On one hand, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Trevor Cahill had one of his best starts in the big leagues this season.
On the other hand, that's not saying too much.
As Cahill opened up the Diamondbacks' second half of the season in a Friday meeting with the Chicago Cubs, the 26-year-old right-hander began the first three innings with just one hit, one walk and no runs allowed. However, the Cubs posed a bigger threat the second time through the batting order.
The D-backs starter walked Arismendy Alcantara to open up the fourth inning, and then slugger Anthony Rizzo took Cahill to right for a two-run shot. Two batters later, Luis Valbuena doubled to deep right, and he moved to third on Justin Ruggiano's groundout. Valbuena then scored when Ryan Sweeney singled to right.
After surrendering three hits, three earned runs and a walk in the frame, Cahill got Welington Castillo to ground out to stop the bleeding.
The 6-foot-4 pitcher actually came back in the fifth and retired the side in order, but Arizona still trailed 3-0 at that point. When Cahill's spot came up in the batting order in the bottom of the inning, he was pulled in favor of pinch hitter Nick Evans, who made good on the opportunity, singling in Gerardo Parra and moving Didi Gregorius into scoring position.
In 5.0 innings of work, Cahill struck out three, walked two and gave up four hits (including one homer) and three earned runs, and his ERA crept up slightly to 5.63.
It was the six-year pro's first appearance for the Diamondbacks since June 6, and his first start since giving up seven runs (six earned) in 4.0 innings to the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 13. His ERA was 9.17 after that meltdown in L.A. After going to the bullpen for a couple of months, Cahill was designated for assignment on June 9, and he had to work his way through the Minors before being recalled from Triple-A Reno earlier this week.
Friday's performance represents the Oceanside, Calif., native's second-longest start of the year for the Diamondbacks as well as his second-fewest runs allowed.
Despite leaving his team three runs in the hole when he last was on the mound, Cahill took a no-decision against the Cubs, as Arizona collected two runs in the bottom of the fifth and three more in the sixth. The pitcher's record remained 1-6 after the Diamondbacks held on for a 5-4 win, their first coming out of an All-Star break since 2007.