The Cubs pulled out a surprising comeback win last night, largely on the strength of Anthony Rizzo’s heroics and the Yu Darvish start that set it up, but even after taking the lead in the top of the 9th, they still had to shut down the heart of the Dodgers’ lineup in the bottom of the frame.
That’s where Pedro Strop came in to face Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, and Max Muncy. Intimidating. But Strop was equal to the task:
That is an incredibly athletic play on the Turner groundout, and a beautiful slider to wipe out the current best hitter in the NL.
Strop did walk Max Muncy, and although you never want to put the tying run on base, it also felt like he was considerably more cautious about taking a risk with Muncy once he’d fallen behind than taking a risk with the rookie Matt Beaty on deck. It was the right move, as Strop took advantage of Beaty’s eagerness with a perfectly-buried slider for his second whiff of the inning. Game over.
Strop will move out of the closer’s role in the coming weeks as Craig Kimbrel arrives, but he’ll be no less effective for it. The recently-turned 34-year-old righty still has it, and “it” is the stuff to be one of the Cubs’ best and most consistent relievers of all-time. Never sleep on Strop.
I had big feelings during the outing:
— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) June 16, 2019