The Cubs Whiffed Badly on a Rundown, Chatwood Mixed Outing, and Other Bullets

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The Cubs Whiffed Badly on a Rundown, Chatwood Mixed Outing, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I was already gonna be hurting today thanks to Monday’s very late night, and then another night game last night. But then I had a crummy night’s sleep and had to get up early this morning. I feel like a baboon’s butt looks.

  • So, the Cubs would have lost anyway, but boy oh boy did they screw up a rundown last night:

  • That started well enough, with a great play by Javy Baez to catch Christian Yelich in no man’s land. From there, you could argue Kris Bryant fired the ball too quickly, but he was off-balance and Yelich is quick. I have no real beef there. Addison Russell’s return throw was also early, but also fine in my view, because he’s heading toward the lead base. And that’s when things get screwy, because Tyler Chatwood just runs Yelich back to second base without a throw. In the moment, I was pretty pissed at Chatwood for what looked like an obvious mistake, but I now realize he was doing the right thing – because Lorenzo Cain had also arrived at second base. Run Yelich back, tag them both, one is out. So the real screwup was in not having someone stationed at first base the entire time, allowing Cain to take off back to first (great play by him).
  • Who should it have been? I’d assume Anthony Rizzo or Jason Heyward, right? I know it’s a bit of an unusual play, and everyone is instinctively heading to the rundown to get next in line, but someone’s gotta see an unmanned first base and get there long before Cain has an opportunity to head back. Rizzo had gone to help at home plate because Willson Contreras had gone to back up third, and Heyward was headed to back up second base. So I guess the answer is Heyward should have gone to first? But then if a throw sails in the rundown, the Cubs are really screwed. So maybe instead the answer is: get Yelich out more quickly.
  • As for Tyler Chatwood’s start, like I thought last night, it was probably one of his better ones lately, though that isn’t saying much. You can see in his strike zone plot that he had fewer non-competitive balls than usual, especially after the first inning, and he did get 12 whiffs. Sometimes, I find the quality of his stuff and diversity of his pitches more frustrating – he’s really good! But he just can’t locate those pitches, especially his fastballs.
  • Only two walks, eh? Dropped his walk rate just under 20% to 19.9%, eh? So … uh … hooray?
  • Chatwood also had several coulda-been-shoulda-been called strikes, and they weren’t all of the “oh, he’s just too wild to get that call” variety. Heck, two of them came in Travis Shaw’s two decisive at bats.
  • The Cubs actually lost twice to the Brewers yesterday:

  • This is really more of a rebuilding year for the Cubs’ Wives, though, so this is OK. That first round pick next year is gonna be huge.
  • Dodgers young stud Walker Buehler has a rib injury that will likely keep him off the Cubs’ plate when they face the Dodgers both times later this month.
  • This is extremely awesome. OK, so a warning up front that there’s naughty language, so don’t listen at work with your speakers on full blast. This is a video of the moment Noah Syndergaard got an early boot for throwing behind Chase Utley, the first time the Mets had faced him since he slid into Ruben Tejada in the playoffs the year before and broke the infielder’s leg. It is an incredible behind-the-scenes look at what happened on the field:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.