See, here’s the thing, the Cubs bullpen is trash. There are no good options right now. You don’t trust anyone and that especially goes for the guy who is supposed to get the last three outs of a game.
Craig Kimbrel with the all-time low levels of confidence right now and we can all see it as we bite our nails down to the bone, but apparently David Ross doesn’t.
The Cubs had an 8-5 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth in Cincinnati Monday night and every single fan knew it wasn’t going to be easy because Kimbrel was coming in. No clue what happened to him, but dude looks like he’s done right now.
Anyway, right away things actually looked good as Kimbrel got ahead 0-2 on Nick Castellanos and then he walked him to start the inning. A wild pitch and a groundout later had Castellanos at third with one out and then Kimbrel walked a second batter.
At that precise point Ross had to get someone up in the bullpen because again it was painfully obvious that Kimbrel didn’t have it. No command, can’t throw in the upper 90s and the Reds were spitting on his breaking pitches. I mean yeah, Jeremy Jeffress eventually warmed up, but not before Kimbrel hit Shogo Akiyama to load the bases.
You have to think that’s it and Ross would go get him, right?
Nope and then Kimbrel hit a batter to drive in a run…and then he walked another batter to make it 8-7 before Ross finally took him out.
Hey, Rossy, grandpa, wake the fuck up!
Anyway, thank god Phillip Ervin swung at ball four on a 3-2 count against Jeffress for the second out. For the second game in a row Joey Votto stranded the tying run at third base, as he lined out to Albert Almora Jr. in center.
60-game season, you can’t be screwing around here trying to get guys fixed on the go. Craig Kimbrel doesn’t have it and you have to get him out of there ASAP.
Now, for pretty much everyone but maybe 3-4 relievers, get your shit together. Cubs had 7-0 and 8-1 leads Monday night, but the bullpen couldn’t throw strikes to save their lives and the Reds clawed their way back into a game that should have been a blowout. So, in that respect, I get it, Ross has no trust in those guys right now and it’s not like Jeffress looked good Sunday against the Brewers.
Four games in and this bullpen is equally as terrifying to watch as it was last year. Difference is the Cubs had 162 games to figure it out in 2019, we’re down to 56 to see who can actually get strikes this year.
Suggestion one: James Norwood shouldn’t be in games trying to get big outs in the 8th inning.
Suggestion two: Use Ryan Tepera as one of your top-4 relievers.
Suggestion three: Call up Adbert Alzolay and send Duane Underwood Jr. or Norwood to South Bend.
Oh and by the way, there was a little floater that dropped in front of Steven Souza Jr., who got fooled taking a step back at first, in the eighth inning that scored two runs, making it 8-5. I can’t figure out why Jason Heyward wasn’t in the game at that point. He makes that catch and I’m probably saving this rant at David Ross for another night when he leaves Kimbrel in way too long.
But hey, at least the Cubs won. Just look at the start of 2019, I’ll take this over that.