The good news from tonight was that the Cubs were able to get 27 outs; the bad news was that the last 24 outs were just a mere formality. Tonight’s 7-1 loss against the Arizona Diamondbacks was over before most fans with Javy bobbleheads reached their seats.
What You Need to Know: After five games in four days, manager Joe Maddon decided to go with a spot start from Luke Farrell in order to keep his regular starters on a normal rest schedule. After one inning and five earned runs off Farrell, my expert analysis would assume no more spot starts from him this season while the Cubs are engaged in a tight NL Central race.
A bad first inning was followed by giving up a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the second. But, hey, he went two scoreless innings after that?
Cubs offense struggled against Diamondbacks’ starter Patrick Corbin. He struck out nine batters in seven innings of work, while only giving up a run. On his bobblehead night, Javy Báez was able to have a good night with the bat going 2-for-4, the only Cub with multiple hits.
Willson Contreras went 0-for-4 while striking out three times, the fourth such occasion in his last eight games.
Next Level: It feels of late that position players pitching has become less of a novelty than in previous years. Cubs had three bullpen-saving innings pitched from Tommy La Stella, Báez, and Victor Caratini just this past Friday.
Even after another inning pitched by Caratini, nothing could spoil the fact that our wonderful baseball boy Anthony Rizzo made his pitching debut.
He was brought in to make the final out of the ninth inning, giving everyone who stayed a special treat.
To say that he looked like a batting practice pitcher on the mound would be an insult to those old dudes throwing BP. His two pitches were 53 mph and 62 mph, and officially both pitches were registered as sliders which sure, ok, let’s go with that.
A.J. Pollock just missed on Rizzo’s second pitch, hitting it to deep center field but inside the park. Meaning Rizzo keeps a perfect 0.00 era, and now becomes a valuable bullpen arm.
Top WPA Play: Sixth inning single from Jason Heyward, Ian Happ advanced to third. (+.032)
Bottom WPA Play: A.J. Pollock single in the first inning, brought Jon Jay home and advanced David Peralta to third. (-.116)
Up Next: Back to our regularly scheduled programming, as Kyle Hendricks makes the start against the Dbacks.
Lead photo courtesy @Cubs on Twitter