Enhanced Box Score: Brewers 8, Cubs 3 – July 25, 2020
We’ll see what we see as the season goes on, but today had the hallmarks of an early-2019 Yu Darvish start: nasty stuff and great velocity, but a total inability to locate much of anything. Usually, Darvish can at least throw his slider and cutter for a strike at will – it’s the fastball that gets away from him – but through four innings today, he definitely could not. And yet he was getting results because of some eager Brewers who could not hit his nasty stuff. But eventually, it bites you, as it did in the 4th, when some wildness cost him a couple runs, and wound up ending his day very early.
From there, the bullpen showed its warts, with each of the first three subsequent relievers yielding runs. I don’t think you can say you are any more or less worried about (or intrigued by) the bullpen than you were yesterday, but today does underscore the rub: we always knew there was a risk of blowing games early while the relievers sorted themselves out … but this year, there is ONLY “early.” We’re going to suffer through some more pain like today, my friends. (Rex Brothers and Dillon Maples actually looked really good today, but the game was already out of reach by then – so, as always, you question how much you learned.)
Offensively, the Cubs had some big opportunities to change the flow of the game, didn’t cash in. Kris Bryant and Jason Heyward continued their hitless start to the season, forcing me to chant to myself: “It’s just two games, it’s just two games ….”