Cubs' pitching returns a mixed bag in 7-1 loss to Tigers

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Cubs pitcher Tyler Chatwood, back from a stint on the injured list with a sore back, lasted less than two innings in the Cubs 7-1 loss to the Tigers on Tuesday night.

    Cubs pitcher Tyler Chatwood, back from a stint on the injured list with a sore back, lasted less than two innings in the Cubs 7-1 loss to the Tigers on Tuesday night. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 8/25/2020 11:13 PM

The early returns on two keys pitching returns weren't great for the Cubs on Tuesday.

Tyler Chatwood, back from a stint on the injured list with a sore back, lasted less than two innings. Jose Quintana, making his 2020 debut, did toss three good innings, before losing command and the Cubs lost to Detroit 7-1.

 

The Cubs' lone run was a homer by Willson Contreras in the ninth.

There were some positives in Quintana's return from a lacerated left thumb. He threw three scoreless innings in relief of Chatwood, then gave up a single, double and walk to start the sixth inning. Quintana's final stats looked a little worse when Casey Sadler came in and gave up a grand slam to Jonathan Schoop that put the game out of reach. Two of those runs were charged to Quintana.

"I felt great, was really good to be back," Quintana said. "A lot of emotions. Was more than a year to be back on the mound. I felt really good with my stuff. Just the last inning, I missed a couple pitches behind in the count. But I felt great."

It's not clear what's next for Quintana. He might get a start Saturday when the Cubs have a doubleheader at Cincinnati, but it's also conceivable he could stay in the bullpen, where the Cubs lack left-handed arms.

Manager David Ross was asked about the future of the rotation following the game.

"We'll keep that in-house until we make a decision on that," he said.

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Among the other questions are whether to keep Chatwood in the rotation and whether to give Adbert Alzolay another start after he had a solid debut last week.

"I want to start games and I want to help my team," Quintana said. "It's not about one or two good innings, it's about getting results, we want to win. Hopefully I'll be back in the rotation. I'll be ready for whatever situation Rossy needs me. I just want to be healthy and do my job on the mound."

Chatwood gave up 2 runs in the first inning, then left after walking the bases loaded in the second with one out. Duane Underwood came in and got out of the inning with a pair of strikeouts.

"I thought he was just searching for his rhythm," Ross said of Chatwood. "Looked like he was amped up to be out there. That's something I've seen from him in the past a couple times, just gets in a hurry trying to make that next pitch. Slowing him down, getting him back into his game rhythm, I think will be important."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Chatwood started the season with two good starts, but has struggled since then. He agreed with Ross' assessment.

"The first inning I felt good," Chatwood said. "The two walks I had were 3-2 walks. The second inning I felt like I was rushing through my delivery a little more, pulling sinkers, which is never a good sign. Just build my pitch count up and get ready for my next one."

So after a rough overall performance, the Cubs at least can take heart in having Quintana back after there was some danger he'd miss the whole season due to the thumb injury.

"Q looked great," Ross said. "I thought Q looked really sharp moving the ball in and out. I thought the breaking ball was really good, threw some nice cutters, change-ups, some backdoor breaking balls. I thought he used both sides of the plate well, the velocity was there, that was nice to see. Getting him back in the game environment was really nice."

Twitter: @McGrawDHBulls

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