View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



April 2017



Vote for Pedro (Strop) to not pitch much vs. the Cardinals at Busch

Written by , Posted in General

Before I get too deep into this, please know that I am a big fan of Pedro Strop and he has been a very reliable piece in the bullpen over the past 3.5 seasons. I also think he will be a valuable piece going forward, but his latest meltdown against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Opening Night sadly isn’t an aberration.

If we look at teams that Strop has faced for 20+ innings of his career we are left with 4 teams and unsurprisingly, those 4 teams are all of the NL Central Teams (Pirates-29.2 IP, Reds, 28.1 IP, Brewers-26 IP, and Cardinals 23.2 IP). The team he has struggled the most against is the St. Louis Cardinals.

Strop’s ERA against these top 4 teams are as follows:

Team ERA
Pirates 2.43
Reds 0.95
Brewers 4.50
Cardinals 4.56

Strop also has a higher WHIP (1.324, next highest vs. Brewers, 0.962), more walks (13, next highest vs. Reds, 11 BB), more HBP (5, next highest vs. Pirates, 2 HBP), a higher OPS against (.683, next highest vs. Brewers, .553 OPS) while facing the Cards. These counting numbers though only tell one side of the story, what is really surprising is just how bad he has been at Busch Stadium.

In 14 games (9.2 innings) at Busch Stadium he has a 8.38 ERA with 9 runs given up (all earned) on 10 hits, 10 walks (4 HBP) and 1 HR. That is a 2.069 WHIP and the Cards are teeing off on him to the tune of an .830 OPS. Before you say, well maybe he is just better at home than he is on the road; his career home vs. away numbers are actually skewed towards being better on the the road (see chart).

Stat Home Away
ERA 3.86 2.60
WHIP 1.253 1.090
HRs 15 5
IP 170 169.2

To his credit Strop has denied there being anything to his struggles in Busch Stadium and won’t make excuses, which is what I like to see as a fan of his and of this team, but he has really been struggling against the Cardinals as a whole and when he isn’t in Wrigley against them, things go that much worse.

Like I said above, this is in no way an indictment on Strop and what he can bring to the table out of the pen and truly the sample size is small enough that a few good outings here or there can really change things, but as of now he really is a different pitcher in and against the Cardinals.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    Thank you for providing the numbers to back up my assertion that Stop is terrible in St. Louis.

    • Nathan Schmidt

      Thanks for reading, that is my whole point as writing this, he has struggled there for whatever reason. Small sample size, yes, but still makes you wonder. Big Strop fan though and I think he will be a vital part of the pen.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        Your article also pointed out that I am much more sensitive to the Cubs losing to the cardinals, than I am to them losing to the Brewers. I had no idea he was as bad in Miller as he was in St. Louis. Also it is a small sample size, so hopefully we get more like the last game, so the numbers normalize.

  • Dork

    He was ok last night

  • Doug S.

    Strop wears his cap sideways because the Cardinals are in his head?

  • Dork

    9.2 innings is really too small of a sample size to make any conclusion. As cubs fans we value Cardinal games more, and that leads to looking for this type of anomaly.

    • Nathan Schmidt

      I agree with you on all of that, very small sample size and success or failure against the Cardinals does matter more. I still trust Strop a little more than Rondon at this point after the spring Rondon has had.

      • Eddie Von White

        I don’t trust either one of them.

      • Nathan Schmidt

        I also am worried about Wade Davis and his consistent health…if Strop and Rondon take big steps backwards, then hopefully Carl Edwards Jr. and Justin Grimm take big steps forward.

  • Sherm

    Meanwhile, Grimm – who was LIGHTS OUT in preseason, and is ready for the prime time job…sits and watches. Joe and his favorites…

    • Nathan Schmidt

      That is a very curious point, I wonder what the deal is with that…he does tend to have forearm soreness here and there, so may be they are easing him into games?