Cubs bullpen at last sparkles in an extra-inning victory

Cubs bullpen at last sparkles in an extra-inning victory

Cubs manager David Ross authoritatively adores baseball’s new extra-inning rule, which puts a runner at second base to begin each half-inning.

The Cubs got their first taste of it Sunday and made due with a 2-1 win over Pittsburgh in 11 innings when a Javy Baez single drove home David Bote with the triumphant run.

“We won, so it’s good so far,” Ross said. “It definitely puts a lot of heat in the moment and the heart rate goes up. I think sometimes in (regular) extra innings it ends up being home run derby.”

While the Cubs cleared the Pirates and improved their record to 7-2, best in the National League, there was a success story behind the triumph.

A 2-1 win in 11 innings implied five scoreless innings by the bullpen. Except for a couple folks, the Cubs’ bullpen has been awful so far this season. Toward the beginning of the day seven Cubs relievers possessed ERAs in double-digits.

Some of those ERAs came path down Sunday as Casey Sadler, Dan Winkler and Ryan Tepera all threw in any event one scoreless inning. Jeremy Jeffress, the star of the Cubs’ bullpen up until now, pitched an ideal eleventh to win the triumph.

After the game, Kyle Schwarber rehashed the organization line that there’s a lot of good stuff in the bullpen, it’s simply that some folks haven’t dialed it in yet.

“We spent the first part of spring training and then summer camp, facing these guys in live BPs,” Schwarber said. “It’s off the charts stuff-wise. I think the more we just keep running these guys out there, the experience is going to come.”

Schwarber was additionally the defensive star of additional innings. In the tenth, he threw out Pirates catcher Jacob Stallings at the plate after Josh Bell dropped a single into left field. Schwarber’s throw came to Willson Contreras on the fly and he endure an impact.

“I know Stallings is kind of an average runner,” Schwarber said. “When I picked up the ball, I checked out the third base coach and he was giving the sign to go. It was kind of just get it and let it go. It was kind of the janitor toss, I guess. Let it fly and I was just praying it was on line.”

The Cubs likewise deleted Pittsburgh’s assigned runner in the eleventh. The inning started with a standard grounder to shortstop, runner Kevin Newman rushed toward third and was tossed out without any problem.

Jon Lester gave the Cubs another quality beginning, surrendering 1 run and 4 hits in 6 innings. The solitary run was a homer to Newman in the first inning.

Pittsburgh pitchers Steven Brault and Chad Kuhl were immaculate through four innings, before Contreras and Schwarber opened the fifth with consecutive pairs to make it 1-1.

After the game, Lester discussed worries with the Cubs planned to play in St. Louis one weekend from now, while reports recommended the Cardinals had more positive coronavirus tests. The Cardinals, whose plan arrangement in Milwaukee this end of the week was not played, discharged an announcement saying there would be no official declaration until Monday.

“I would imagine we’re probably not playing those games next weekend, but I can’t fully speak to that. That’s just my opinion. Maybe there’s a way where we flip the schedule around where we’re playing someone else.

“I think guys right now just want to keep playing. We’re playing well. It stinks we’re dealing with this, but it’s the nature of the beast. If we’re in St. Louis next Friday, we’re in St. Louis next Friday. We’ll figure it out and we’ll try to beat the Cardinals and move on to the next day. Right now today I don’t see that happening.”