CHATWOOD NOT GOOD
Right-hander yields eight runs, 11 hits as Cubs’ win streak ends
Like much of the Cubs’ rotation, right-hander Tyler Chatwood hadn’t gone through much adversity in 2020. He had looked sharp in his first two starts but hit a rough patch Thursday against the Royals.
Chatwood was on the wrong end of a blowout at Kauffman Stadium, as the Royals battered him for eight runs in a 13-2 victory that ended the Cubs’ six-game winning streak.
‘‘I made good pitches, they hit them,’’ Chatwood said. ‘‘I made bad pitches, they hit them.’’
The Royals made Chatwood work. And while there wasn’t a ton of hard contact against him early, the Royals had three runs and six hits against him in the first two innings.
The biggest hit in the first two innings came off the bat of infielder Whit Merrifield, who lined a hanging breaking ball from Chatwood off the left-field foul pole for a two-run home run to put the Cubs in an early 3-0 hole.
The Royals then put the barrel of the bat on the ball in the third, chasing Chatwood in a six-run inning.
‘‘I actually thought he was throwing the ball pretty good,’’ manager David Ross said. ‘‘There were a couple of moments, some balls found some holes. The stuff looked good from the side. It’s tough to see here . . . exactly where the balls are going.
‘‘I thought he threw the ball really well. I think they had seven or so twostrike hits and both homers with two strikes.’’
After a quick out to start the third, the Royals put together five consecutive hits, with four of them going for extra bases. After an RBI double by Nick Heath made it 7-0, Ross finally came to get Chatwood.
Chatwood’s final line wasn’t pretty. He allowed eight runs and 11 hits, struck out four and walked none in 2„ innings. The ugly outing saw his ERA balloon from 0.71 to 5.40.
‘‘I had a chance to get out of it [in the second inning],’’ Chatwood said. ‘‘I gave up a leadoff double and struck two guys out. Made a bad pitch to Merrifield, and he hit it for a homer.
‘‘Then in the third, I made some good pitches. They found holes, and then I left a couple of cutters [over the] middle that they barreled up for extra-base hits.”
Part of Chatwood’s new-andimproved repertoire in his first two starts had been his cutter, which he had used with his sinker and curveball, working it to both sides of the plate. The difference in movement among the pitches had allowed him to avoid the barrel of opposing hitters’ bats and stay away from hard contact.
The Royals’ game plan for Chatwood was apparent, as they took advantage of his cutter and curveball. Five of their 11 hits against him came on those two pitches.
‘‘I think my stuff was all still there,’’ Chatwood said. ‘‘Maybe not as sharp as I wanted to do with the sinker, but I still feel good. I feel like I was attacking, trying to execute a game plan.”
It was the first time this season a Cubs starter didn’t make it to the fourth inning and the first time the team had gone without a quality start since July 31 against the Pirates, a streak of six in a row.
‘‘Tyler’s no stranger to being out there and understands that there’s going to be some bad days,’’ Ross said. ‘‘Coming into this game, this guy was one of our best pitchers we had. This guy was dealing. You’re gonna have some nights that things just don’t go your way.’’
Tyler Chatwood leaves the mound in the third inning Thursday against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.