Guys, I just wanted to believe. New year, new tweak to the deliver, new Tyler Chatwood. Guess what, all those good spring training numbers through his first three outings were a lie. You thought 2018 was a wild ride for Chatwood, well check out my rollercoaster ride of emotions during the past three weeks.

I blame myself. I should’ve known better, but no, after Chatwood’s third spring training appearance, in which he threw three scoreless innings and didn’t walk a batter, I fully believed we were getting a new Tyler Chatwood in 2019.

And then I saw this article on Cubs Insider written by Moshe Wilensky who saw Chatwood pitch in Arizona live and boy was this unsettling.

Via Cubs Insider.

One thing that was not so wonderful, however, was Tyler Chatwood’s three-inning performance on March 6. The stat line was impressive: No runs, three hits, a strikeout, and no walks. But the eye test told an entirely different story. For example, Chatwood needed three fresh balls to make it through his 8th-inning warmups. I repeat…warmups.

I have never seen a major leaguer spike that many balls mid-inning. Chatwood was also behind virtually every hitter over the last two innings of his appearance. He only escaped without damage because he was facing prospects that were a little overzealous as they tried to make names for themselves. Against more seasoned hitters, Chatwood would have been carved up.

OK, so Chatwood was pulling a little Ricky Vaughn during warmups and while he was falling behind hitters, but at least the results were positive.

And then Tuesday night arrived.

Chatwood started against the Reds at Sloan Park and it actually began on a positive note, as he struck out the first batter of the game. Chatwood retired the side in order, but there was something that didn’t seem right.

Unfortunately, Tuesday’s game wasn’t televised, but Len Kasper was on the call online and he did a great job as usual describing the action. Anyway, Chatwood fell behind the first three batters he faced.

But again, no walks, so, that’s great for Chatwood! That made it only one walk through his first nine spring training innings.

And then the second inning happened.

Again, I was only paying really close attention to every at-bat against Chatwood because that quick scouting report on him got me rattled. Anyway, Chatwood was a disaster in the second inning on Tuesday.

Basically a repeating nightmare from 2018.

It got worse.

So, not only does Chatwood start walking everyone, but the one out he got in the second inning was a hard hit ball to center field on a 3-0 pitch! He got bailed out there, but even the ground ball hit to him could have been a double play if he would have just let it go by him. Instead he gloves it and then throws it over Victor Caratini’s head.

Chatwood was pulled after walking a third batter in the second. He threw 47 pitches and only 20 for strikes.

I’ve learned my lesson. Sometimes stats do lie, especially if you don’t get to actually see how a player or pitcher is performing. Those first three appearances by Chatwood weren’t actually all that good and the results finally matched the way he was pitching Tuesday night.

I was led astray. We all were.

This is why we need more spring training games on TV. That’s something the Cubs will actually have starting in 2020, with their new TV network.

You won’t fool me again, Tyler!