Kimbrel's Bad Pitch and Margin for Error, Hoerner's Bad Luck, Replay Whatever, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Kimbrel’s Bad Pitch and Margin for Error, Hoerner’s Bad Luck, Replay Whatever, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Spilled coffee on my shirt – just dead center, right on my chest – and it is large, glaring, and awful. But I’m out and about writing, then with a doctor’s appointment and then an exercise class, so I can’t really do much about it until much later today. Just have to plow through it. Now I know how Anthony Rizzo felt getting out there last night with his ankle. I wouldn’t call myself a hero, but I wouldn’t argue with anyone who sees it that way.

  • Craig Kimbrel didn’t necessarily look super rusty last night in his 0.2 innings of work, and he struck out two with some nasty pitches in the mix. But one really bad pitch – without his premium velocity – to Matt Carpenter was all the difference:

  • That pitch was designed to get a quick first strike against a guy who very often takes the first strike. At worst, if executed properly, it ties up Carpenter inside. Instead, the pitch started middle-middle, ran just enough to really get to Carpenter’s sweet spot with his arms extended, and boom. A no-doubter. One mistake, one game lost.
  • What can you say after:

  • I tend to think we know the score on Kimbrel at this point: even if you are hopeful for the next two years of his contract (at a relative bargain rate), and I do think he is probably fine in 2020-21, you really don’t have much reason to be hopeful for this year. The velocity is not going to spike from 95-96 to 98-99 in the final week of the season after multiple injuries and no meaningful opportunity to traditionally ramp up. So Kimbrel will have to work with a whole lot less velocity than he usually has, and his margin for error on mistakes – like the one to Carpenter – is much thinner.
  • He can close some games for the Cubs successfully, but even if the Cubs get into the postseason for a run, they are not going to have that ELITE reliever who can be leaned on heavily to dominate. It sucks. Hopefully next year is more normal for Kimbrel.
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

  • Also, when you get called out on a CLEAR ball after working a great AB. Have to stay inside yourself:

  • While I’m bitching about umps, how did they screw up that replay review in the first inning? I watched it repeatedly live to get the timing of this screenshot just right (which I was able to do in the same time the review took):

  • I think these are the two Cubs I’d expect to see on this list (and also, Gerrit Cole … hnngggg):

  • Interesting timing, given how much managerial movement there might be this offseason:

  • Front office movement to keep an eye on, as the Red Sox, having already fired President Dave Dombrowski, are also moving out Frank Wren and Eddie Bane from baseball ops and scouting/player development, respectively. Both are big names in the sport, and are likely to land elsewhere. But the Red Sox, even after finding a new leader for baseball ops, are clearly going to be loading up on new front office talent – could wind up competing with the Cubs on that front, not only because the organizations still operate similarly, but also because the Cubs have a huge opening available to lead scouting and player development (Jason McLeod moved over to the big league side).
  • Old friend, Mike Montgomery, is ready for the robo umps:

  • Let the kids play:

  • Let the kids get paid:

  • Make sure not to miss Bryan’s exceptional piece on Cory Abbott:

  • The latest from Obvious Shirts celebrates something we always say, but is also literally statistically accurate:

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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.