Cubs Ridiculous Bullpen Trio, Wisdom's 15-Pitch At Bat, Mills' Fantastic Sinker, Rizzo's Oops, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Cubs Ridiculous Bullpen Trio, Wisdom’s 15-Pitch At Bat, Mills’ Fantastic Sinker, Rizzo’s Oops, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

All the love I can send out to anyone impacted by the storms in the Chicago area last night. I hope you are safe, secure, and able to recover.

•   The back-end trio of Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin, and Craig Kimbrel continues to be pretty much perfect, with another flawless outing yesterday to preserve the win. They’ve become one of those groups where, if you’re the other team, you better have the lead before the 7th or you’re just not going to have much of a shot (and, like yesterday, sometimes you’re screwed if you don’t have the lead before the 6th!). Since the start of May, each of the three are among the top nine relievers in ERA (min. 15 appearances).

•   Tepera is rocking a monster scoreless streak:

•   Andrew Chafin’s current scoreless streak is 15.1 innings, but how’s this for funny: his streak would actually be 21.1 innings if not for the one earned run he gave up during the stretch … a leadoff single in his second inning of work back on May 7, after which he was pulled, and the inherited run was allowed to score by … you guessed it, Ryan Tepera.

•   Craig Kimbrel’s scoreless streak is a paltry 13.2 innings

•   I kid about the paltry, because obviously. Speaking of Kimbrel, the Cubs have played 14 games in the last 14 days, and Kimbrel has saved HALF of them. The last time the Cubs won a game that wasn’t saved by Kimbrel was all the way back in June 8. Wow.

•   Take that trio together, and it’s a 49.1-inning combined scoreless streak. That’s really quite unbelievable, and I just keep reminding myself that, one of these times, they’re going to give up a run. Or runs. They might blow one badly. It just has to happen, and I will not be bothered by it because I will remember how truly absurd they’ve ball been.

•   It’s Prime Day at Amazon, so if you’ve been thinking about getting anything lately, check there, because it’s probably on sale. Or just go peruse. It’s a ton of stuff – basically their Black Friday in June. #ad

•   Patrick Wisdom went down 0-2 to open the 5th inning as a pinch-hitter, and then grinded his way from there to a 15-pitch at bat that resulted in a rocket to shortstop, a baserunner, eventually the Cubs’ second run of the day:

•   Like Anthony Rizzo’s 14-pitch homer the previous weekend, Wisdom was getting fed by the crowd:

•   Alec Mills threw five shutout innings yesterday, which is definitely something you are thrilled to take. His success on the day was almost entirely predicated on getting groundballs, which he did at a mind-blowing 72.2% clip. Mills has always been a decent groundball guy, but never approaching 60% like he is this year. Clearly the sinker is working for him, with an expected wOBA of just .289, and he’s throwing it waaaaaay more than ever before:

•   You are reminded that in the anti-sticky-stuff era, guys with great sinkers could, in theory, see their results hold more steady (or improve) relative to other pitchers who were more reliant on four-seamers up and slider/curve tunneling.

•   The sticky stuff crackdown begins today. In theory. There will be random checks throughout the games, and every pitcher will get examined TSA style at least once. It figures to be a very weird day.

•   Anthony Rizzo had himself a disastrous day on the bases, getting thrown out trying to steal (he went so long before the delivery that the pitcher could just step off and throw to second base), and then getting picked off at second base:

•   I understand why Rizzo was getting such a big lead – two outs, not a speedy runner, wants a huge secondary to be able to score on a single – but you just can’t have that. You can’t have either of those.

•   Nice positive story to take in:

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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.