Tyler Chatwood took the hill for the Cubs in a spot start in the series finale versus the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday. With Lester on the IL, Maddon made the move in order to push back the starts of lefties José Quintana and Cole Hamels as the Cubs line up to face the lefty-heavy Dodgers lineup in the series starting on Tuesday.
Chatwood got off to a shaky start when his first pitch of the game bounced past the catcher. He’d end up walking the leadoff batter, but still delivered a quality start of six scoreless innings to give the Cubs a chance to win.
Javier Báez, who had been hitless thus far in the series, went 2-for-3 and scored the winning run on a David Bote walkoff single. After the game, Bote credited Báez saying, “When he [Báez] goes, we go”, echoing Cubs manager Joe Maddon‘s old mantra about former leadoff man Dexter Fowler.
Why the Cubs Won
Chatwood allowed no runs on two hits with two bases on balls and three strikeouts in six innings pitched. Javier Báez provided the Cubs’ offense with an RBI triple in the bottom of the 6th inning to score the go-ahead run. He also had a leadoff double in the bottom of the 9th inning and eventually scored the winning run.
Pedro Strop failed to convert the save, allowing a game-tying solo home run by Jarrod Dyson in the top of the 9th inning. He retired the next two batters to allow no further damage and put the Cubs in position for the walkoff win.
Báez led off for the Cubs in the bottom of the 9th, doubling to right field and advancing to third when Jones bobbled the ball, giving the Cubs a great chance to win by simply putting the next ball in play. After Diamondbacks’ pitcher Archie Bradley hit Willson Contreras, Bote stepped to the plate and singled to center field to give the Cubs a victory. (Box Score)
Stats that Matter
- Tyler Chatwood had a quality start and only walked two D-backs hitters – 6 IP, 2 H, 3 K, 2 BB
- Báez went 2-for-3 with an RBI and scored the winning run
- Anthony Rizzo had a nice game that could be the start of his turnaround – 2-for-3, 1 R, double
Chatwood was very efficient and pitched a gem to silence the haters, at least for now. It was a pity that he was not fully stretched out and couldn’t go deeper into the game. Strop’s blown save spoiled Chatwood’s chance to record the victory but his effectiveness today could prove big for the Cubs going forward.
The Cubs host the Los Angeles Dodgers for a three-game series starting on Tuesday, April 23. José Quintana will oppose Kenta Maeda and look to continue his scoreless innings streak with another quality start. Fans in the Chicago area can watch on NBC Sports or listen on 670 The Score. Out-of-market fans can watch on MLB Network.