Three takeaways for the Chicago Cubs after a rough weekend series

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Bullpen woes steal the show over the weekend

Look, everyone – and I mean everyone – knew the Chicago Cubs had a bullpen issue on their hands heading into the season. But, for an array of reasons, namely inherent financial restrictions put on Theo Epstein and the baseball operations department, the team scrapped the bottom of the barrel to address this glaring weakness.

And, to this point, they’ve gotten some value from these guys. Brad Brach has pitched well in his first year with Chicago. Brandon Kintzler, after a disastrous 2018 debut on the North Side, now finds himself firmly entrenched in Maddon’s circle of trust. Xavier Cedeno is yet to string together several strong outings in a row due to a lingering injury – but the jury is still out there.

The simple truth is this: the Cubs’ current crop of arms in the left field bullpen isn’t one capable of playing a critical role in helping the team win another championship. As much as I love Steve Cishek, he’s not a guy you give the ball to in Game 7 with a World Series title on the line – he’s just not.

Chicago could get Pedro Strop back as early as this weekend – which will be a huge boost, to be sure. But we just watched the bullpen cough up three runs in Friday’s loss (blowing a pair of saves in the process) and another four in Sunday’s lopsided contest.

It’ll take a lot more than Strop returning to turn this bullpen around and if the Cubs want to seriously pursue another deep October run, it’s time for Epstein to pick up the phone and get it done.