If you weren’t already doing so, feel free to panic about Zach Davies. Or, you know, just remain pissed about him being the financial offset the Padres duped the Cubs into accepting for Yu Darvish. After allowing five runs on six hits and four walks to the Braves on Monday, Davies now sports a 9.47 ERA and has walked more batters (15) than he’s struck out (14). That’s practically Chatwoodian and perhaps even a little ironic given different Davies is from the former Cubs starter.
Essentially Kyle Hendricks Light, Davies has simply been lit up this season as his sinker, change, cutter, and curve have all been lambasted. The cutter is particularly disappointing because he’s throwing it with half the frequency of last season while getting the worst per-pitch results of anything in his arsenal. The argument could be made that he grew complacent in San Diego’s perfect climate or that his lack of fat is a detriment in the cooler months of the season, but it wasn’t chilly in Atlanta.
Nor were the Braves’ bats, though Davies has been a veritable microwave when it comes to warming up opposing batters this season. With all due respect to Vinnie Johnson, Davies has been a bad boy out there. Despite getting more soft contact than ever, he’s walking too many batters and generating the lowest combination of called and swinging strikes of his career. Simply put, he’s not fooling anyone.
Maybe that improves as he settles in further, but it’s not easy to watch him get shelled while Darvish shoves for the Padres.
When it comes to pitchers the Cubs have gotten from San Diego, the news was all dreary Monday night. Trevor Megill, the 6-foot-8 righty acquired in the 2019 Rule 5 Draft, looked sensational in his MLB debut. Showcasing a 99 mph fastball — the hardest pitch recorded by a Cub this season — and a knuckle curve crafted last year in the pitch lab, Megill struck out two over an electric inning.
Even though he allowed two men to reach via walk and single, he appeared to be in control and wasn’t obviously shaken by the moment. For a Cubs bullpen that has generally lacked reliable flamethrowers, Megill represents a new wave of big-bodied pitchers who can miss bats with elite stuff.