Saturday, October 23 2021

Cubs pitcher Justin Steele nabs career first just in time originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

MILWAUKEE — Almost everything about Justin Steele and baseball is about what comes next — his potential as a middle-of-the-rotation big-league starter, whether he can deliver on that promise by next season, how much say he’ll have in the Cubs’ next run at the postseason.

But whatever happens next, Steele and his bat will always have Milwaukee.

“That was really cool,” said Steele, the rookie left-hander who now has a batting average, thanks to a sharp, first-pitch single to centerfield leading off the third inning Saturday night against the Brewers’ best pitcher this season, Corbin Burnes.

“I’ve really enjoyed hitting my whole, entire life, really loved it growing up, in high school and stuff,” Steele said. “And getting a hit in the big leagues was always kind of the thing I wanted to accomplish.”

He has had precious few opportunities — now 1-for-9 — since debuting April 12 as a reliever for the Cubs. And with pitchers’ at-bats looking like endangered species ahead of the next collective bargaining agreement, he may have had even fewer chances left.

“If they [add] the DH next year [to the National League], I can always say I have a big-league hit,” Steele said. “So I was really excited to do that, especially off somebody like Corbin Burnes. Everybody sees the year he’s having. He’s unbelievable.”

In fact, Steele’s hit off Burnes was not only the first of the game for the Cubs but the first off Burnes since Sept. 5 — Saturday’s game the first for Burnes since he threw the first eight innings of a combined Brewers no-hitter against Cleveland.

Burnes, one of the top two or three Cy Young contenders in the NL, had faced 36 batters without allowing a hit until Steele, striking out 19 of them.

“I just kind of went up there and ambushed him on the first pitch,” Steele said of the 96-mph heater. “It was a great experience.”

Next up for Steele is fine-tuning the starting-pitching end of his game, which continues to be a work in progress after walking four and giving up a pair of solo homers in his four-inning start Saturday — a 6-4 loss that allowed the Brewers to clinch a playoff berth.

He’s 1-3 with a 5.12 ERA and 1.547 WHIP in seven starts, averaging less than 4 2/3 innings per start.

But whatever happens next with that pitching thing, Steele always has Saturday night’s swing off the Brewers’ All-Star — not to mention the baseball.

“It’s already in a case in my locker with a [authentication] stamp on it,” he said. “I’m going to hold onto that one.”

Click here to subscribe to the Cubs Talk Podcast for free.


Download MyTeams Today!

Source: Yahoo Sports


Harrison Bader's two-run double


Tua Tagovailoa could have a ‘left rib fracture’ – Dr. Matt

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Pro Sports Media

Trending Now

ESPN Expert Picks: 2022 NBA Playoffs – ESPN Writer Predictions

The 2021-22 NBA regular season is now under way; early ESPN expert picks and predictions for the 2022 NBA Playoffs are available. During Tuesday’s season-opener doubleheader, the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Brooklyn Nets 127-104 at Fiserv Forum. Then, the Golden State Warriors defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 121-114 at Staples Center. According to the 2022 […]

Read More

Dodgers’ Chris Taylor hits 3 home runs in critical NLCS Game 5 matchup with Braves

Chris Taylor is now just the 11th player in MLB history to hit three home runs in a single postseason game. (Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images) Chris Taylor wasn’t going to let the Dodgers go home without putting up a fight. Taylor hit three home runs in a critical Game 5 matchup in the National […]

Read More

What is a sports equinox? Explaining the history of NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL games being played on the same day

USATSI Every so often we get hit with a sports day that leaves us with difficult choices and an overwhelming number of games to keep up with. I’m talking about the sports equinox, a day in which all four major men’s sports leagues are in action. Lucky of all of us, that is taking place […]

Read More