The Chicago Cubs' wild makeup-game victory in Washington on Thursday might have come at a huge cost.
Cubs closer Pedro Strop, who's put together an outstanding second half for the NL Central leaders, had to leave the game after injuring his hamstring while running the bases in the 10th inning.
With the Cubs having taken a 4-3 lead on the Nationals in the top of the 10th, manager Joe Maddon let Strop hit with the bases loaded so that he could try for a save in the bottom half. Strop, who came into the game a career 0-for-3 as a hitter, immediately grounded into a double play and came up lame when he stretched to try and beat the throw across first base.
After the game, Maddon told reporters, including Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, that Strop is dealing with left hamstring soreness as a result of the play.
Strop said he'll be getting an MRI and added that he expects to miss at least a couple of weeks, according to Sullivan.
Losing Strop for any amount of time would be a huge blow to the Cubs' bullpen, which is already likely to be without primary closer Brandon Morrow for the rest of this year. Strop was handed ninth-inning duties in mid-July after Morrow got hurt, and the 33-year-old has rewarded the team's faith by putting up a 1.93 ERA and 0.86 WHIP over 19 second-half appearances prior to Thursday. His 11 saves since the All-Star break are tied for second-most in the NL over that span.
Randy Rosario took over on the mound after Strop's injury and preserved the Cubs' 4-3 victory, picking up his first major-league save. The win extended Chicago's lead in the competitive NL Central to 1 1/2 games over the second-place Milwaukee Brewers, who were off Thursday.
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