In a brief update to last night’s story about Pedro Strop being “out a while” following a hamstring injury he suffered while running to first base, the Cubs announced that their interim closer would be getting an MRI on his leg. We’ll know more about the full extent of the injury and the subsequent timeline for recovery, but Strop was pretty clear about it when speaking to reporters after Thursday’s game.
“Right now it’s sore,” Strop told media members. “It’s obviously going to take two weeks, at least, for me to get back on the mound.”
Strop has never recorded as many as six outs in an game at the major league level, but had retired five Nationals on 21 pitches after entering the game in the bottom of the 8th. Joe Maddon opted to leave the reliever in the game to bat for himself with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the 10th and the Cubs up one run.
That decision proved disastrous, as Strop pulled up lame upon lunging for first in an attempt to beat out an inning-ending double-play.
“I was on a good pace, but not like all-out,” Strop said. “But then that last, trying to reach the bag, that was the one that got me.”
Maddon’s choice was and is a pretty easy one to second-guess, and from a variety of angles. Why was Strop swinging at all (he took a pair of monstrous cuts too)? Why was he not told to take it easy while running? If Randy Rosario was already warm, why not pinch-hit? Why not pinch-hit in a situation with high run-scoring potential?
Now the only question regards who will close games in Strop’s stead. The answer, and I’m not even being glib, is “Whoever the hell is available.” It’s all hands on deck at this point and the Cubs need some guys to step it back up. This sure would be a good time for Carl Edwards Jr. to shake out of his funk.
So turn those hats to the left in solidarity and hope the offense scores enough runs that the late-inning situation is largely moot.