The Cubs came into Saturday’s game against Arizona on a season-high four-game winning streak. Starting pitching has been the key factor in the hot stretch, with three consecutive scoreless outings from the rotation. Chicago got a taste of it’s own shutout medicine at a breezy Wrigley as Zack Greinke dominated on the mound.
Yu Darvish ran into immediate trouble in the top of the 1st inning. After Jarrod Dyson was thrown out trying to extend a single into a double, Eduardo Escobar and David Peralta hit back-to-back homers to make it 2-0. Dyson added a sacrifice fly in the 2nd to make the lead three.
That was more than enough for Greinke, who had the Cubs off balance all day. The only scoring chance came in the 4th after a Kris Bryant double. Jason Heyward batted with two on and two out, but struck out looking to end the inning.
Allen Webster relieved Darvish in the 6th and did not fare well. The Diamondbacks scored their fourth run when Christian Walker came home on ground ball to third. Bryant threw home ahead of the runner and Willson Contreras dropped the ball, then appeared to be limping after Walker slid into his leg. Luckily he remained in the game.
Why the Cubs Lost
Giving up early runs definitely did not help the Cubs’ cause. The reality was that Greinke was just too good Saturday. Chicago would have needed near perfection to get over on him, and that just wasn’t the case.
Hard to find an exact turning point in this contest, but I’ll say the bottom of the 4th. Getting a runner on second with none out was the only real chink in the armor for Greinke. Failing to take advantage of that probably sealed the home team’s fate.
Stats That Matter
- Darvish settled down and was fine in his outing: 5 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 7 K. He only threw 88 pitches, so it’s a fair question to ask if he should have gotten the 6th inning.
- Bryant reached twice again with a walk in addition to his double.
Saturday was one of those games a team just isn’t going to win. The other side had their ace pitcher rolling and there was nothing the offense could do. Got to just shake it off and move on to the next one.
The rubber match of the series is Sunday at 1:20pm CT as Tyler Chatwood gets the fill-in start against lefty Robbie Ray. NBC Sports Chicago has the television feed and 670 The Score provides radio coverage.