Mistakes on the part of both Theo Epstein and Joe Maddon have gone largely overlooked, thanks to both their responses and that of the Chicago Cubs.
When Pedro Strop came to the plate to bat for himself with the bases loaded and one out in the tenth last week, Chicago Cubs nation collectively threw their hands in the air to question their skipper’s decision.
Needless to say, Joe Maddon’s out-of-the-box thinking did not work. It cost them their backup closer for at least two weeks in the midst of a tight pennant race, while they were already short-handed in the back-end of their bullpen.
When Strop came up lame after trying to leg out an inning-ending double play, it was the worst possible scenario. The Cubs were already without opening day closer Brandon Morrow. After Strop, the Cubs lacked a clear successor to take over the role.
That’s where Maddon becomes a weapon in the Cubs dugout. While it was his own mistake that put him in this position, there is no manager better suited to get the most out of a depleted bullpen.