Cubs’ Jeremiah Estrada, Brendon Little debut in 5-3 loss to Blue Jays

TORONTO – Two Cubs relievers made their major-league debuts in the Cubs’ 5-3 loss to the Blue Jays on Tuesday, with quite different results.

Before the game, the Cubs selected right-handed reliever Jeremiah Estrada as their second substitute player in Toronto.

The Cubs had already put pitchers Justin Steele and Adrian Sampson on the restricted list due to Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine requirements for entry. They added lefty reliever Brandon Little as a substitute player on Monday.

Little was the first to debut Tuesday. He replaced starter Marcus Stroman, who held the Blue Jays to one run in five innings. Little hit the first batter he faced and then slipped trying to field a swinging bunt from Matt Chapman. Then, he gave up a go-ahead three-run homer to Teoscar Hern?ndez. He left the game after throwing 2/3 of an inning.

“I think Brendon had some things speed up on him a little,” manager David Ross said. “… Settled down, was able to get two outs.”

Estrada entered in the eighth inning. He struck out two in a scoreless inning.

“Jeremiah did a nice job coming in, doing what he does,” Ross said. “He’s got a really good fastball. Threw the ball extremely well, got some swing-and-miss in there.”

Contreras leaves game

Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said he woke up with a tightness in his left ankle, and the pain “came out of nowhere.” He’d been dealing with a sore left ankle, and then foot, since the Field of Dreams game almost three weeks ago, but it had been feeling better.

In the fourth inning, he hobbled around the bases after hitting a solo home run to drive in the first run of the game. When he sat down in the dugout, Ross asked him if he wanted to come out. Contreras asked to keep catching at least until his spot in the batting order came up again.

“I wanted to stay in for Stroman,” Contreras said. “… That was my main focus, stay in the game for him and get him through the fifth inning.”

Alfonso Rivas pinch-hit for him in the sixth.

“I wanted to stay in the game,” Contreras said, “but at this point, I have to listen to my body and do what’s right for me and for the team.”

Ross said Contreras felt better after treatment, but the team would evaluate him the next day.

Morel snaps skid

Cubs rookie Christopher Morel snapped an 0-for-18 streak at the plate in a big way. After the Blue Jays tied up the game in the fifth inning, he gave the Cubs back the advantage in the top of the sixth with a leadoff homer.

Before that at-bat, Contreras had told him to just try to make contact, like he was playing pepper.

Morel, batting ninth in the order, went 2-for-4.

Davis returns to Triple-A

In outfield prospect Brennen Davis’ first game back with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs, he went 1-for-3 with a home run. David (back surgery) played five rehab games with Single-A South Bend before rejoining the I-Cubs on Tuesday.

Read More

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.