Here’s the suspicious thing. Brett almost never misses a game, but tonight one of his kiddos “supposedly” had an outdoor dance performance. If you ask me, he knew this was coming. Alas, it is my duty to inform you of whatever the Cubs call tonight’s performance. Where to begin?
I suppose we might as well start with Tyler Chatwood, who, after two great outings to start the year (a combined 6 hits and 19 strikeouts over 12.2 innings pitched) was absolutely torched all night. The good news is this was absolutely not “old Chatwood” at it again, as his command was largely fine. In fact, he was probably in the zone too often tonight.
Just check out these exit velocities:
Five balls over 99 MPH, ten balls over 90 MPH. He was hit with some bad luck, no doubt about it, but anyone watching this game knows he left one too many over the heart of the plate and was punished for it. It happens. He’s just going to have to move on from this one.
Of course, it barely mattered what Chatwood did tonight, because the Royals starter, Brad Keller, was making Cubs hitters look silly. He ultimately went just 5.0 innings, but he was out after just 75 pitches in what was his 2020 debut (he missed the first two weeks of the season after testing positive COVID-19).
Nico Hoerner did have a chance to put the Cubs back in the game with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the 4th inning, but he watched a meatball fly down the middle at 3-1 and ultimately made some weak contact on what should’ve been ball four. That was about it for the Cubs offense (until some garbage runs in the top of the 9th).
After Hoerner’s out, David Ross replaced some regulars with his reserves on the bench and the game just continued to get out of hand after that (Duane Underwood Jr. was not great in relief).
On the bright side, Ryan Tepera looked pretty good tonight and Dan Winkler was looking good until Jorge Soler crushed a hanging breaking ball for his third homer of the season, making it 12-0 Royals.
And yet somehow, none of the above was the most notable part of the game. That honor is reserved for Craig Kimbrel, who came into the bottom of the 8th inning of a 12-0 game and immediately gave up a rocket triple (106 MPH), a walk, and an RBI single, before getting his three outs. On the bright side, he did get not one, but TWO swings on his curveball, both of which ended in outs (a swinging strikeout and a groundout) … though he did throw seven by my count, so I believe that’s 2 swings out of 30 for the year. Progress?
ANOTHER BATTER SWUNG AT A CRAIG KIMBREL CURVEBALL in 2020 AND MISSED IT. AND YOU THOUGHT THIS GAME WAS A SNOOZEFEST.
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) August 7, 2020
Let’s call it progress.
At least the Cubs scored a couple in the 9th ….