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- For now, the only comment I’ve seen from Joe Maddon on the decision to let Pedro Strop bat last night is this, at Cubs.com: “You saw how comfortable he was at the plate. I just didn’t anticipate — I didn’t see that coming.”
- On that … of course, Strop actually being seriously injured as a byproduct of his at bat was a very, very low probability event. But when it is at least ONE possibility with the most important pitcher in the bullpen, it’s hard for me to accept “I didn’t see that coming” from the manager who chose to put a relief pitcher in that situation when there were other relievers available, when there was a bench bat available, and when Strop had already gotten up and down twice to pitch 1.2 innings to that point. Maddon didn’t anticipate an injury in that situation? That’s not an excuse. It’s a confirmation of the problem with that decision.
- Even viewed solely as a baseball decision – let’s say Maddon told Strop, explicitly, to stand there and take pitches – I don’t love it. With the bases loaded and just one out, you have at least as much chance to put that baby away with a real hitter as you do having Strop close out a one-run game against the meat of the Nationals’ order when he’s already thrown 21 pitches across 1.2 innings. I know the Strop is the guy you trust. I feel it, too. But in that situation, you take your crack at adding another run (or more!), and then let someone else close it out (which Randy Rosario ultimately did anyway).
- Strop is getting an MRI and will miss significant time. Depending on how things play out this year, the decision will forever be applied as a gloss to questions about Joe Maddon’s future that still mostly seem ridiculous. Maddon remains one of the best manager’s in baseball. But he screwed up, and it’s going to cost the Cubs big-time.
- And if I could now just sum up the last couple weeks in a picture from last night’s game:
- How about David Bote flashing the leather in left field:
3B/2B/SS/1B/OF David Bote is a beast. pic.twitter.com/6mJ9eRXFXG
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 13, 2018
- Even if Bote’s bat settles in as a league-ish-average-ish kind of guy over the next few years, he’s still going to be a wildly valuable bench player to have, given the *quality* of his versatility. It’s not just that he can move around – the dude can really play good defense all over.
- Heh. I enjoy the target practice:
Ever wonder what batting practice is like with @javy23baez?
— NBC Sports Chicago (@NBCSChicago) September 12, 2018
- I just hope the Cubs hit a lot of homers so there are plenty of stretches of 30 seconds of angry silence:
"My last game is against the Cubs. I’m going to do all three of those September games. It’ll give me three more days of pissing Cubs fans off. I would give anything — anything — for us to sweep their ass." https://t.co/xmyqWnHYK1 pic.twitter.com/NaC4hDClKX
— Chicago magazine (@ChicagoMag) September 11, 2018
- Those fancy Contigo travel cup/mug things are 51% off today at Amazon if you’re looking for a new beverage delivery system.