Right-han­der yields eight runs, 11 hits as Cubs’ win streak ends

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - RUS­SELL DORSEY rdorsey@sun­ | @Russ_Dorsey1

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.

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