Tyler Chatwood struggles with command in Cubs’ loss to Reds
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MESA, Ariz. — Cubs right-hander Tyler Chatwood, who lost his rotation job last year because of a franchise-record 8.2 walks per nine innings, fell into old habits in the second inning Tuesday night, failing to finish the inning as the Cincinnati Reds scored four runs on the way to a 12-3 rout of the Cubs at Sloan Park.
After a 1-2-3 first, Chatwood ended a streak of 25 batters faced without a walk by walking Kyle Farmer on five pitches leading off the second – the first of three in the inning for him.
A single and fly ball later, he walked Connor Joe on four pitches to load the bases – then overthrew the catcher on an ensuing chopper back to the mound.
Then came a two-run single and a walk to Jesse Winker – Chatwood’s last batter.
Starter Jose Quintana, who was scheduled to throw a simulated game on a practice field, got “four innings” done in a covered bullpen on a rainy day.
He threw 60 pitches and said his emphasis this spring on improving his changeup for increased use during the season continued to progress well.
“It’s way better,” he said. “I have more confidence every time I throw it.”
Carl Edwards Jr. set the Reds down in order in the fifth inning, finishing by fanning Connor Joe.
Growing increasingly comfortable with a hesitation move in his delivery he adopted to improve his command, he hasn’t walked a batter in four outings so far, with five strikeouts.
After pitching twice in simulated games, swingman Mike Montgomery made his spring Cactus League debut, pitching a shaky third inning before finishing a two-inning stint by retiring the Reds’ 1-2-3 hitters on two grounders and a fly ball.
Montgomery gave up a homer to Farmer, the first batter he faced, and after the next batter reached on an error, Montgomery picked him off. But two more hits and another error allowed another Reds run.
Cubs at Athletics, Mesa, Arizona, 3:05 p.m. Wednesday, cubs.com radio, Jon Lester vs. Mike Fiers.