Pedro Strop is a delightfully excitable fellow on the mound, and, given his role as the Cubs’ primary setup man, he has many an occasion to display his excitability.
For example, last night, with the Cubs having just taken a one-run lead, the wind blowing out, and Brandon Phillips swinging to try and tie the game, Strop ratcheted up the intensity.
He got a swinging strike to end the at bat and the inning, and showed his excitement. But it’s what Phillips did that made it particularly fun:
It’s hard to tell if Phillips was genuinely applauding Strop, or if it was a little bit of a sarcastic thumbs up given Strop’s celebration in Phillips’ direction.
Strop certainly wasn’t trying to whoop at Phillips and show him up. Strop, as we’ve seen, simply gets very excited, and it was a big strikeout when the Cubs really needed it. Say what you will of Phillips generally, but that was a pretty solid reaction to something he probably could have taken another way.