Bats Beat Giants - Cubs 8, Giants 3

In a game that had more runners than the Boston Marathon, the Chicago Cubs defeated the San Francisco Giants 8-3 at Wrigley to take the rubber game, and win the series.

No word other than UGLY could describe the first inning Tyler Chatwood had. He threw 33 pitches, only 16 of which were in the strike zone. Tyler couldn't find the zone, but the Giants found a way to score some runs. Chatwood walked Andrew McCutchen with one out in the inning, but he was forced out at second on a Brandon Belt grounder. The Giants had a man on first base with two outs and Evan Longoria at the plate. Chatwood walked Longoria to make way for three consecutive singles, one by each Brandon Crawford, Pablo Sandoval, and Mac Williamson respectively. That drove home three runs, and the Giants, and their starter Ty Blach were in good shape after their half of the 1st inning.

That didn't last long at all as the Cubs got their bats swinging in the bottom of the 1st to tie it up. Albert Almora singled to lead off the inning. After Javier Baez grounded out, Kris Bryant smacked a double to center, bringing home the Cubs' first run. Anthony Rizzo followed with a single, scoring Bryant and putting the Cubs within one. One out later, Kyle Schwarber stepped up to the plate and singled, advancing Rizzo to third with two outs. The inning was in the hands of Addison Russell who did not disappoint - he singled to bring home Rizzo and tie the ball game at three.

Source: FanGraphs

The second inning for Chatwood was also ugly, except with a different outcome. He started by walking the opposing pitcher, a big no-no in baseball as all of us know. Then a single by Gorkys Hernandez and yet another walk to Andrew McCutchen loaded the bases with nobody out for the dangerous Brandon Belt. By some miracle from the baseball heavens, Chatwood was able to strike out Belt and Longoria consecutively. He then got Brandon Crawford to swing at the first pitch for a liner that Kyle Schwarber caught to end the inning.

In the top of the 3rd, Chatwood retired the first two batters he faced. He then surrendered a single to Nick Hundley, walked the opposing pitcher Ty Blach again, and gave up a single to Gorkys Hernandez. Joe Maddon had seen enough, and elected to bring in Randy Rosario from the bullpen to face Andrew McCutchen with the bases loaded. Rosario came in and did his job by throwing only two pitches to Andrew McCutchen inducing a force out to end the inning, and keep the game tied.

It goes without saying, but Tyler Chatwood just didn't have it today when you look at his 2.2 IP, 6H, 3ER, 5BB, 3K appearance. The most alarming thing from his performance today was the five walks he issued, because walks are an ongoing issue. In his 48.1 IP, Chatwood has walked 45 batters, and struck out only 44. He has also issued five or more walks in seven of his ten starts this season. Two of those walks came to the opposing pitcher. When factoring in the two walks to Ty Blach, the Cubs have walked the opposing pitcher six times this season - most in MLB.

In the bottom of the 3rd, the Cubs squandered one of their best scoring chances of the night. The inning led off with three consecutive walks - one each to Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Willson Contreras, and things looked promising. Unfortunately, both Kyle Schwarber and Addison Russell struck out on three pitches, and Ty Blach and the Giants were almost out of hot water. Jason Heyward came up and flew out for the third out, and the Cubs walked away empty-handed.

Luckily, the Cubs got another opportunity in the 4th inning which they took great advantage of. Randy Rosario was pitching well so Maddon allowed him to take his first career plate appearance in which he drew a walk! He then hustled to third on a double by Albert Almora, before coming home on a three-run home run by Javier Baez, putting the Cubs up 6-3.

With that three-run bomb, Javier Baez is the first Cubs player with 40+ RBI before Memorial Day since Derek Lee did it back in 2005.

The Cubs scored two more times in the bottom of the 5th to pad their lead. With two outs in the inning, Jason Heyward tripled, and scored on a single by Tommy La Stella. Next up was Albert Almora who doubled to score La Stella and put the Cubs up 8-3.

Overall, the Cubs put together a good game thanks to some great offense. One thing about the game that was bad, however, was that the Cubs committed three errors. Although, those errors didn't do any damage, sloppy defense is never a good thing. Prior to tonight's game, the Cubs had gone six-straight games without a fielding error, their  longest errorless streak since a six-game stretch, September 20-25 of last season. The Cubs also left 22 men on base tonight. Although they got all the run they needed for the win, 22 LOB isn't something you want to see.

