A Cubs record in reach, Wade Davis still isn't satisfied

From ESPN - August 13, 2017

PHOENIX -- Chicago Cubs closer Wade Davis might be approaching a franchise milestone, but that doesnt mean he is happy with his game right now.

Hes 24-for-24 in save opportunities this season and just two shy of matching Ryan Dempster's Cubs record for consecutive saves. But whether he ties or surpasses that number isnt much of a concern for Davis; the right-hander is more interested in making sure hes ready for the most important time of the season.

Ive treated the season like a building block, Davis said. You keep chipping away, so when the time comes where you have to win every game, you can do that.

The 31-year-old has been in what he called a little bit of [a] slump lately. He has allowed opposing hitters a .405 on-base percentage against him to go with an .846 OPS since the All-Star break. Davis admits that his command has been off, but he has managed to make the right pitch at the right time to keep his streak alive. For example, he recently struck out Bryce Harper to preserve a victory despite putting two runners on base. He has walked a tightrope recently but has come out of it successfully each time.

That was about the only good pitch I made that whole inning, Davis said of the curveball to Harper. Ive gone through more spurts this year than I have in the past, as far as giving up some hits and walking guys, for sure.

Even the best closers dont often have 1-2-3 innings. Some will have fans biting their nails in the ninth inning more than others. Dempster knows all too well what that feeling is like.

I remember a game in Philadelphia during the streak where I walked four straight guys in a 2-0 game, Dempster said by phone Friday. I believe its the only player in major league history to walk four consecutive batters and still get a save. I remember thinking, 'If I can get out of this, I can get out of anything at any time.'"

Confidence is such a big factor for baseball players, even for the closers who often get into and out of trouble. But ultimately, preserving the win is the only thing that matters.


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