Yu Darvish pitched through nerve problem in lower back and buttocks

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Yu Darvish exited his September 9 start with what the Rangers called leg cramping and was visited by a trainer early in his final start of the season last week, so this news makes sense: Todd Willis of ESPN Dallas reports that Darvish “suffered from a nerve problem in his lower back and buttocks area in September.”

According to Willis he pitched through the injury for the entire month, which makes his 3.34 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 35 innings pretty damn impressive considering his velocity was down.

Rangers manager Ron Washington repeatedly declined to share the details of Darvish’s health status when asked at various points last month and in reporting that Darvish suffered from sciatica Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News was unable to get a comment from Darvish or general manager Jon Daniels.

Brandon Morrow shut down for the rest of the season

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Cubs closer Brandon Morrow has been out since the All-Star break with a bone bruise and biceps inflammation. In recent days there had been hope that he would be activated in the season’s final two weeks in order to be ready for the playoffs, but that’s not happening: Theo Epstein just said that Morrow is done for the season.

It’s not the first time good expectations for Morrow’s recovery were not met. When he was placed on the DL back in July manager Joe Maddon said he didn’t anticipate Morrow being on the DL for much more than the minimum 10 days. Two months later and here we are.

Morrow, 34, had an excellent season until the arm trouble started, saving 22 games with a 1.47 ERA and a 31/9 K/BB ratio in 30.2 innings. Once he went out the closer’s duties fell to Pedro Strop. Now Strop too is out for at least the rest of the regular season and likely more due to a hamstring strain he suffered last week while running the bases.

Bullpens become a lot more important in the postseason. The Cubs’ bullpen is becoming thinner.