The Cubs continued playing great baseball to begin the 2020 season. Another great pitching effort from Yu Darvish in Kansas City earned Chicago their 10th win overall and sixth in a row.
The Royals took an early lead in the 3rd, scoring on a slickly turned double play by David Bote with runners on the corners and none out. The Cubs scored two against young Kris Bubic in the 4th inning when a Javy Báez bloop and Wilson Contreras double play produced their first offense.
Darvish really came on in the middle innings and went seven strong as Cubs starting pitching remains stellar. The Royals pitching staff matched him through seven, but ran into trouble in the 8th when a two-out error led to run-scoring singles from Báez and Contreras.
Victor Caratini and Kris Bryant each knocked in a run in the 9th inning, with Caratini huffing and puffing his way from first to home after Whit Merrifield bobbled Bryant’s hit. Jeremy Jeffress and Colin Rea (in his Cubs debut) closed out the easy win. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
Excellent starting pitching and the ability to tack on runs late is a very sound winning formula. The Cubs have had three straight starts of over seven innings for the first time since 2016.
Darvish was able to coax double plays from the Royals in the 2nd and 3rd innings, wiping out some early baserunners and allowing him settle in to his start.
Stats That Matter
- Anthony Rizzo had two hits and a walk as he continues his good early start.
- The top of the order as a whole produced; Rizzo, Bryant, and Báez each had two hits.
- Darvish has been quality so far: 7 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 4 K, and 1 BB.
The Cubs are feasting on the soft part of their schedule, which is exactly what good teams do. They have put themselves in an excellent position for when the opponents get tougher.