The Bullpen: Not the Achilles Heel You’re Looking For

The irony of the legend of Achilles is that his name, far from being a symbol of strength, is now largely associated with the notion of a single critical vulnerability. And, more to the point, whenever we’re confronted with something that strikes us as without weakness, our minds immediately flit to the young demigod, dipped by […]

MLB: NLDS-St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs

Russell Rests as Cubs Consider Arms Race

It wasn’t quite on the order of the sword of Damocles—the Cubs are too happy right now to feel anything approaching anxiety—but it was certainly an open question heading into the workout day on Thursday: What was Addison Russell’s status? The last anyone had heard of his health was on Tuesday night, manager Joe Maddon was […]


The Cubs’ Bullpen High-Wire Act

Last weekend was an exciting one for the Cubs, sweeping the Giants and firmly establishing their claim as the team to beat for the last NL playoff spot. They certainly made it interesting, with James Russell and Jason Motte combining to turn a mop-up game on Saturday into something interesting, and Hector Rondon giving every […]


Travis Wood, Shutdown Reliever

Cubs fans have short memories. Travis Wood was actually really good in 2013, his second full season with the team. I mean, I know you, the educated reader, know he was really good, but perhaps the average reader wouldn’t know that his 4.2 DRA-derived WAR that season—which is a measure of a pitcher’s overall contribution to his team—was 11th […]

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The New Motte

It’s not the first time you’ve heard it and it certainly won’t be the last, but pitching isn’t all about velocity. However, the fact is, if a pitcher could once pump high-90s gas and then finds himself struggling to touch the mid-90s, it can take a toll on his confidence. That may have been the […]