Mets. Last night he allowed just one earned run on three hits in six innings in defeating the Pirates 7-2. He had five strikeouts as well.
Hot Takes & Syrup
- Before earning a win over the Cubs on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field, Trevor Bauer wrote the message “BD911” on the back of the mound . People saw it on TV and started Tweeting about it. It was interpreted by some as a reference to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Bauer said it had nothing to do with 9/11.
- Last season, umpire Angel Hernandez sued MLB as he believed he was kept out of postseason games on purpose, citing racism and a longstanding grudge with Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre. A review of last night’s Brewers -Diamondbacks game revealed he is simply bad at his job.
Angel Hernandez….not good. pic.twitter.com/BFgM9plRMt
— Justus Cleveland (@JustusCleveland) May 23, 2018
They Said It
- “I went on Twitter to see people making ridiculous accusations about what it means and it upset me. It’s completely unrelated. For people to take it any step further than that is ridiculous. It’s a tragic day in our country’s history. It’s senseless and that’s all there is to it. So, shame on the people saying that. It’s completely unrelated.” – Trevor Bauer
- “Man, that’s good stuff. [Chatwood] just has to get it in the zone … I have a lot of faith. I know we’re going to reap the rewards, the benefits, as he figures this thing out.” – Joe Maddon
Wednesday Walk Up Song
Birthday by The Beatles. Happy 19th to my stepdaughter Eleanor.