The Cubs have suffered two straight late-innings losses to the Nationals, settling in at the bottom of the NL Central standings with an 0-2 record. The struggles should come as no surprise given the lack of talent on the Northsiders’ 25-man roster and new president Theo Epstein’s implementation of a full-on rebuilding plan, but Wrigleyville bar owners were likely hoping that the team could stay afloat through … like … May.
From Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune comes the photo below of the sign this morning outside Murphy’s Bleachers, a famous watering hole across the street from Wrigley Field. “Gnats” is a nice touch.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mets and free agent reliever Brad Brach have agreed on a one-year deal worth $850,000. The contract includes a player option for the 2021 season with a base salary of $1.25 million and additional performance incentives.
Brach, 33, signed as a free agent with the Cubs this past February. After posting an ugly 6.13 ERA over 39 2/3 innings, the Cubs released him in early August. The Mets picked him up shortly thereafter. Brach’s performance improved, limiting opposing hitters to six runs on 15 hits and three walks with 15 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings through the end of the season.
While Brach will add some much-needed depth to the Mets’ bullpen, his walk rate has been going in the wrong direction for the last three seasons. It went from eight percent in 2016 to 9.5, 9.7, and 12.8 percent from 2017-19. Needless to say the Mets are hoping that trend starts heading in the other direction next season.