Former Cubs manager Dusty Baker used to like to ride his horses, often extending guys like Mark Prior, Kerry Wood and Carlos Zambrano to the 130-pitch mark and beyond until their arms practically fell off. Joe Maddon is quite the opposite, preferring the quick hook after 60 or 70 pitches, even when his starter is throwing a gem. In what is likely his last home game as Cubs manager on Sunday, Maddon has one final trick under his sleeve when he plans to use up his entire pitching staff over the course of nine innings.
“I’m going to pitch them all, you’ll see Cishek walk the bases loaded in the third, followed by Norwood, Phelps, Wick and Wieck each throwing 25 pitches in the fourth,” said Maddon. “I’m likely to get eight or nine pitchers in there for the fifth inning alone, it’s important to preserve these guys’ arms for the rest of the stretch run.”
The normally mild-mannered Kyle Hendricks, who was promised the second inning by Maddon, was none too happy to hear that he’ll be on a strict pitch count.
“He’s giving me three pitches and then I’m out of there,” said Hendricks, who was unceremoniously pulled by Maddon after 4 2/3 innings in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series. “Caratini is going to relieve me. Joe said it was a match-up thing.”