Confident Edwards: ‘ See you guys in L. A.’
WASHINGTON — Cubs reliever Carl Edwards Jr. had two critical rough spots during the National League Division Series against the Nationals.
He also had a signature moment in between and has the 10th inning of Game 7 of the World Series on his résumé. And if you don’t think he’s in line to be the Cubs’ closer someday, then you haven’t been watching the way manager Joe Maddon uses him or listened to Edwards talk.
Even after walking both batters he faced in a four- run eighth inning that buried the Cubs in their Game 4 loss Wednesday, Edwards spoke with confidence, said he wanted the ball again and even made it clear he expected to get it against the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series.
‘‘ I know for a fact that [ righthander Kyle Hendricks] is going to be on,’’ Edwards said just before the Cubs’ charter flight late Wednesday to Washington for the decisive Game 5 on Thursday. ‘‘ He’s just going to go out there, we’re going to have fun and we’ll see you guys in L. A.’’
It didn’t matter so much whether he was right or wrong.
‘‘ I love it,’’ Maddon said. ‘‘ You have to have a real short memory to be really good at that particular job. He’s been good. Even after the home run by [ Bryce] Harper [ that tied Game 2], he came back and had a really good outing right after that.’’
That was in Game 3, when Edwards struck out Harper swinging to lead off the eighth during the Cubs’ 2- 1 victory.
‘‘ It just didn’t play out [ Wednesday],’’ Maddon said. ‘‘ This kid’s going to be so good over the next several years. You have to help guide him through it at this moment. I love the fact that he does eject negativity rather quickly.
‘‘ He’s going to be really good. He’s already really good.’’
Hitting coach John Mallee was accused on social media of cheating for using what appeared to be a smart watch during Game 4, but he quickly was cleared after Major League Baseball conducted a brief investigation.
A video posted on Twitter showed Mallee sitting on the Cubs’ bench and tapping the watch on his wrist twice. Tyler Williams, who posted the video, speculated Mallee was messing with an Apple Watch.
MLB investigated the device, according to the Washington Post, and found it was a FitBit that wasn’t connected to the internet. MLB determined the Cubs didn’t violate any rules.
Apple Watches have stirred up controversy in MLB this season. Two teams have found themselves in hot water after someone in their dugout was spotted with one.
The Red Sox were caught stealing signs from the Yankees with an Apple Watch, and the Diamondbacks got in trouble for using the same device, although it was determined they weren’t stealing signs with it.
In Mallee’s case, the FitBit seemed to be malfunctioning, which was why he was tapping it, Cubs staff said.
Commissioner Rob Manfred sent a letter to MLB teams that said: ‘‘ All 30 clubs have been notified that future violations of this type will be subject to more serious sanctions, including the possible loss of draft picks.’’
Anthony Rizzo picks off Jose Lobaton on a throw from Willson Contreras during the eighth inning Thursday at Nationals Park. | AP