The Cubs starting rotation situation got at least a little more interesting on Tuesday with the returns of Tyler Chatwood and José Quintana from the 10-day injured list.
Chatwood struggled with his command in his first outing since Aug. 6 and Quintana looked good for three innings before a couple hits in his fourth ended his night. Quintana’s final line was impacted after the Cubs bullpen allowed his baserunners they inherited to score.
Detroit had lost 12 of their previous 14 games entering Tuesday but came to play, beating the Cubs 7-1. Some quick takes from the game:
Right on Q?
Quintana’s season debut corresponded with Chatwood’s second straight rough start.
Chatwood made his first start off the injured list (back strain) and labored through an inning and a third. The right-hander threw 55 pitches, allowing three hits and two earned runs. He walked five while throwing 27 strikes.
"The first inning I felt good. The two walks that I had were 3-2 walks," Chatwood said postgame. "I thought one was a strikeout. They both were competitive at-bats. The second inning I felt like I was rushing through my delivery a little more, pulling sinkers — which is never a good sign."
Quintana pitched three innings, allowing four hits and three earned runs, walking one while striking out three. Two runs came across after he exited; he allowed a single and double and Casey Sadler walked a batter before surrendering a grand slam to Jonathan Schoop.
Chatwood’s last two outings, against the non-contending Royals and Tigers, haven’t gone well. He’s pitched 3 2/3 innings combined, allowing 10 earned runs on 14 hits (eight for extra bases) and five walks.
"My last outing, I felt like I didn’t throw the ball bad," he said. "I gave up a lot of hits, a lot of soft contact. Tonight, I felt like I threw the ball bad, putting guys on, not making them earn it. My stuff’s still all there."
With doubleheaders on the schedule the next two Saturdays, the Cubs don't plan any immediate rotation changes. They could face a decision within the next week or two, and Quintana’s night was promising while Chatwood didn't do himself any favors.
Any talks of the Cubs offense turning a metaphorical corner following Monday’s outburst were quelled on Tuesday.
A night after erupting for nine runs on 12 hits, the Cubs scored once against a Tigers pitching staff that entered the day with a 6.01 ERA — worst in baseball. The Cubs tallied four hits, left seven runners on base and went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
One positive to take away from the night? Javy Báez extended his hitting streak to five games, the longest such streak for him this season.
For the kids
"Definitely for any kids out there, get used to taking ground balls at any part of the field." –Cubs infielder Nico Hoerner, who’s played second base, third and shortstop this season.
The Cubs and Tigers finish off their three-game series on Wednesday. Jon Lester and Michael Fulmer are the probable starters. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 p.m.