Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (4/16/21): Cubs 2, Braves 5 – Davies Struggles Again in Short Outing
Zach Davies took the mound in the first game of the series against Atlanta’s Kyle Wright, looking to bounce back after a rough outing on April 10 against Pittsburgh.
Early on, Davies had a good feel for his changeup and threw it consistently for strikes. However, the command of his other pitches was the issue as he allowed a walk in each of the first three innings and saw his pitch count rise early. The Braves were able to break through against Davies for one run in the 3rd and three more in the 4th.
Jason Adam and Pedro Strop both worked scoreless frames before Atlanta tacked on another run off Dillon Maples in the 7th. Rex Brothers pitched a perfect 8th and Justin Steele got through the 9th unscathed in what was a solid outing for the bullpen. As a group, they went five innings allowing one earned run, two hits, and five walks with six strikeouts.
On offense, the Cubs continued their struggles at the plate. In both the 1st and 2nd innings they had two runners on with no outs but only managed to score one run. Willson Contreras hit a moonshot to left field through the teeth of the wind but that was as close as the Cubs would get. (Box Score)
Willy hits back.@BinnysBev pic.twitter.com/e7v3lTKUEu
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 16, 2021
Why the Cubs Lost
Poor starting pitching and the Cubs failing to hit with runners on base led to the loss.
In the bottom of the 1st inning, the Cubs had a chance to jump on Wright and drive in some early runs. Ian Happ began the frame with a leadoff single, followed by Contreras being hit by a pitch. Anthony Rizzo advanced the runners to 2nd and 3rd with a groundout to second base but Wright bounced back, striking out Kris Bryant and getting Joc Pederson to loft a lazy fly ball to center field.
In the 2nd, Javier Baez was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, followed by a Jason Heyward single to right, giving the Cubs runners on 1st and 3rd with nobody out. Eric Sogard came to the plate and lifted a fly ball to right-center, driving in Baez with a sacrifice fly. Davies then advanced Heyward to second base with a sacrifice bunt but Contreras ended the inning with a groundout and the Cubs were unable to add to their lead.
Stats That Matter
- Davies had his second rough start in a row: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 1 K
- Contreras had a nice day at the plate: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, HR
- The Cubs offense, excluding Contreras, was anemic: 4-for-29 (.138), 11 K, 12 LOB, 0 extra base-hits
It feels like we’re beating a dead horse, but you can’t win if you can’t hit and, recently, the starting pitching has also begun to deteriorate. That’s a bad combination, one which isn’t conducive to winning.
Trevor Williams (1-1, 6.75 ERA) squares off on Saturday against Huascar Ynoa (0-0, 0.75 ERA). Williams is 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA in three career starts against Atlanta. The first pitch is scheduled for 1:20 CT on Marquee and 670 The Score.