Cishek earned the save Tuesday, firing a scoreless inning against the Giants. Manager Joe Maddon indicated regular closer Brandon Morrow was unavailable for a planned second straight day off in this one after pitching in consecutive games over the weekend. In his stead, Cishek has been a reliable option all season long, with a 1.96 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 45 strikeouts in 41.1 innings and now three saves.
Cishek (2-0) recorded the win Thursday against the Dodgers by tossing 1.2 scoreless innings of relief. He gave up a walk and struck out one. Cubs starter Jose Quintana was shaky through five innings, and he actually came out with Chicago down 3-1, as Clayton Kershaw held the Cubs in check. However, Chicago got to the Los Angeles bullpen, which set Cishek up for the win with his strong relief work. The veteran righty has been good all season out of the Cubs' bullpen, as he now has a sparkling 1.75 ERA to go along with the two wins and two saves.
The Cubs will utilize the best matchups in the ninth inning with Brandon Morrow (back) on the 10-day DL, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports, which figures to put Cishek in the mix for saves in the near future. Cishek has recorded two saves this season, most recently picking one up on June 9 when the Cubs decided to rest Morrow. Pedro Strop and Justin Wilson figure to be in the mix for saves as well, but Cishek's experience (123 career saves) could give him a leg up. It's unclear exactly how long Morrow will be sidelined at this point, so Cishek could be a good speculative add for owners in need of saves.
CIshek and fellow picher Brian Duensing both appeared in left field in Wednesday's 1-0 loss to the Brewers, though neither player had a fielding chance, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports. Cishek started the eighth inning on the mound, but after allowing a leadoff single to Orlando Arcia, Cubs manager Joe Maddon got creative. He brought in the lefty Duensing to face the left-hand hitting Eric Thames but shifted Cishek to left field rather than the bench. After Duensing struck out Thames, Cishek swapped the two pitchers, allowing Cishek to pitch to the right-handed Lorenzo Cain. Duensing ended up finishing the inning by retiring the left-handed Christian Yelich. "I have a whole new perspective when playing the outfield," said Cishek, who made his MLB debut there. It's unclear if Maddon will employ this strategy much going forward, though he's certainly known for thinking outside of the box.
Cishek recorded the save in Saturday's 2-0 win over the Pirates by tossing a scoreless ninth inning with a strikeout. For the second straight day, the Cubs bypassed regular closer Brandon Morrow in a save situation. On Friday, Pedro Strop shut the door on Pittsburgh, and on Saturday Cishek was successful in his save opportunity. An injury hasn't been reported with Morrow, so this looks like simply an extra day of rest. That means Cishek will likely shift back into a middle-relief role Sunday. He's been effective for the Cubs whenever he's been out there, as the veteran righty now has a 1.88 ERA.