There was no fanfare for Zach Davies as he stepped off the Wrigley Field mound Wednesday night. He received no pouring out of gratitude over social media during the Cubs’ last homestand before the trade deadline – as members of the Cubs championship core had.
Traded from the Padres over the winter as part of the package for former Cubs ace Yu Darvish, Davies hadn’t been in Chicago long enough for any of that. He simply walked to the dugout, catcher Robinson Chirinos giving him a pat on the back before they descended the stairs.
In the Cubs' 8-2 loss to the Reds on Wednesday, what could have been Davies' last start in a Cubs uniform, the right-hander allowed four runs in six innings.
Two days before the trade deadline, Davies brushed off a question about whether he’d wondered if he’d make Wednesday's start at all for the Cubs.
“Everybody knows it's there, with everything going on with the (Friday) trade deadline,” Davies said. “But I'm out there to go and pitch my game. This is my day to pitch. So, my concern was getting ready to go out there and start a game. Whatever happens, happens.”
Maybe Davies' outing Wednesday was just one of many more to come with the Cubs this season.
Few members of this Cubs roster have been spared outside trade speculation. Davies, whose turnaround from a rough start to the season could make him enticing rotation depth elsewhere, has seen his fair share in recent weeks.
Davies has already been traded three times in his career, including twice in the past two years.
“I think the biggest thing was that anything can happen at any time,” Davies said of what he learned from those experiences.
For all the buildup to the trade deadline, stoked by the Cubs’ 11-game losing streak ahead of the All-Star break, the days since Chafin’s trade have been relatively quiet.
Top trade candidates Kris Bryant and Craig Kimbrel donned their white pinstriped jerseys Wednesday along with the rest of their teammates. Bryant even added a sixth position to his resume this season, replacing Nico Hoerner at shortstop when Hoerner left the game with right oblique tightness.
Davies took the mound just as he was scheduled to do.
“I don’t even remember his line,” Cubs manager David Ross said after the game, a reflection of just how long the hot and sticky night at Wrigley Field had felt.
Davies struck out eight but also fell victim to Reds cleanup hitter Joey Votto’s hot bat. Votto extended his home run streak to five games, logging back-to-back multi-homer games for the first time in his career. The first came against Davies.
The Reds did their most damage against Davies in the fifth, with three straight base hits. He left after the next inning, before the game got out of hand.
“For me,” Davies said after the game, “it's really just, go out there, if I have a job to that day, that's what I’m going to do. And let management and the front office decide what the team is going to do.”