Imagine a Cubs bullpen without Wade Davis, working under the bright lights of the World Series, trying to contain an explosive Houston Astros offense with the roof closed at Minute Maid Park. That’s a scary Halloween thought for a manager who got second-guessed throughout October, a front office philosophically opposed to big-money, long-term contracts for closers and a fan base that now expects to be watching playoff baseball every year at Wrigley Field. But the Cubs can’t be the team they envision — winning between 88 and 100-plus games every season for the foreseeable future and putting another World Series flag next to the iconic center-field scoreboard — without Davis or another elite ninth-inning pitcher. “He’s got huge balls,” Cubs president Theo Epstein said. “No moment’s too big for him.” Davis — who seemed to purposely avoid talking about The Streak when he set a franchise record by converting his first 32 save chances in a Cubs uniform — is about as low-maintenance and drama-free as an All-Star closer gets. You might not remember any of those regular-season saves or his Wrigley Field warm-up music (Dr. Dre’s “Ackrite”). But Davis made a lasting playoff impression with his epic elimination-game save against the Washington Nationals (seven outs, 44 pitches) and gutsy Game 4 performance in the National League Championship Series (six outs, 48 pitches). “He wants the ball,” Epstein said. “And he can get good hitters out, because he’s got stuff that when he executes it, it’s just about impossible to square up.”
If not Wade Davis, Cubs will need to find another closer with 'huge balls'
NBC Chicago | Nov 1