When Drew Smyly signed with the Cubs after the 2017 season, many of us thought that he was an intriguing “buy low” signing. He was coming off of Tommy John surgery and it was known that he was unlikely to contribute in any meaningful way in the 2018 season. But, with the some patience by the Cubs and a lot of hard work by Drew, he might add surplus value in 2019.
It didn’t work out that way on either end. The Cubs traded him before the 2019 season (to save a few bucks) and Smyly was largely ineffective for the Rangers, the team he was traded to. Drew bounced around in 2020 before landing with the Braves after the season. There, Drew contributed 11 wins to a team that went on to be a World Series winner.
Now Drew is back with the Cubs and looking to extend his playing and contributing days. The lefty is only 32 years old and so there should still be some mileage left in that arm. Certainly on Tuesday afternoon in Pittsburgh, he was an effective starter. He threw five scoreless innings, allowing three hits and no walks. He hung around just long enough to pick up the win.
That win was possible because Seiya Suzuki was hitting two more homers. That gives him three of them as well as eight runs batted in over his first four games. Looking at “pace” after four games is silly, of course. But it’s fun to see that Seiya is on pace for 120+ homers and 320+ RBI. So much nonsense in that. But a tremendous start to the American professional portion of Suzuki’s career.
This game was quick, finishing in 2:51 and fairly efficient. As a result, I’m going to withhold my growing worries about the potency of the offense. This was a good one and the team is off to a 3-1 start with the one loss being by a single run. I think I want to just enjoy it a little longer and deal with the bigger picture reality of things a little later.
Let’s get to the numbers.
Game 4, April 12: Cubs 2 at Pirates 1 (3-1)
Reminder: Heroes and Goats are determined by WPA scores and are in no way subjective.
- Superhero: Drew Smyly (.277). 5IP (18 batters), 3H, K (W 1-0)
- Hero: Seiya Suzuki (.226). 2-4, 2HR, 2RBI, 2R, K
- Sidekick: David Robertson (.184). IP (3 batters), (Sv 2)
- Billy Goat: Nick Mardigal (-.098). 0-4, DP
- Goat: Patrick Wisdom (-.090). 0-3, BB, 3K, CS
- Kid: Clint Frazier (-.084). 1-4, 2B, DP
WPA Play of the Game: Seiya Suzuki homered leading off the fifth inning to break a scoreless tie. (.151)
*Pirates Play of the Game: Bryan Reynolds had a solo homer with two outs in the eighth to cut the Cubs lead to 1 (2-1). (.100)
Up Next: Kyle Hendricks will make his second start of the year, seeking his first win of the year. He’ll face Zach Thompson for the Pirates as the Cubs try to sweep the mini two game set.
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
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