Through their first 15 games this season, the Cubs’ bullpen has been all over the place. In fact, Cubs’ relievers are responsible for four of the team’s seven losses so far. Despite this being true, several of the team’s relievers have had solid starts to the season.
In eight appearances (7.1 IP) this season, closer Wade Davis has a 0.00 ERA, three saves and seven strikeouts. After struggling this spring, Hector Rondon has a 1.42 ERA in seven appearances (6.1 IP) along with nine strikeouts.
It is rather baffling that Cubs relievers have been responsible for four losses this far. Between the eight relievers, five have an ERA under 3.00; Carl Edwards Jr. has a 0.00 in 5.2 IP; Mike Montgomery has a 2.79 ERA in 9.2 IP; Koji Uehara has a 2.70 ERA in 6.2 IP.
Where the Cubs have run into bullpen issues is with their innings-eaters, Justin Grimm and Pedro Strop. Grimm and Strop have been relied upon to make 60+ appearances each since arriving in Chicago. The team needs both players to be more consistent than they have been so far.
Grimm has an 8.10 ERA in 6.2 IP, while Strop has a 6.75 ERA in 5.1 IP. Both have allowed a crushing home run in one appearance, coming in back-to-back losses against the Pirates. One player should not carry the entire blame for a loss in baseball, but Grimm and Strop can do better.
The Reds’ bullpen has been quite successful in holding the opposition this season, ranking fifth in baseball with a 2.43 ERA. Closer Raisel Iglesias has 0.93 ERA in 9.2 IP; former Nationals closer Drew Storen has a 1.23 ERA in 7.1 IP; Wandy Peralta has a 1.42 ERA in 6.1 IP. If the Reds have a late-game lead, the Cubs could be in trouble.