Take a walk Nationals. You are way off base.
During this weekend’s four-game set, the Cubs decided to pitch around Bryce Harper and let someone else hurt them. That someone else never showed up, and the Cubs swept.
Harper walked 13 times in the four-game series, setting a record. He reached base seven times without an official at-bat Sunday – another record.
Nationals pitcher Tanner Roark called the Cubs’ strategy “scared baseball.” Dusty Baker said that fans don’t come to the park to see Harper walk.
How about looking in the mirror, Washington. With their clutch hitter taken out of the equation, the Nats went 1-for-19 with runners in scoring position Sunday. Ryan Zimmerman, batting behind Harper, was 0-for-5.
Bryce Harper is the first player in MLB history to reach base 7 times without an at-bat. (6 BB, 1 HBP) pic.twitter.com/NdjgpDUBgv
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 8, 2016
Every time the Cubs walked Harper they took a chance. Walks are usually bad. The Cubs have the best record in baseball in part because they don’t walk anyone. But they flipped the script this time and it worked.
The Cubs didn’t invent this strategy. And why would they stop doing it when the Nats didn’t make them pay?
The Nationals’ arguments are ridiculous. They might as well have been whining that the Cubs tried to steal bases — because “hey meanie, that’s stealing!” Maybe the Cubs shouldn’t be allowed to throw curveballs because that’s trying to fool the hitters. God forbid they shift the infield or the third-base coach conceals his instructions with signs.
Either make the Cubs pay for walking Harper, Nationals, or go back to tee ball.
You can reach me at Patrick@CubsFanTherapy.com