As Sunday’s game between the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates was winding to a close with a 7-1 Pirates win, Pat Hughes was on the radio saying the Cubs were losing 2 of 3 to the “lowly Pittsburgh Pirates”.
Don’t look now, Pat…the Cubs are pretty damn lowly themselves.
After the Cubs returned the favor of ruining the Pirates’ home opener with a 4-2 win behind Jake Arrieta managing to scuffle through 6 innings stranding a fuckload of baserunners, the rest of the weekend was a hot mess.
Let’s get to this:
Kris Bryant. 3-for-10 on the weekend with a home run and a double. Unless the Cubs pull themselves together, KB will almost certainly be plying his trade elsewhere by late summer. He’s healthy and he’s hitting.
Javier Baez. 5-for-11 with a pair of home runs. He has now joined Bryant on the list of Cubs who have an OPS in the young season over .800. San Diego is probably calling every day asking if he’s available yet.
Alec Mills. He came in and stopped the bleeding on Saturday with 2 1/3 innings of scoreless ball. He’s done both long relief and short relief so far this season. It’s a pretty safe guess that he’ll be in the rotation before long.
Trevor Williams. Sure, maybe he had butterflies coming back into Pittsburgh. Yeah, maybe after his great outing last week he was due for a letdown. Or most likely, he was Trevor Williams doing Trevor Williams things. I get it, he was pretty goof in 2017 and 2018. But that was a while ago. We’re probably going to get some mix of that and 2020 Trevor Williams this season. Pretty good some games, pretty bad in others. Which one will show up each time out is anyone’s guess.
Zach Davies. Last week the Pirates gave Kyle Hendricks a tough day at the office. This weekend it was Davies. In both cases, too many balls were being left over the plate, which made them look like pumpkins to the Pittsburgh hitters. Davies at least has the track record to indicate that this probably won’t continue.
This was not a great weekend for the people in the replay room. They rang up Willson Contreras on a baserunner interference call where there was no contact and Contreras was able to touch the bag the day after saying Toronto’s Jonathan Davis did not commit interference despite having his legs out to take out the Angels’ shortstop (Contreras had his legs tucked). Then in the pièce de résistance for the weekend, the game between the Braves and Phillies ended when the replay room looked at a play at the plate where they ruled Philadelphia’s Alec Bohm was safe, despite never having touched home plate.
Now the Cubs head up to Milwaukee to face the Brewers for three games, sending Adbert Alzolay, Hendricks and Arrieta to the bump. It’s a little early to say any series is crucial, but dropping more than one game before coming back to Chicago for a tough homestand is probably not how they drew it up.