It felt very much like a Tyler Chatwood start to begin with. He walked a batter with no pitches anywhere close to start the game and then somehow wiggled out of the jam of his own creation. Perhaps unfamiliar was the fact that Chatwood largely settled in to deliver a true quality start. The Cubs bats were largely quiet again against some tough Arizona pitching, but they awoken when it counted late. Also a familiar feeling unfortunately was the Cubs bullpen allowing the opposition to tie, but this felt less bad than previous meltdowns as explained below.
The game started inauspiciously as Tyler Chatwood fired hard and wide of Willson Contreras. He missed on three straight fastballs that weren't particularly close to walk Jarrod Dyson. But then Chatwood started pumping strikes with his very good mid 90s fastball. He induced a groundball double play from Wilmer Flores and then another groundball from David Peralta for an 11 pitch first inning.
Robbie Ray was good to start the game getting two quick, easy outs to start the game. Anthony Rizzo rolled a base hit right back up the middle for the first knock of the game. Ray then lost any sense of the zone walking the always aggressive Javier Báez. Willson Contreras hit a pop fly in foul territory that wind grabbed a hold of making it a tricky play for Wilmer Flores. The former Met was able to make a less than aesthetically pleasing but effective grab to end the inning.
Adam Jones jumped on the first pitch of the second inning for a solid single in the right field corner. Chatwood got a swing and miss for the first out of the frame on a changeup down. A couple more quick outs and Chatwood was on his way to a quality start. Chatwood would walk only one more batter on his afternoon, and he didn't face the minimum number of batters until the sixth inning. In that frame, a two out single to Jarrod Dyson gave Arizona a little bit of life before Flores flew out to Almora.
The Cubs put the leadoff hitter in both the second and fourth inning against Robbie Ray. David Bote pulled a single through the left side of the infield to start the second inning and Anthony Rizzo hit a double off the wall to start the fourth inning. Both times the runner was left stranded and the game stood at a 0-0 tie heading into the bottom of the sixth inning.
Robbie Ray has such pronounced platoon splits that perhaps it is shocking how Anthony Rizzo was the one batter that he couldn't retire. Ray faced 23 batters in total on the afternoon. 20 out of 23 he faced right handed batters and the other three he faced Anthony Rizzo. Right handed batters reached base 2 out of 20 times and Rizzo reached all three times. Rizzo was hit by a pitch with two outs in the sixth inning. This time it mattered when Javier Báez ripped a triple into the right field. Rizzo scored and it looked like Chatwood would earn a win in his first start of the 2019 campaign.
Kyle Ryan, Brandon Kintzler and Steve Cishek combined to record six straight outs. The Cubs managed just a two out walk against Yoan López and Andrew Chafin during the seventh and eighth inning. Pedro Strop entered in the most traditional and toughest of save spots. He had just a one run lead in the top of the ninth inning. Jarrod Dyson was at the plate with just one out. Dyson is a ten year veteran with 16 career home runs, but that didn't matter as he turned on a Strop pitch to tie the game. Vote Pedro retired the next two batters to send the game into the bottom of the ninth tied.
Hard throwing Archie Bradley was given the ninth inning for the Diamondbacks. He struggled as Javier Báez ripped a double that turned into a triple on Adam Jones error. Bradley plunked Contreras in front of David Bote. And what has become the norm is Bote delivered in the clutch in the ninth inning. The hard hitting third baseman bounced a ball up the middle to drive in Báez to pull the Cubs back to .500.
A win is a win, but it did feel a bit like Dr. Evil assumes everything went according to plan with how the Cubs went about earning this W. As opposed to following Scott's plan of just putting a few extra runs on the board. They allowed the Diamondbacks to escape the initial threat. Thankful the Cubs bats finished the job off with us all watching.