Marcus Stroman threw six scoreless – he’s been great since coming off the IL – and the Cubs held on to beat the Giants in the 9th.
About that 9th. It’s probably fine. The results from a single appearance for a reliever do not dictate his trade value, especially when you can otherwise scout the stuff. And especially when the homer he gave up was a sky ball squeaker that is a fly out 95% of the time.
… But I gotta tell you, it isn’t great that David Robertson’s (possibly) final appearance before the Trade Deadline is him getting used in a non-save situation and giving up three hits and two runs. The lead expanded in the 9th when Robertson was probably already up for what would have been a save situation, but it sure seemed like there was enough time, once the lead got to four, to sit Robertson back down and have someone else come in. Using Robertson in a non-save situation was not necessary, and I understand it isn’t David Ross’s PRIMARY job to think about the Trade Deadline, but it should be close to top of mind right now. We know how those situations can play out.
Meanwhile, it’s also probably fine that Willson Contreras has been so brutal at the plate in July, but, at the margins, it can’t help Jed Hoyer’s job as he holds out for the tip top price. There’s a long track record there, but when he’s been positioned as the top rental bat on the market, there will be a lot of questions about whether this month is just random noise, whether the trade situation itself is having an impact, and/or whether Contreras is having some actual issue.
Nice quick tag on this play, though, with a great throw from Ian Happ:
At least Mychal Givens looked great again. And Patrick Wisdom has once again looked great at the plate, so you do wonder if a team inquires.
The Cubs’ top three hitters, plus Christopher Morel as a kind of secondary leadoff guy, went a combined 0-16 in this one. But the rest of the order picked up the slack, and the pitching, pre-Robertson, kept things perfectly clean.
Full box score.