Your mission, should you choose to accept it… Throw Strikes.
For a relief pitcher, well, for any pitcher really… the first and most important job… throw strikes. I’m looking at you Samardzija and you Mateo.
Three walks. Three runs. Three pitchers (Russell has to come in to finish the frame).
But that’s just the first domino to fall. Bottom of the seventh. Cubs score two runs (hooray!) and load the bases. Two out, bases loaded, a single can break the game wide open. Who’s up at the plate? The pitcher. Russell flies out to end the inning. Wait, what? The pitcher hit for himself? Because the bullpen is thin. Woody and Marmol have a much needed day off. Marshall has to be saved for the 9th.
Two pitchers not throwing strikes in the top of the 7th forces Quade to use three pitchers to get out of the inning, which forces Quade to let a pitcher not named Zambrano hit with RISP.
Throw Strikes. And hope this doesn’t cost the Cubs the game. I’m not a DH man, and never will be. I LIKE the strategy, and occasional wackiness (like today) that happens. But this was a failure of the bullpen to throw strikes.
I would probably have pinch-hit anyway… brought in Grabow in the 8th, and rolled the dice on avoiding extra innings… but I can’t fault Quade for the choice