That’s another series loss for the Cubs, and while this one is QUITE a bit more excusable than the last one, that doesn’t make it good.
Young players developing. Sometimes it looks amazing (like last time out) and sometimes it looks inconsistent and command-free. That was the night for Ethan Roberts, who was on the mound for this game’s transition from late and close to just over. David Ross let him stay out there and battle to finish the inning once things had gone sideways, and hopefully the developmental value of things like that pay off long-term.
Drew Smyly looked really good tonight against his old mates, getting a season-high 13 whiffs, and continuing to get a ton of ground balls. He did make two mistakes over the heart of the plate, though, and paid for them:
Drew Smyly has pitched pretty well, but two mistakes got punished. At least they were only solo shots. pic.twitter.com/bdtr6nXY3l
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) April 29, 2022
The Cubs remain cautious about letting some of their starters stay in to face the opposing lineup a third time, so once the lineup turned over, Smyly got a couple batters and that was it. A bit of trouble in the 5th, and Scott Effross came on to clean it up, as he does. It was the right decision, all things considered, but as the bullpen size shrinks in the coming weeks, the Cubs may have to start letting these guys try to make it through the third time on a night when they’re otherwise looking solid and the pitch count is still low.
Unfortunately, those two solo homers would’ve been enough for the Braves tonight, because offensively, the Cubs did almost nothing. Kyle Wright is pretty darn good. So we’ll just go with that …