The Cubs embark upon a seven-game road trip tomorrow - three against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and four against the New York Mets. The Cubs will send Mike Montgomery to the mound tomorrow for an injured Yu Darvish, and he will be opposed by Chad Kuhl. The Memorial Day Matinee will begin at 12:35 p.m. CT on ABC. Here's to hoping for a road trip in which we sweep the Pirates to gain some ground in the division!





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  • Great recap, thanks hvhora!

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    hv, I love your recaps, especially when the Cubs win. To me, the player of the game is Randy Rosario. One mistake and it could have been 5 or 6 to 3 and who knows what after that. When he got McCutchen out he stopped them and their momentum. Maybe we should have 3 stars because AA and Javy are right there too. Chatwood needs to go on the DL (find a reason) bring up someone and see what they can do. Have them throw strikes and let the defense do it's job. Also, without Chatwood, Willson can catch a normal game.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Who do you want brought up? Pitchers in AAA are not deserving a promotion.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Anyone.... Underwood has a fairly decent whip in the hitter friendly pcl. It’s gotta be better than the 45 walks in 48 innings they currently have throwing every 5th start.

  • If the cubs continue with this type of play and have starting pitching issues who do they go after. Let’s say
    Chattwood cont struggle and Darvish has more serious arm issues. Who do cubs try to deal for?????

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    As concerned as I am about chatwood I really don't know what to do here he doesn't seem close to figuring out his command issues and I don't see future success for him as long as he doesn't clean things up but it's kind of like he's still not getting hit around so if he can even get the walks under control somewhat then he should be fine I don't think he'll ever be what we call a control pitcher but if he can knock that walk rate to 4 per 9 innings then we may have something although I'm very concerned.

    But let's give our young guys credit for how they battled I know a lot of us were upset early but our window is never closed as long as we have these kids. We probably can't go anywhere without our SP getting better though and it'll be interesting to see how theo reacts to our issues.

    I'd like to take this time to also commend Almora for playing fantastic baseball this season I knew he had a nice floor but he's showing he maybe good enough to run with that CF job even for a 1st rate contending team. That kid may not have all the physical talent that some of these kids have but he has a character gamer type of trait that I think can't be quantified. And as someone whose personally had a 30 minute conversation with Almora in Boston after flying with the team last season I just want to say that I was blown away by his personality. He has a swagger about him but in a really good humble way and he seems to be one of the more well liked guys on the team from what I saw. He gets along with the Hispanic and white players and I was just really impressed with how he handled himself. I can't say the same thing about Addison Russell unfortunately but the point here is kudos to Almora on a really nice start to his season

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    To reiterate on chatwood I just wonder are they really gonna give up on a guy after a few months when they invested good money on him? He'll always be erratic but I think if we're evaluating him it's not like he necessarily has to have a 360 degree turnaround with the command he just needs to get them under control because he's at least really difficult to square up. Let's just say that while he's struggling I don't think he has the same level of concern that I had for Edwin Jackson when he was getting teed off on. Not saying much but just saying I'd be more concerned if his opposing batting average wasn't so good

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    In reply to kkhiavi:

    Lets not get ahead of ourselves here. Yes, he's not getting rocked w all the walks, but he's no Nolan Ryan where he can get away consistently w walking a lot of people. Tyler Walkwood needs to fix this ASAP. I like your idea of putting him on the DL and let him work on his mechanics and repeating his delivery and then pitch a couple sim games before returning to the rotation.

    I really wonder if he can just throw it right down the middle if he wanted? I know Willson yelled at him and said something like "they can't touch you %^&%% stuff, so just throw it right to my glove !!"

    I know he can't be optioned but maybe if they put him on the DL they can send him on a rehab start and tell him to just throw strikes and see if the AAA hitters smash him,,,,,,,,,if he can't, its a "yips" "rick ankiel thing"

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I agree jim and if you read my game comments I vented about him pretty good in the game thread (I'm cooler now after a great W)and even said that this isn't a new issue that just happened over his past 2 poor outings and I said his success flat out isn't sustainable if he doesn't clean up the walks and I also think he's going to be prone to short outings that kills our pen like this if this continues.

