We have to give Tsuyoshi Wada credit for that win(ok, I’ve been dying to use that one) He struck out nine batters in almost five innings of work yesterday to help the Chicago Cubs defeat the San Diego Padres 3-2. Not bad at all for a guy playing in his first game of the season. Imagine what he could have done if they kept him in?
“He’d done his job,” Cubs skipper, Joe Maddon said. “I’m more about the Cubs winning as opposed to any particular pitcher winning. You can let him go for one more third of an inning, maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. I thought it was a great game for him to build off of.”
There wasn’t any reason though for Wada to keep going. I think the Cubs wanted to ease him into the role.
“I wasn’t tired or anything like that,” Wada said about pitching in the Padres fifth. “The coaches and manager were watching closely, and I think it was the right decision.”
So, with Travis Wood in the bullpen, the Cubs are ready to mix things up in the young season. In order to keep pace with the St. Louis Cardinals, the Cubs have to focus on that kind of lights out playing which can only come from pitching.
“I think the bullpen is going to be fine,” catcher Miguel Montero said. “The guys know they haven’t thrown the ball the way they want to throw. We know they’re pretty good, and sometimes they try a little bit too hard. They try too hard to manufacture the extra strikeouts. That’s when you have to back off a little bit and say, ‘Let me try a little bit less and let me concentrate on making a good pitch and not a nasty pitch.'”
Another player who is due to a return to the Cubs is Javier Baez. After taking some time off for family reasons, Baez is back in Triple A and making great strides. Could we see him come back to the Cubs lineup?
“Javy can make any defense better,” Maddon said Wednesday. “I talked about that in camp — I thought he was one of the finest young infielders I’ve seen, but I’m not displeased with anybody out there right now. Sometimes you just have to wait your opportunity, your turn.