In the 8th inning of yesterday’s one-run game, things were tense. Pedro Strop gave up an infield dribbler hit to Alexei Ramirez, who moved to second base on a sac bunt. Geovany Soto worked a tough walk from there, and the White Sox were threatening.
Strop proceeded to strike out Adam Eaton after a long at bat. There was a strange delay, though, involving a long mound conference with a group of Cubs players, pitching coach Chris Bosio, and then eventually the home plate umpire (who was involved, not just breaking things up). The umpire was then writing something down for a while after the conference, and it took a long time to resume the action. It was strange.
Separately, Strop explained after the game that he had a little beef with Ramirez at second base (Cubs.com), who made a “no no” signal to Strop when the pitcher turned to try and hold Ramirez closer to the base.
Whatever it was all about, the delay and then the Ramirez stuff heightened the tension of an already tense moment. Another long at bat later, Strop finally put away Tyler Saladino and then blew up in celebration:
As soon as it happened, I had two reactions: (1) That was awesome, baby!!!, and (2) Some people are going to be annoyed by that.
To anyone who falls in the latter category I say: bah, come on. The moment was huge, Strop was amped up, and every Cubs fan watching was feeling the exact same exuberant joy that Strop was when Saladino swung and missed. I loved seeing Strop show it. It was fun, and it enhanced the excitement for me.