The guy did it again last night.
Invariably this year, when the Cubs need a pitcher who can go multiple innings in an emergency, Tyler Chatwood has been that guy. And invariably – whether it was the fill-in start against the Angels in that make-up game, whether it was taking the Jon Lester start at the last minute when he got sick, or whether it was taking over for an ineffective Cole Hamels in the 4th inning last night – he’s given the Cubs a real chance to win.
Last night, he did even more than that, dominating a hot Reds lineup in their hitter-friendly home for three innings, bridging the game from a 5-5 scary tie to a laugher in favor of the Cubs.
Chatwood went 3.0 scoreless, allowing just one hit, one walk, and striking out six. The performance brought his season ERA down to a relatively sparkling 3.92 (ERA- is 11% better than league average), and it’s all the more impressive when you consider he’s done that swinging all over the place in his roles this year. The guy has been incredibly valuable.
Yo, that strikeout of Aquino, by the way? An incredibly dangerous hitter who represented the tying run? To perfectly execute that slider away in a 3-2 count, taking advantage of a young guy’s aggressiveness? It was just perfectly done.