“If Carl throws a first-pitch ball, I’d go out and pull him right away.”
Those were my (only half-joking) words as Carl Edwards Jr. trotted in from the bullpen to relieve Jon Lester with two outs in the top of the 8th inning. Lester had struck out Bryce Harper to open the inning and had picked Ryan Zimmerman off — I know, right? — after walking him, but had then allowed a single to Daniel Murphy. Right-handed Anthony Rendon was coming up, so Joe Maddon figured he go with a righty to close the inning.
I understood the move at the time and I still do; Lester had done a great job, but he was at 55 pitches and Edwards was ready to go. The lanky reliever was also running high on confidence just two days after retiring the side, including Rendon, to preserve the tie and set up Anthony Rizzo’s game-winning bloop.
The thing about Edwards, though, is that you can pretty much tell what you’re going to get from that first batter he faces. Sometimes it’s even the first pitch. A 96 mph fastball sailed wide and a not-entirely-irrational flower of fear bloomed somewhere in my mind. It wilted as subsequent …Read the Rest
Source:: Cubs Insider