There is this recurring narrative that the Cubs didn’t NEED a closer. Normally cogent Ken Schultz drops this in his piece entitled, “Cubs, Perhaps, Give In To Chapman Temptation.”
He regurgitates a familiar mantra to many statheads beginning one point by saying,
“Fact is, the Cubs had no real need for a closer, “
Word to Ken:
fact (fakt/) noun
noun: fact; plural noun: facts
a thing that is indisputably the case.
Sorry, that’s not a fact. Coming into the deadline both Strop and Rondon had shown quite a bit of inconsistency. Rondon had 4 blown saves good for only an 81% success rate – ranking in dead middle of all relievers. not exactly a comforting thought for an NLCS against Mets pitching.
By most rankings, Rondon was a tier 3 closer maybe fortunate enough to rank #13 in MLB but certainly no Familia or Chapman. And Strops inconsistency last night helps to understand why Cubs relievers ranked 10th in the National League by WAR at -1.2.
Even by the eye test, no serious observer can conclude the Cubs were “set” with relievers. Seriously, I was having Marmol flashbacks every time Rondon came out in July.
Let’s put an end to the BS that we didn’t “need” Chapman or Miller. We did. And although the 7th/8th/9th dream hasn’t looked like a Kansas City solution as of yet – it has potential. Especially if we can keep Strop away from playing catch with our centerfielder during an inning.