Starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood took the mound as the Chicago Cubs wrapped up an Opening Weekend series.
Baseball is back, and Chicago Cubs fans wouldn’t have it any other way. The team opened up their 2020 campaign against arguably their most hated NL Central rival, the Milwaukee Brewers. After an Opening Day victory courtesy of a brilliant outing from Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs dropped Game 2 on Saturday.
Sunday afternoon, it was Tyler Chatwood who had the chance to tip the scale in favor of the Cubs in this year’s opening 3-game series.
Now in his third season with the Cubs, Chatwood has been hot and cold. He has struggled mightily over the last two seasons with his walk percentage. This is the main reason why Cubs fans have been frustrated with his overall performance.
Last year, he was better than in 2018. But, that could be attributed to his mostly coming out of the bullpen.
Now, the Cubs are depending on him as a starter once more.
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Sunday afternoon against Milwaukee, he started strong. In the first inning, Chatwood earned two strikeouts. He did walk a batter in that initial inning, which gave fans a little reason to worry. But, overall, it was a pleasant beginning.
In the second, he followed it up with a 1-2-3 inning. He continued his strong play into the third inning, having retired nine of his first 10 batters. In the third, he showed the ability to battle back from a 3-0 count against Orlando Arcia. After pulling the count to 3-2, Arcia grounded out. It was an impressive part in Chatwood’s overall solid performance.
All in all, Chatwood struck out eight batters in six innings pitched, allowing just one run on three hits. He also walked just two batters, which fans (and the team) can definitely live with.
The Cubs gave their pitching staff plenty of run support, too, beating the Brewers 9-1. After Chatwood exited the game, Chicago’s bullpen took over and handled Milwaukee swimmingly. In fact, the pen didn’t give up a single hit in the final three innings.
If the Cubs are going to get the Chatwood they saw on Sunday on a more consistent basis, their playoff chances increase greatly. Actually, their chances at competing for more than just a playoff spot increase. Chatwood has always caused uncertainty, especially amongst fans.
But, if he can stay within the zone like he did Sunday afternoon, he’ll give these Cubs a solidified starter, just as they thought they’d have when they signed Chatwood back before the 2018 season.