OSS: Darvish levels up to kinda meh.
- Willson Contreras had a big day at the plate, going 2-3 with a HR, a bases loaded walk, and a HBP. The homer followed the hit by pitch, and Willson made sure to take his time around the bases.
- David Bote actually had an even better day, WPA-wise, with an assist from Contreras. He drove in two with a double in the first inning, and knocked in a run in the fifth on a fielder’s choice where Willson legged it out to beat the throw to second base.
- Javy Baez collected three hits tonight, but the Javy being Javy highlight came when he snagged a foul ball as a baserunner. Mattingly was kind of cheesed that it might be interference but that ball was way foul.
- Darvish struggled in the early going, but seemed to find his command as the game went on. He was feeling it maybe a little too much in his final PA, raring back and chucking 98-99 mph fastballs, the last one of which got the rare magic bullet dick/neck/back combo when he lost the handle. He finished with 5.2 IP, 2 R, 4 BB, 8 SO.
- Apparently Joe’s new policy with the bullpen is to just yank guys as soon as they walk someone. I like.
- Almora went 0-4 with an intentional walk in this one, though at least he did remind everyone why he was in the lineup with a sensational catch to open the game.
- A relief pitcher got a plate appearance. Joe gotta Joe.
- Javy Baez had a rough error in the second on a potential double play. The Cubs were playing their anti-bunt defense when the pitcher swung away, which probably caught everyone relatively off guard.
Next up: Jose Quintana takes on Pablo Lopez at 6:10 PM CT. Q looked fantastic in his last start, let’s hope he keeps rolling. Or don’t. I can’t tell you what to hope for.