The team's larger issue is an offense that produced one run over the last two games. Tucker delivered the big blow in the fifth when he drove a long homer to right.
Managers are not allowed to argue balks calls, but Cubs manager Joe Maddon went out and tried to get an explanation from Dreckman. It led to a four-run inning from the Atlanta Braves that was all they needed. Chicago starter Yu Darvish was charged with all four runs on nine hits and four free passes to fall to 0-1.
He did a nice job of pitching out of trouble through four innings. Atlanta are 3-8 in the last 11 meetings in Chicago and over is 9-4-1 in the last 14 meetings in Chicago. And the Cubs lost again after dropping two of three to the surging Pittsburgh Pirates. We've hit some balls hard right at people. He has a 1.29 ERA through two starts and three appearances after signing a minor league deal in mid-March.
The Chicago Cubs are still searching for consistency in the early going and will have to wait another day to begin following Friday's defeat.
"Look around this room", he said.
The Braves finally broke through against Darvish in the fifth, sending 10 batters to the plate.
That it did. The fifth-inning balk preceded this ugly string: wild pitch, single, double, scorched home run by Preston Tucker, walk, bunt single, walk.
Darvish threw 39 pitches in the inning and exited after walking Sanchez to load the bases.
Darvish opened the inning by striking out Ender Inciarte.
"The umpire told me (I) paused (in) the motion". "But over the course of my career, I've done that many times, and it was never called a balk". - Darvish on the balk. "He's fine", manager Brian Snitker said. He left Wednesday's start at Triple-A Gwinnett after injuring his arm.
This is the last stop of the season's first road trip for the Atlanta Braves, which unfortunately has been miserably cold.
Said Maddon: "We're working with Willson on downshifting the throw a bit ..."