Tyler Chatwood has Chicago Cubs fans mesmerized over his early transformation in 2020.
Two seasons ago, Chatwood walked batters at a higher rate than any other pitcher in all of baseball. This was supposed to be the Cubs’ answer at the fifth starting pitcher. He ended up falling flat on his face more often than not.
So, to the bullpen he went in 2019.
While the year 2020 has been a wicked, cruel time for the world, Chatwood has made the most of his young season. It’s been a tough few months without sports, and with the nation facing the coronavirus pandemic. But, the moment the MLB season opened up, Chatwood appeared more ready than ever to right the ship.
Saturday night, he took the mound in his second start of the season as the Cubs squared off against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Chicago was fresh off a 6-3 win in their first game of the series on Friday, and Chatwood came into this one feeling good about himself.
After all, his first shot this season was against the Milwaukee Brewers and he came up big time — better than anyone would have anticipated. Chatwood went six innings, giving up just one run on three hits, while striking out eight and walking only two.
Saturday night, he cranked it up a notch and had us all wondering, “Where has this guy been?”
It truly has been a small dose of redemption for Chatwood, who went just over six innings again on Saturday night. He did not allow a single run, gave up just three hits and struck out a career-high 11 batters while walking two.
Chatwood’s command has looked better than ever through two starts this season. Frankly, he looks like a completely different pitcher; so much more controlled, and simply dominant.
How dominant has Chatwood been in the early going of this 2020 season? His ERA is now sitting at 0.71, which is good for the fourth-best mark across the majors. His FIP also checks in at the fourth-best at 1.04.
With Chatwood pitching surprisingly well, and the rest of the Cubs’ rotation looking formidable, this team has a real chance to do something special. As always, the only question is whether or not the bullpen can hold its own — or better yet, whether or not the front office will address it before it’s too late.