Wade Davis breaks Cubs record for consecutive saves

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 18: Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Wade Davis (71) pitches in the ninth inning during a game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Chicago Cubs on April 18, 2017, at Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire)
Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire

While the Chicago Cubs are not in as strong a position to win the World Series as they were before Wade Davis‘ arrival, their new closer has done his part and then some this season.

Davis on Tuesday night set a franchise record for consecutive saves by converting his 27th in a row. Davis recorded the final three outs in the Cubs’ 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field. The established ninth-inning specialist broke Ryan Dempster‘s club record of 26 straight saves between the 2005 and ’06 seasons.

The Cubs have received top-shelf bullpen work from Davis, whom they acquired from the Kansas City Royals in a December 2016 trade for Jorge Soler. While Soler has disappointed and been largely stuck in Triple-A with the Royals, Davis shook off the injury troubles he had last season and delivered stellar work with his third MLB team.

Davis’ overall body of work has taken a slight step back from his mid-2010s form in Kansas City, when he operated as one of the best middle relievers in baseball history before becoming the closer for the team’s World Series run. But he’s been stopping batters at a near-career-best rate and has helped the Cubs stay atop the National League Central. The 32-year-old right-hander entered Tuesday night with an 11.7 K/9 ratio accompanying his 2.22 ERA.

Chicago took a loss upon sending Davis to the mound earlier this month against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but Davis allowed two runs in a non-save situation. He has not blown a save since September 2016, and has converted 33 straight saves counting his final six with the Royals.

Although he’s only been a full-time closer for two years and missed over a month last season due to injury, Davis tied his single-season high with this 27th save. The Cubs now have a 3.5-game lead in the NL Central.

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