Monday blues resulted in the Chicago Cubs playing two against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday. However, they were missing a key piece of their bullpen to begin the series.
Tuesday’s afternoon contest left a bad taste in the mouth of the Chicago Cubs and us, the fans. They had themselves a one-run lead in the ninth inning but couldn’t send closer Brandon Morrow to the mound to shut the door.
Leading up to that point, the Cubs backed Tyler Chatwood with two runs in the second frame and plated another in the fourth. Chatwood continued to walk batters, giving up five free passes in the no-decision.
When it was time to take the series opener, things didn’t necessarily go well for reliever Justin Wilson. Wilson had the Cubs one strike away from winning the afternoon opener but gave up a go-ahead RBI double instead.
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As the Dodgers took a one-run lead in the ninth, fans were confused. Why didn’t Joe Maddon turn to Brandon Morrow? A question that filled my Twitter feed as the Cubs took their opportunity to strike.
Well, now we know why he was unavailable for both Tuesday showdowns. According to Patrick Mooney on Twitter, Morrow experienced back spasms early Monday morning when removing his pants.
Yes, you read that correctly. Our closer missed Tuesday’s action because he hurt himself removing his pants. Obviously, pants are the devil and need to be eliminated from the planet itself. Either way, it’s unfortunate and silly but it happens.
Prior to Monday’s incident, Morrow has established himself as one of Chicago’s best bullpen options this season. In 17 save opportunities, the 33-year-old veteran has 16 successful saves under his belt.
He carries an impressive 1.59 ERA over 26 games, logging 22 2/3 frames with a 25/9 K/BB ratio and 1.15 WHIP. His career-best earned run average of 1.69 came in a San Diego Padres uniform in only 18 appearances.
Right now, his status for the series finale and this weekend’s four-game set with the Cincinnati Reds is in question. Which could possibly mean Pedro Strop working more innings like he did on Tuesday.
It doesn’t sound like his back stiffness is going to land him on the disabled list but Joe Maddon isn’t going to want to rush him back right away. Once he returns, those one-run leads should be in the bag for this Cubs team who now trail the Milwaukee Brewers by half a game.
The moral of this story? Be careful when removing your pants, people. Let’s end this series with the Dodgers on a win.