Drew Smyly makes 1st Cubs home start at last on ‘weird’ day

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Smyly makes 1st Cubs home start at last on ‘weird day’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Drew Smyly had to wait over four years to make his home debut with the Cubs.

And then he had to wait a little longer.

“A little bit of a weird day,” said Smyly, Friday’s Cubs starting pitcher.

No kidding.

Smyly spent 2018 with the Cubs but didn’t pitch while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He re-signed with them this spring after bouncing around with several teams in recent years.

Friday was set to be his Cubs home debut, but the game — originally scheduled for a 1:20 p.m. first pitch — was back to 7:05 p.m. due to a rainy forecast in Chicago.

“I turned the car around and went home,” said Smyly, who was on his way to Wrigley Field when the game was moved.

Smyly’s first two starts this season came on the road (Pittsburgh, Colorado). And after waiting a little longer than expected, he faced the Pirates again Friday, allowing four runs on six hits in five-plus innings. The Pirates won 4-2.

The damage came on solo home runs by Roberto Pérez and Michael Chavis, and a two-run single by Pérez that was just inside the third base line.

“The [homer] to Perez, I’m pretty sure I broke his bat, and it just went out,” Smyly said. “Sometimes, crazy things like that happen. You got the two-RBI single in the second too, which was a 3-2 curveball.

“I wanted to go with my best pitch, and he hit it right down the line. Again, that happens, but besides that, it was a lot of weak contact hits. I thought I was filling the strike zone up, throwing strikes and making good pitches overall.”

Friday’s announced attendance was 25,005, which wasn’t a surprise considering the timing change and conditions.

The Cubs have also played a lot of home games in the early going with suboptimal weather, but something has stood out to Smyly in the early going.

“Wrigley is awesome,” Smyly said. “That's the one thing I've noticed over this month of April so far. We've had one good weather day — [Thursday] — and you can still feel the energy every game.

“It seems like the fans are just rain or sunshine. They're happy to be there, excited, excited to watch a game and you can feel it. It was fun to be out there.”

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