What You Need to Know: If you don’t have a broom, the Cubs have some for you to use.
After walking the first batter of the game on four pitches, Tyler Chatwood continued the Cubs’ stellar run of starting pitching, and the Brewers continued being unable to play baseball against the Cubs –now 1-7 on the year. The Cubs got runs on a Chatwood RBI-single (because that’s how life is going for the Brewers this weekend), and an Addison Russell sacrifice fly. The Brewers got a strong effort from their discount-bin version of Kyle Hendricks–Zach Davies–but combined that effort with their current streak of offensive ineptitude, and so never felt particularly threatening. Cubs sweep.
Next Level: There’s something about Tyler Chatwood that reminds me of Orioles-era Jake Arrieta. Not that I expect Chatwood to late-bloom into the level of pitcher Arrieta became, but that Chatwood often finds success on little else but the extremity of his pitch movement, even when his command is abhorrent. The high career walk rate (4.3 BB/9) is similar to Arrieta’s early years (4.0 BB/9), and the “effectively wild” label seems to speak to his ability to routinely pitch around that high walk rate, which we’ve seen so far in 2018.
Going into this start, Chatwood’s WHIP was an unsightly 1.708, but yet his ERA was a respectable 3.74. As we get a larger and larger sample size, it’s becoming apparent why he had such a discrepancy between his road and home numbers in Colorado. Most all pitchers have a discrepancy between Coors Field and not, but one thing that would lead to such a significant discrepancy is a high walk rate. Tyler Chatwood, step right up.
Even in his dominant outing in today’s game, Chatwood still walked three, and had consistent issues throwing strike one. All well and good against a struggling Brewers offense on a cold day at Wrigley; less encouraging on a hot summer day with the wind blowing out.
Top WPA Play: Addison Russell’s lead-off triple in the fifth interrupted Zach Davies’ pleasure cruise through the Cubs’ lineup, and led to the first run of the game. (.124)
Bottom WPA Play: The Brewers’ three “best” WPA plays were all bases-empty walks in the first, seventh, and eighth innings. Carl Edwards’ walk to Orlando Arcia in the eighth was the most egregious. Cubs pitching continues to dominate. (-.067)
Up Next: The Cubs remain at home as the Colorado Rockies come to Chicago for the start of a three-game series.
Lead photo courtesy Patrick Gorski—USA Today Sports