Consistently and quietly, Wade Davis sets a Cubs’ saves record

CHICAGO – At so many points over the last generation of Cubs’ history, the position has garnered as much attention as any on the team.

Mitch Williams, Randy Myers, Rod Beck, Joe Borowski, Kerry Wood, and Aroldis Chapman are a few of the popular – and sometimes controversial – figures on the team over the past three decades. Sometimes there was success and other times failure but it never went under the radar.

Perhaps 2017 is the exception.

While the defending World Series champions have been a bit erratic all season long, their closer has done his work quietly and as efficiently as ever. On Tuesday night, perhaps lost amongst some of the other conversations on the team, was the fact that Wade Davis picked up his 27th save of the season.

It’s not the number that’s the most impressive but rather the percentage for the closer in 2017 – 100 percent. Twenty-seven appearances with a save on the line has resulted in Wade getting the job done – breaking the Cubs’ record held by Ryan Dempster from the end of the 2005 season through the start of 2006.

“He just does not give in. He has a starter’s mentality as a reliever, as a closer,” said Cubs manager Joe Maddon on Davis. “He’s got weapons for righties and lefties, doesn’t matter the hitter. He’s got something for everybody, whether it’s the cutter, the curveball, the elevated fastball.

“He knows what he’s doing and he’s a pitcher. So good for him.”

Good for the Cubs especially. After letting Chapman go in free agency, the team gave up outfielder Jorge Soler to acquire Davis to take over the role for the Cubs’ push for a repeat. The nine-year veteran, who pitched for Maddon for four years in Tampa before pitching four years with the Royals, has a 2.17 ERA with just 11 runs allowed in 45 2/3 innings.

For this reason, Davis was the Cubs’ only All-Star in 2017.

There have been a lot of things that have been up-and-down about the Cubs this season, but if they can get the lead into the 9th inning, Wade usually ends the drama there.