Just moments ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers stole one from the Chicago Cubs, who carried a 3-2 lead into the ninth, but lost it when non-closer Justin Wilson couldn’t finish out the game. But that bullpen decision was not really Joe Maddon’s fault.
Unfortunately, Maddon went with Wilson not for strategic reasons (which would have been it’s own kind of bad), but for health reasons:
Where was Brandon Morrow in the 9th? pic.twitter.com/mfVBgsWo8F
— Cubs Talk (@NBCSCubs) June 19, 2018
#Cubs Morrow's back tightened up which is why he wasn't available
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) June 19, 2018
Bad back for Brandon Morrow, per Maddon. Came up yesterday. Not avail tonight either.
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) June 19, 2018
Apparently, Morrow’s back tightened up last night, which is what made him unavailable today (something the Cubs were certainly not going to disclose before the game). And according to other reports, he’ll also be unavailable tonight.
The Cubs are adding reliever Justin Hancock for the second game, but were already forced to use Steve Cishek, Randy Rosario, Pedro Strop (for 2.0 innings), and Justin Wilson in this one. So without Morrow, they’re going to *really* need Mike Montgomery to last deep into this ball game, and then they’ll need some capable relief appearances.
It’s a stinker of a loss and we’re now on please don’t be hurt alert for Brandon Morrow, but at least we have an explanation. I think that makes it … better? I’m actually not sure.
Game Two will be played at 7:05.