• Mildly interesting night in Chicago in the 9th inning for the Cubs. The last third of the game started as usual with Steve Cishek handling the 7th and Carl Edwards pitching in the 8th with the ball being handed to Strop for the final frame. In the 9th, Strop walked Jose Bautista to start the inning, got Jose Reyes on a force out and then gave up a single to Kevin Plawecki. With two on and one out, Joe Maddon called on Justin Wilson to face the lefty Jay Bruce. Wilson couldn’t get Bruce out and exited the game with bases loaded and still just one out. New-ish Cub Jesse Chavez then came on and struck out Amed Rosario and Austin Jackson for his 3rd save of the year. While Pedro Strop wasn’t given the opportunity to clean up his mess, I believe he’s still very much the Cubs closer. However, we can’t be surprised to see Joe Maddon give anyone the quick hook if he feels someone else gives him the best option. Strop’s done a great job and Morrow doesn’t look likely to return right away so I would still bet on his saves total being the highest from here on out over anyone in Chicago, even if Justin Wilson or Jesse Chavez gets a rogue chance. Note that I didn’t include Brandon Kintzler in that grouping and took him off the grid as he’s been quite abysmal in Chicago. He might play his well into higher leverage set up innings but he’s not sniffing the 9th.
• With Kelvin Herrera on the DL and Sean Doolittle not back yet, the immediate Nationals closing situation is quite up in the air. Last night the Nationals went Tim Collins in the 7th, Ryan Madson in the 8th, and Justin Miller in the 9th who recorded his first save of the year. Koda Glover is another name to consider in the Nationals pen but I’m going to use last night’s usage as a guide for the hierarchy and place the order as Miller – Madson – Glover. This alignment is on red alert however, and should change as soon as Doolittle returns from the DL, which should be this week.
• After 8 shutout innings from Chris Stratton, the Giants turned to Tony Watson and Hunter Strickland in the 9th inning. Watson retired the first two batters with Strickland walking one and getting the final out for his 14th save. At this point, I wouldn’t say the Giants are in a committee but Will Smith, Mark Melancon, and Hunter Strickland could potentially all see saves moving forward although I’m still putting Will Smith in the first chair, just with a slight butt warmer this time.
When he's not focusing on every team's bullpen situation, Ben can be found blogging at Ben's Baseball Bias and on Twitter @BensBias