WATCH: Cishek talks about his 7-out save, receives funny compliment from Maddon
|Monday, May 20, 2019, 12:59 AM- -|
The Washington Nationals' comeback attempt was foiled on Sunday night by Chicago Cubs reliever Steve Cishek, who recorded a clutch 7-out save to secure the 6-5 Cubs win. Pitching 2 1/3 scoreless innings of 1-hit ball, in which he struck out two batters, Cishek closed the book on the Nationals, as he sat them down in order in the bottom of the ninth for his fourth save this year.
When chatting with reporters following the game, Cishek acknowledged that the appearance was his first in quite a while that spanned three different innings. The veteran right-hander entered with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and pitched the rest of the way. That led to Cubs manager Joe Maddon heaping some hilarious praise on Cishek during his postgame media session.
"He's the first guy in line at Dairy Queen," Maddon said of Cishek. "That was above and beyond. I was planning on two innings, but he had to go an extra out."
Joe Maddon on Steve Cishek’s performance: “He’s the first guy in line at Dairy Queen” pic.twitter.com/cDp869anKK— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) May 20, 2019
Cishek has seen the importance of his role out of the Cubs' bullpen increase in recent weeks with relievers Brandon Morrow and Pedro Strop both out of commission because of injuries. Morrow, who was the Cubs' closer prior to initially getting hurt last summer, is still recovering from a 2018 elbow surgery, and Strop, who replaced Morrow as the closer, is currently on the injured list because of a hamstring strain. With that being said, the Cubs have been without a true closer since Strop went down earlier this month, but Cishek has admirably filled the void.
"It's been great," Cishek said of his recent role change. "I've always said that I just want to help the team win in any capacity."
Cishek went on to make some interesting remarks about his aspirations for serving as the setup man once Morrow returns as the closer. Perhaps, Cishek knows that Strop will be out longer than expected, or he thinks that he deserves to be the setup man over Strop, who has blown two saves in six save opportunities this season.
"Hopefully, Morrow comes back, and I'll be setting up for him," Cishek said. "That was my goal coming into the Cubs."