Davies offer theory on slow starts by Cubs' control pitchers

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks winds up in the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday, June 1, 2021, in Chicago.

    Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks winds up in the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday, June 1, 2021, in Chicago. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 6/1/2021 8:14 PM

Zach Davies and Kyle Hendricks were both really bad in April. Davies' April ERA was 9.47, while Hendricks was at 7.54.

They both turned things around dramatically in May. Davies posted a 1.72 ERA in May, with Hendricks at 2.67. Not coincidentally, the Cubs produced a 19-8 record as a team in May.

 

Davies talked about turning things around after his last start.

"April was a tough month for me," he said. "It's not something you want to continue, but you've been there before. You know that it turns around, you focus harder with mechanics and pitch execution and it will come. So I know from experience that it's been a slow start for me in years past and that helps. But it's a long season. A lot can change pretty quickly."

Traditionally, both Hendricks and Davies are slow starters, with a higher career ERA than any other month.

"Especially command guys, the beginning of the year with the cold, a lack of feel with fingers and throwing each pitch, sometimes it's tough," Davies said. "But you've got to work through it, you've got to try and right the ship. Kyle, you've seen the transition he's made."

Davies also shared his thoughts on the "third time through the order" argument. Hendricks has had some long outings this season, while Davies has been pull at times before that third trip through the opposing lineup.

"I think there are numbers that kind of back that up," Davies said. "At the same time, some guys might only face one or two guys the third time through the order and those guys end up scoring, so you don't really have an opportunity to change those numbers back to norms. You don't have a chance to work through innings sometimes and kind of average out your numbers.

"We're trying to win ballgames. That's not my decision to make, that's not any starting pitcher's decision to make. When Rossy wants to make the move, that's his decision."

Twitter: @McGrawDHBulls

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