    Remember though Jim he's still our 5th starter though if he can cut that walk rate to 4/5 per 9 innings which would be more than half of his current walk rate and in line with his career walk rates then he can still take a major step forward in my view even though chatwood has always been a bit erratic even in Colorado just not to this extent. Let's keep in mind that chatwood hasn't had this major command issue his whole Amal career it's not quite like ankiel who simply never showed the ability to control walks at the Amal level although I think you have to be concerned when your players are dealing with major mechanical issues. I get he's no Nolan Ryan and in my view part of the reason why he's not getting hit much at all is because he's effectively wild but he's still shown that he's been tough to hit when he throws strikes and I think as long as he can get that walk rate to the numbers that I mentioned earlier then he should be fine as your 5. Let's remember too at least he's not projected to be one of our playoff starters and I for one am still confident in Q and darvish will improve in the regular season as long as they remain healthy but I reserve judgment on them until we see a bigger sample size and see how they do in big games down the stretch. Now watching that game I admit chatwood doesn't look close and I'm more concerned with him then anyone else but it could be worse is all I'm saying he could be getting teed off on and showing no positive signs like Edwin Jackson. I think maybe giving him a start off to work with him on the side like we did with darvish (parainfluenza my ass lol) is very interesting and I think it maybe a good idea bc I think he has the ability to be better and as someone that saw him with Colorado I can say that while I've always considered him to be a bit erratic it's never been even close to how bad it's been with the Cubs. I truly don't get why everyone's command declines with us it's beyond baffling

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    ML not Amal

  • Chatwood is brutal. Blach was not much to write home about either. Although the Giants might have Bumgarner back as soon as Friday and Cueto maybe sometime after. The Cubs: maybe Machado can pitch?

  • Montgomery can start, and wants to. To some degree this season is going to ride on making decisions to play your guys that deliver. If you keep trotting Happ out in center, you're hurting the staff.

  • In reply to wastrel:

    Hopefully Montgomery does well tomorrow. I think Montgomery as the fifth starter may need to be seriously considered. Move Chatwoood to middle relief and let him try to fix his issues. I have never seen a pitcher with such a total lack of control. Yeah the Cubs won, but I mean, that was ugly.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    I agree chatwoods hurting us and I bashed him as hard as anyone in the game thread and agree that we can't keep having these short starts but I just feel like it's hard to give up on him this early given his deal. Don't get me wrong I hate that type of logic I hear it with heyward all the time but the difference is heywards been awful for 2+ years and chatwoods just been up and down for a month. I agree though that removing him from the rotation needs to at least be evaluated going into the deadline at this point

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I agree that they can’t give up on him. He’s got to right the ship. But at some point they have to do something other than trotting him Out there every 5th game.

    Maybe skip his turn once or twice while he works thru bullpen sessions & a relief stint or 3. Let a Farrell or an Underwood have a go. Maybe it will light a fire under him knowing there’s guys behind him wanting their shot.

  • In reply to wastrel:

    Montgomery can start, and wants to, but he needs to deliver. Change for the sake of change isn't always the best idea, although injury is forcing our hand. We do need a reality check before the division gets too far out of sight.

    We're going to go on a run soon. It will be fun watching everyone playing well at the same time.

  • Maybe it's just me, but these wins feel much better than the losses. I feel... satisfied. Keep them coming, please.

  • Just a quick statistical update of our OFs.
    Almora: had a 1.5 FWAR HEADING into tonight's really good game after posting only a 1.1 WAR last season. This kid is playing really well and I'm not sure why it's a conversation for why he's not an every day guy.

    Schwarber 1.5 FWAR on the strength of his patience, power, and much improved fielding after posting only a 1.6 WAR last season. I know the average can get better but let's remember he doesn't have a ton of plate appearances in his career and I for one am happy that we're still seeing progress and I think the best is still to come with the bat. Let's not forget that the guys shown he can perform in big games as well.

    Happ even with a suddenly respectable 1.2 WAR after posting a 1.8 war last season. Despite the bad start and I know he has to clean up the Ks but give the kid credit for staying positive and I respect how he cleaned up his issues pretty quickly at the ML level and required no demotion let's give this kid a lot of credit not just a little even though I know the Ks are frustrating. Now imagine if he can develop and cut that K rate to 25%.

