Drew Smyly was only slated for one inning of work in his first live action since September 2016, and boy howdy did he make the most of it. The southpaw started the game for South Bend, dispatching all three batters he faced on strikes with just 13 total pitches.
He actually opened up 2-0 against the leadoff hitter before sandwiching a foul between two called strikes. The former Ray then worked inside-outside for three consecutive called strikes on the two hitter. For his final trick, Smyly got behind 1-0 and then went called strike, foul, foul, swinging strike to retire the third batter he faced.
— Rebecca Snyder (@becsnyder) August 30, 2018
No word on what he was throwing, but Smyly was absolutely pounding the zone in his brief outing and it’s reasonable to assume he was pumping a lot of fastballs. Even though he was only facing low-A hitters, it’s hard not to be excited about this development in his comeback. Smyly has been brought along at a very deliberate pace as he works back from Tommy John elbow reconstruction, so being out there and delivering in a live game was a big step.
It’s still far-fetched to assume he could make it back to Chicago, but it wouldn’t be the first time the Cubs have gotten a contribution from a guy who missed a lot of time after surgery.