Chatwood Matches Career High, Escape Pirates
The Cubs continued their series against the visiting Pirates on Saturday night behind yet another surprisingly dominant performance from right handed starter, Tyler Chatwood. Almost a week after a big first outing (6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 SO) against the Brewers at Wrigley Field, Chatwood returned to the mound once again as the Cubs continue the second time around their starting rotation. This performance however was much more enjoyable for fans than the last. After allowing a leadoff double to Pirates second basemen, Adam Frazier, Chatwood managed to sit the next three batters down via strikeout. He would then go on to pitch a total of 6.2 innings before being removed in the seventh following a walk surrendered to Gregory Polanco; loading the bases for the Pirates. Cubs manager David Ross then turned to setup man Jeremy Jeffress to come in and get the last out by forcing Phillip Evans into a 5-3 groundout to end the inning. Chatwood finished with a line of 6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 11 SO. In earning his second win of the season, Chatwood matched his career high with 11 strikeouts in one outing, and now leads the Cubs in strikeouts (19).
Following the game, ESPN quoted Chatwood as saying, “Obviously you want to get off to a good start, but I felt good second half of last year. I felt good in spring training and what I was able to continue doing during that off period, I felt like I kept getting better. And now obviously it’s fun to put it in play against an opposing team.”
In rounding out the game, the Cubs won 4-3 in large part thanks to three long balls from Ian Happ, Javier Baez, and Kyle Schwarber (2-run HR). The Cubs bullpen issues continued yet again as the bullpen allowed three runs in the ninth inning thanks to Colin Moran launching his 5th home run of the season for the Pirates plating two, and a fielder’s choice groundout from Polanco all off the arm of Kyle Ryan. Rowan Wick came in to earn the save.