Cubs reliever Pedro Strop injured his left hamstring while running the bases in the 10th inning of yesterday’s victory over the Nationals.
Strop was trying to beat out a double play ball while hitting for himself after the Cubs took the lead. Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon said afterward that you can’t fault an athlete for trying to compete at 100% effort, and that’s true, but absolutely no one would’ve criticized him for going 50% there. Strop is needed on the mound, not beating out throws to first base. Tough break all around.
Strop will get an MRI but he said after the game that he thinks he’ll be out at least a couple of weeks. That definitely hurts a Cubs bullpen that was already down a man due to the injured Brandon Morrow, whose closer job Strop had assumed in second half. Now it’ll be Carl Edwards or Steve Cishek handling the ninth inning. Or, as the playoffs lead to quick hooks for pitchers, handing much earlier innings.
Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.
Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.
With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.
Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.
Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.
Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.
“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”
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