Cishek retired the only batter he faced to pick up his fourth save of the season Saturday against the Reds. Manager Joe Maddon played matchups in the ninth inning, with Jesse Chavez and Randy Rosario picking up the first two outs before Cishek was called upon to face Eugenio Suarez. The sidewinder needed just one pitch to get Suarez to groundout to end the game. He now owns a shiny 2.32 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 75:25 K:BB across 66 innings this season and looks to be one of the top candidates to step into the ninth inning for the time being with Pedro Strop (hamstring) and Brandon Morrow (biceps) both sidelined.
Cishek picked up his 23rd hold of the season by recording the final out of the sixth inning Thursday against the Nationals. Later in the game, Pedro Strop went down with a hamstring injury, which appears likely to keep him out through the end of the regular season. Cishek is looking like a top candidate to step into the ninth inning with Strop out, as he has 124 career saves (three this season) and has worked to a 3.18 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 28:8 K:BB since the All-Star break. Brandon Morrow (biceps) is inching closer to a return, but it's far from a given that he returns to the closer role right away after such a long absence.
CIshek (4-1) picked up the win Monday against the Mets despite allowing a solo home run in his inning of work. He struck out one. Cishek allowed a solo home run to Kevin Plawecki in the top of the seventh inning that tied the game at 4-4 and stuck the veteran reliever with his third blown save of the year, but he snagged the win when the Cubs scored twice in the bottom of the frame. This was the first run allowed by Cishek since July 24, and the righty still has a stellar 1.80 ERA this season.
Cishek recorded one out via strikeout and picked up his 19th hold of the season in Friday's 1-0 win over the Pirates. Cishek started the ninth inning with Pedro Strop and Carl Edwards unavailable, and it looked like he'd be in line for his fourth save of the season. However, Cishek was shaky to begin the frame, giving up a single and then uncorking a wild pitch. He struck out Starling Marte with a runner on second, but Cubs manager Joe Maddon decided to turn to Jesse Chavez to end the game, leaving Cishek to pick up the hold. The veteran reliever has been solid all season, as he now has a 1.78 ERA and 62 strikeouts across 55.2 innings, and he could still see a few more save chances with regular closer Brandon Morrow (biceps) on the DL, though Strop looks like the primary option.
Cishek pitched a scoreless seventh inning in Thursday's 1-0 win over the Pirates to record his 18th hold of the season. Cishek allowed a harmless two-out single but was able to retire the side on just 13 pitches. While Pedro Strop has been the fill-in closer with Brandon Morrow (biceps) on the DL, Cishek has been very effective for the Cubs all season, as he now has a stellar 1.79 ERA to go along with the 18 holds.
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