    Now for the $180 million dollar man. only a 0.3 WAR after posting only a 1 WAR all of last season and a 1 WAR in 2016

    I don't feel the need to include zobrist bc of missed games but I think we all have respect for the contact skills and patience that he brings to the lineup. The moral of the story is the numbers don't lie we need to have a new OF mix and it's good to see drastic improvement by Kyle and Almora. Now if we can just get that starting pitching rolling and use Almora full time in CF in addition to maKing heyward a sub for now and we just maybe good. That SP is hands down the problem though I think it's safe to say. Rizzo and contreras heating up would help too but I have faith in those guys

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Almora is up to 1.7 fWAR after yesterdays game. Maddon easing him into the majors seems to have developed another pretty good player. Better than most experts predicted. I remember K Law saying he will be a fourth outfielder. Maddon puts the young players into situations that they will succeed. He has a history of developing the young guys. Maddon made Zobrist the player he is. This is one of the reasons why the players absolutely love playing for Maddon.

  • In reply to John57:

    Maddon rewards him by sliding him into the 9th hole today.... At least he’s playing.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    I don't think Almora cares where he is in the line up. Go Albert!

  • Three Stars:
    1. Javy. Saw in Trib that Javy was working on using the whole field, going the other way. He's the Man. He's Kane to Bryant's Toews. He is the most exciting player in a long time. He is my favorite Cub. He is a joy. Let's enjoy! Go Javy!

    2. Almora. In 2016, I used to get mad, angry, sad, bummed whenever the line up came out and Javy wasn't in it. Thats' how it is now when Almora isn't in the line up. Someone please tell me what the heck is the matter with Joe. Everyone knows Almora should be playing CF everyday. Everyday! Am I right?

    3. Rosario/Bullpen. Hvhora is absolutely right. Rosario was pitching at the most critical time of the game for the Cubs and while he wobbled, he didn't fall down. Big time performance. And good for him.

    I enjoyed the new/different camera angles on last night's telecast. Doesn't Wrigley look beautiful?

  • In reply to TTP:

    Thank goodness Almora is finally playing and Javier wasn't bunting.

    Chatswood, a major league pitcher that can't throw strikes, perhaps we shouldn't have turned out backs on Bosio so quickly? Bosio did so much for the Cubs.

  • In reply to TTP:

    Here's an interesting tweet from Christopher Kamka making the rounds:

    #Cubs this season
    Games Almora starts: 20-10
    Games Almora plays, but doesn't start: 7-7
    Games Almora doesn't appear in: 0-5

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Sometimes these stats are purely coincidental, like the 0-5 number. But the 20-10 in games he starts is not. I wholly believe in baseball "intangibles" and AA Jr. brings a bunch to the field. He plays so hard and focused.

    He is the yin to Javy's yang. Where Javy is just full of talent and plays so loose and makes things happen, you can see the focus and determination on Albert's face - every play. He doesn't have the raw talent of half the guys on the diamond, but he outplays nearly all of them. I just love the kid.

    Back to those numbers. Maddon and the Cubs play the numbers a little often for my liking (Chatwood was brought in mainly because the numbers said he was better than he showed in CO) so why not play this number. 20-10 is undeniable.

    I do believe that they are getting to point when these tough decisions will be made, and some guys will start to play more while others will sit more. It is frustrating to watch - like Happ's awful stretch of 50% K, or Schwarber leading off last year - and it can be argued that Maddon let's it go a little too long sometimes (Schwarber leading off!!) but he does make the right call in the end. I predict Heyward looses his starting job and AA becomes a regular among some unforseen moves.

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    How about Heyward batting second in 2016. I don't think he moved him out of that spot until July. Maddon does have a hard time admitting something he does was wrong. His ego gets in the way of making better decisions.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    I wouldn't call it ego. He is trying to be patient and get a player going. Sometimes it works, sometime it doesn't. Fans on the other hand are extremely fickle. Something doesn't work and right away they demand change. Sometimes the best moves are the ones you don't make.

  • In reply to TTP:

    I won't say every game, but most games AA should be in center. I support Maddon' s way of using the roster and keeping all players sharp and involved. Much of what Albert provides cannot be measured, but he qualifies as talented and he fits monikgr 'baseball player'.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    ^^^^ Well put.

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