Justin Steele is just one of several Cubs homegrown pitchers to steal our hearts this summer, but he’s arguably been the most impressive.
Today, for example, he came in with a runner in scoring position and Juan Soto at the plate, but got out of the inning without any damage on a Josh Bell strikeout. And he wasn’t done there. Steele came back out for the sixth, going three-up, three-down on a groundout and a couple of Ks (on two former Cubs (Starlin Castro and Alex Avila)).
Due up second in the bottom of the sixth, Steele came in to lay down a bunt with PJ Higgins on first, and wound up reaching on the fielder’s choice. He ran first to second on Joc Pederson’s single and second to third on Anthony Rizzo’s hit. The inning ended shortly thereafter and Steele came out for ANOTHER inning. Or so we thought.
As he took the mound to warm up, Steele was met by David Ross and a trainer and walked off the field. Unfortunately, Ross didn’t just have a change of heart, Steele hurt his hamstring running the bases.
Justin Steele left today's game with right hamstring tightness. Another muscle issue dings the Cubs. Have to hope it's not significant as Steele was emerging as a multi-inning force out of the bullpen for this team.
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) May 20, 2021
We don’t know how significant the injury is just yet, but as Sharma points out, any missed time will sting, given how much success he’s had already (2.03 ERA over 13.1 IP). Relievers running the bases, man … rarely a good idea.