Less than 24 hours after the two teams played through some ugly weather at Wrigley Field - a situation that prompted anger from both teams - the Cubs announced that Sunday afternoon's contest has been postponed due to inclement weather. The Cubs are missing Anthony Rizzo, that much is for sure.
Anibal Sanchez pitched three-hit ball over six innings, Preston Tucker backed him with a three-run homer and the Atlanta Braves spoiled Darvish's home debut with a 4-0 victory on Friday. Chicago ranked seventh in the Majors with 200 runs scored against lefties last season, and the over is 11-3-2 in their last 16 home games against a left-handed starter.
The Braves finally broke through against Darvish in the fifth, sending 10 batters to the plate.
Darvish opened the inning by striking out Ender Inciarte. After Albies doubled to right and advanced to third on a balk, Darvish struck out Freddie Freeman for the second out.
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He again moved to his right on the next play, but this time he kept the ball and sprinted around the edge for a 14-yard touchdown. Manziel opened the game, which was played in flawless conditions, with a 40-yard dime on the run.
BC-BBN-Braves-Cubs, 1st Ld-Writethru, 665 Sanchez, Tucker lead Braves to 4-0 win over Darvish, CubsAP Photo CXC133, CXC126, CXC115Eds: Braves 4, Cubs 0.
"I got thrown off guard", Darvish said via interpreter Daichi Sekizaki. "So that's very frustrating".
"Driving out again, it was remarkably bad", Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.
Either way, Maddon wasn't buying balk even as he conceded that the call bothered Darvish.
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"Everything went south after the balk, which was not a balk", Maddon said. It was not a balk but it was called a balk. Get us through six, shortens the bullpen, etc., etc. In fact, it must have seemed like mid-winter to Darvish - 42 degrees at first-pitch with a wind-chill factor of 34 degrees. Everything was working really well. Unfortunately, you can't argue a balk.
Darvish threw 39 of his 105 pitches in the fifth, and he wound up allowing nine hits and four runs in 42/3 innings in falling to 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA. Sean Newcomb draws Saturday's starting assignment versus the Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs managed just four hits - two by Ian Happ, who replaced an illness-inflicted Albert Almora Jr.in the lineup. The Cubs are batting.235 as a team. Happ said his 5-for-32 start was the small sample size, adding: "Just wait until the end of the year".
"No", he said. "You look around this room, look at our lineup every day, that's not going to be an issue". "It's hard enough to hit him when you're healthy". I had a few of those games. "With certain right-handed hitters, you're going to play with a little more pull and as a third baseman, you want the first baseman to get there pretty quick, so you're not trying to hit a moving target". The first-pitch temperature was 42 degrees with 17 miles per hour winds out of the north, and the listless Cubs managed four hits in their 4-0 loss to the Braves. "I told myself I'll perform better. When I was on the mound pitching, I didn't feel any cold or the effect of the weather".
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After opening the campaign with three successive wins, City made a serious statement with this thrashing of a leading side. They now have the chance to end on 102 points - if they win all of their remaining Premier League fixtures.