Maddon: 'You feel good' when Davis enters

Maddon: 'You feel good' when Davis enters

CHICAGO -- Closer Wade Davis is making catcher Willson Contreras' life easier -- as well as making the Cubs' bullpen better.

"I think he's one of the best in the whole big leagues," Contreras said of the veteran Davis, who is in his first season with the Cubs. "His fastball, his cutter, the command he has on all of his pitches is unbelievable. Any pitch I call, at any time, he can throw for a strike. It's like controlling a baseball with a remote. It's crazy the way he pitches."

Davis picked up his seventh save on Wednesday and entered Thursday's game 7-for-7 in save opportunities. He has yet to give up a run over 13 games and 12 1/3 innings.

"You watch him, he pitches," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of Davis, who was on the manager's pitching staff with Tampa Bay. "As a closer, this guy throws his curveball, throws his cutter. He'll back door, he'll elevate with his fastball, two-seamer in. He's really fun to watch as a closer, because he's a pitcher. Very calm demeanor, to say the least. You feel good when he gets in a game like that."

Maddon also has noticed that when Davis is in the game and the Cubs have a one-run lead, the right-hander has a little more velocity on his fastball.

"I think the other guys gain a lot of confidence from watching him do his work," Maddon said.

• This weekend's Interleague series between the Cubs and Yankees will be a family reunion for Cubs first-base coach Brandon Hyde and his brother-in-law, Joe Espada, who is the Yankees' third-base coach. Their families are expected to attend the three games, and Hyde's wife was having T-shirts made to celebrate the get-together.

"I coached with him in the Minor Leagues and he was my hitting coach," Hyde said of Espada. "He met my wife's sister [and married her]. He was third-base coach for the Marlins, and now with the Yankees.

"It's really cool and I'm happy for him and proud of him," Hyde said. "We both grinded it out a long time in the Minor Leagues, and for him to be a third-base coach for the Yankees is pretty cool."

• The Interleague games against the Yankees also will give Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant a chance to say hello to his former Las Vegas high school teammate, Chasen Shreve, a reliever on the Yankees.

• Cubs reliever Koji Uehara appeared in his 400th game on Wednesday, and is the second Japanese pitcher to reach that mark, joining Shigetoshi Hasegawa, who appeared in 517 games in the Major Leagues.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.