Cubs shutout again, set mark for K's through 5 games

by - Correspondent -
David Kohl - USA Today Sports
David Kohl - USA Today Sports

CINCINNATI -- Newcomer Tyler Chatwood made his debut for the Cubs in Cincinnati, and despite allowing only one run, earned the loss in a 1-0 shutout.

Chatwood's final line of four hits, one run, six walks, and four strikeouts over six innings wasn't bad at all. Those six walks put him in a rough spot early in the first and fifth innings, but he managed to wiggle himself out. Chatwood lost the shutout in the fourth inning when Eugenio Suarez hit a ball off the center field wall, and Ian Happ misplayed it. Suarez made it to third standing up. The next batter, Adam Duvall, weakly grounded the ball to Kris Bryant which allowed Suarez enough time to make it home. That lead was the Reds' first this year.

All in all, Chatwood's stuff looked great, but his control was off. Many solid pitches ended up dropping in the dirt or tailing away from the plate more than they should have. He pitched well enough to get a win, but the offense was just not there to back him.

Ian Happ has continued to struggle in the leadoff position. Including today's game, Happ had ten strikeouts in his first 17 at-bats while sporting a lowly .125 batting average. It is still a small sample size, but he is looking as much flustered up there as Schwarber did last year. Other Cubs hitters have been hot, though, as Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, and the aforementioned Schwarber have all hit around .300 to start the season. Schwarber has had good patience working a walk today from a 0-2 count.

The Cubs had a chance in the top of the eighth, loading the bases with two out. Ben Zobrist walked, Happ singled, and then Bryan Price relieved Wandy Peralta for flamethrowing Raisel Iglesias to pitch to Bryant. Iglesias walked him on four pitches but struck out Anthony Rizzo on a 95 mph heater through the middle of the zone.

Overall, the Cubs have struck out 58 times through the first five games which is a new National League record.

"At the end of the day, it's on us. It's not on the hitting coach. They can talk to us until we're blue in the face but if we don't pick it up and apply it.....his job is only that," said Jason Heyward before the game.

Usually the Cubs crush Reds' pitching in Great American Ballpark, but they have scuffled in the batter's box. They will have to figure it out before going to Milwaukee for a four-game stretch that could set the tone of the division race early. The Cubs are already 2.5 games back of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the standings. However, don't fret Cubs fans as there are still 157 games in the season.

Tomorrow the Cubs will pitch Lester (0-0, 8.10 ERA) against Cody Reed (0-0, 0.00 ERA). Game time is 5:40 PM CDT.

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