It was more of the same for the Cubs at a soggy SunTrust Park in Atlanta Thursday night. Another bullpen implosion combined with a dominant Braves pitching effort turned the game into a rout in the middle innings.
I could go into further detail, but that would just be painful to everyone involved. Suffice to say it wasn’t a lot of fun at the ballpark for a fifth straight game. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
The Cubs offense never really threatened to score until a four-run rally in the 9th inning when the game was over. Yu Darvish pitched well early, before running into trouble in the bottom of the 5th inning.
Darvish allowed a double to Ender Inciarte and walked Josh Donaldson with none out in the 5th, at which point Joe Maddon pulled his starter despite having only thrown 71 pitches. Carl Edwards Jr. got the nod and it went poorly again. He walked two and chased a run home with a wild pitch. Tyler Chatwood replaced Edwards and quickly allowed a bases-clearing double to make it a 5-0 runaway.
Stats That Matter
- Darvish displayed better control and overall looked okay if not good: 4 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 4 BB, 2 K. Maddon will be questioned for using a quick hook, especially with the ‘pen being such a mess.
- Mark Zagunis had two hits, which were the only two for the Cubs before the much-too-late 9th inning rally.
- Edwards just looks lost at the moment. His pitches in the 5th inning weren’t even close to the zone. He seemed to lean heavily on his curve despite having no feel for it. I’m just not sure what the Cubs can do with him at the moment.
Things could not have started worse for the Cubs in 2019. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong the first six games. That is the craziest thing, it’s only been six games! It feels like July, but it’s just a week into the season. It would be nice to see a flicker of something this weekend in Milwaukee, which suddenly feels like a big ask.
The Cubs head to Miller Park to battle the red-hot Brewers for three games starting Friday at 7:10pm CT. Jose Quintana makes his first start of 2019 against hard-throwing Brandon Woodruff. WGN will have the television coverage and 670 The Score has the radio broadcast.