Bryant's Knee Looked Good, Cishek's Walks, Hoerner's Fit After Russell Returns, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Bryant’s Knee Looked Good, Cishek’s Walks, Hoerner’s Fit After Russell Returns, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I’m grateful to be writing this morning, because we had a tough night. Not because of the Cubs game – thank you, Michael, for covering – but because we lost a little furry member of our family.

May the laps in the next life be just as inviting:

I know it’s cliche, but just doing the writing work helps me stay on balance. I’d rather focus on that right now …

  • Joe Maddon gets a fair amount of the attention after a loss like last night’s – deservedly so in September, in my view – but obviously the players are the ones doing the playing. If Steve Cishek throws strikes in the 10th, who knows how things play out:

  • Ah. Steve. My dude. The guy isn’t going to swing after you just walked the bases loaded until you show him a strike. I won’t be too hard on Cishek in a spot like this because, as much as people remember the blow-ups, they are exceedingly rare with him. He’s been a very good, reliable reliever for the Cubs for two years now, and sometimes shit happens. He didn’t get the job done last night, and it contributed to a very disappointing Cubs loss. That’s all there is for today.
  • The Cubs still need Cishek to be productive, by the way. With Craig Kimbrel now set to be out longer than originally hoped with his elbow inflammation (what else is new for Cubs injuries), the Cubs are going to need as many late-inning options as possible going forward.
  • On the brighter side from the game, there were some great performances. Among them, Kris Bryant returning to the lineup post-cortisone shot for his knee … and homering twice. Do I *want* to believe it was a perfect cure for what was bothering him and he’s totally fixed now? Of course! But Bryant isn’t going to say it ( “I’m very happy with how [the knee] responded. I”m not putting any of the performance to getting a shot, but it’s just nice going up there and not have to think about it, to just go about your normal routine.”
  • If you would allow yourself to be optimistic, you would say that the pain/inflammation in Bryant’s knee was just enough to take his swing off-kilter, even if he was otherwise totally healthy. So if the pain/inflammation is gone – which is what a cortisone shot can do in the short-term – then Bryant could instantly be back to normal. It’s not a treatment that you can deploy too liberally if you want to be healthy for your full career, but in a short burst like this at the end of the season? I’m just saying, it would be reasonable for you to be optimistic, and not just because he looked great last night.
(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
  • Joe Maddon isn’t committing to Nico Hoerner as the regular shortstop just yet, with Addison Russell eventually returning from the concussion protocol ( “[Hoerner’s versatility is] something we talked about before he even got here. He has done that. He’s played [short], he’s played second and he’s played in the outfield. Once Addy’s back, that gives us even more versatility.” We’ll see what happens. It’s hard to imagine Russell being a short-term upgrade at this point, but obviously Hoerner does have the ability to play elsewhere if what you really want is to keep his bat in the lineup.
  • Men’s socks, chargers, baby gear, and more are your Deals of the Day at Amazon today.
  • Gut says this concert does very well:

  • It remains a touching moment:

  • By the way, one of our podcasts per week is gonna be free going forward:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.