Davies had the second-worst outing of his career Sunday night against the White Sox, and unfortunately for him the worst was earlier this year against the Pirates. So that gives the Cubs the two worst Davies starts ever and the worst year of his career.
Tim Anderson hit Davies’ first pitch of the game into the bleachers in right. A single and a strikeout later, Eloy Jimenez homered. A walk followed and then a third home run of the inning, by Andrew Vaughn.
If you’re counting (and I wasn’t, but here you go anyway), that’s five White Sox runs on 19 pitches. And that wasn’t even the worst Cubs first inning this year!
The Cubs are the only MLB team to allow multiple 3+ HR 1st innings so far this season— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) August 8, 2021
Also did so on 4/18, when Kyle Hendricks allowed 4 in the 1st vs the Braves...also on Sunday Night Baseball
Kyle Hendricks, though, recovered from his horrid April to have a fine season. Davies got a bit better, for a time, but over his last 10 starts: 7.04 ERA, 1.711 WHIP, 11 home runs in 47⅓ innings. Blech. And that 10-start stretch includes his six no-hit innings in the combined no-hitter against the Dodgers June 24.
Davies wasn’t done being awful, either; after a pair of singles in the second, Jimenez doubled down the left-field line to make it 7-0.
Well, you know this game is over at that point.
But after the top of the second — “after Davies,” per the headline — the Cubs outscored the White Sox 3-2.
Well, not yay, obviously, that doesn’t give you anything but style points, and not many of those. But there were a couple of Cubs highlights.
The Cubs got two men on base via walks in the bottom of the second, and they each moved up a base on a wild pitch by Dylan Cease. With two out, David Ross sent Frank Schwindel up to bat for Davies and he came through [VIDEO].
The Cubs plated another run in the third. Willson Contreras doubled with one out, and three batters later, Greg Deichmann drove him in [VIDEO].
A tip o’ the cap to Deichmann on his first major-league RBI.
At 7-3 a couple of stray thoughts entered my head that, “Say, maybe the Cubs can make a game of this,” but no. After the third inning the Cubs had just one baserunner, on a two-out single by Sergio Alcántara in the sixth.
The Cubs bullpen combined for seven innings and allowed three hits and two runs, with three walks and five strikeouts. That’s... not terrible. So, yay?
I suppose, yay. These games are in essence extended auditions for many who might have a chance to make the 2022 Cubs. To me, the key one of those relievers was Manuel Rodriguez, who had an up-and-down outing. He hit Adam Engel with his first pitch (up and in at 97, scary!) and eventually got three groundouts, with a run scoring. Rodriguez, I believe, can be an effective pitcher at this level, maybe even a future closer, if he can harness control and command of his pitches. Still a work in progress.
Cubs hitters struck out 16 more times Sunday and 45 overall in this series and have struck out in double figures in six of the eight games this month (and nine times each in the other two). I suppose that’s not too unexpected from a “team” cobbled together from waiver claims.
Regarding Davies, he’s apparently going to stay in the rotation, as the Cubs noted Sunday that they’d be going to a six-man rotation starting Tuesday with the recall of Justin Steele, who will start against the Brewers that day. Really, I don’t see the point in continuing to give Davies starts. But, here we are.
Monday, the Cubs begin a series against the Brewers at Wrigley Field, weather permitting (and right now, it doesn’t look too promising). Alec Mills will start for the Cubs and Freddy Peralta is the scheduled starter for the Brewers. Game time is 7:05 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.
The Cubs’ six-man rotation plan...
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