Bryant: Pinkie 'nagging' on field, but improving

August 4th, 2017

CHICAGO -- isn't making excuses, but he did admit Friday that his left hand still bothers him, especially when he's playing defense.

"It's not a problem," Bryant said. "It's nagging. During the game, it feels pretty good. Before and after the game, it's [sore]. I don't think I came back too quick from it, but it's something you've got to play through. It's probably going to be there for another couple weeks.

"It's moving in the right way, so that's a good thing. It's not getting worse."

Bryant sprained his left pinkie sliding headfirst into third base on July 19 in Atlanta, and he only missed one game. He's continuing to get treatment on his hand both before games and at home.

"It hurts more fielding -- squeezing the glove is the most painful thing," Bryant said. "When I hit the ball off the end of the bat, that's when I feel it. It hurts way more when I squeeze the glove. It's getting better."

Worth noting

• Manager Joe Maddon was not worried about closer , who served up back-to-back home runs on Thursday in the Cubs' loss to the D-backs. Davis had warmed up to pitch the ninth, but play was stopped because of rain, and he waited 30 minutes before actually throwing in the game. It was the first time Davis has given up a pair of home runs in a relief outing.

"That's something he normally doesn't do," Maddon said of Davis. "His stuff was good, but if you saw the location, it was off. That was the residue of the rain delay. No excuses -- it's the same for both sides. But [Arizona closer] Fernando [Rodney] didn't have to warm up until later."

• Speaking of the bullpen, Maddon was impressed at its creativity during the extended rain delays on Thursday. The Cubs and D-backs relievers competed with each other -- there was bowling, fishing, a bobsled ride and masks.

"I give the Diamondbacks a lot of credit," Maddon said. "[Brian] Duensing went up in my book [with his dancing ability]. [Jake] Barrett went way up in my book when he put his uniform on upside down. I thought that was outstanding. The bowling was great. I love the competition. I thought it was fun. It also speaks to why they're doing so well, too."

and came up with the masks. The Cubs' relievers dance in the 'pen after a player hits a home run, and they wanted to liven that up.

"Me and Ronnie were like, 'We want to do something crazy,'" Strop said.

Bullpen coach Lester Strode wore a chicken mask -- and did a little chicken dance -- during the break.

"We didn't know if we were overdoing it or not," Duensing said. "It was fun. It's cool to see how other teams think a little bit."

• If Maddon had his way, the Cubs would play more night games at home. The team can play 35 scheduled night games, with eight that are scheduled by national television broadcasts.

"We just play way too many day games during the week," Maddon said. "I'm just being honest. Guys need their rest. When you're constantly going night, day, day, day, day and it's hot during the summer time, it matters. It would be wonderful if we could get to a more conventional method regarding the number of night games vs. day games.

"We did OK last year," Maddon said of the Cubs' 57-24 record at home last season. "Moving forward, when you're able to come to the ballpark a little bit later and get your proper rest and just be a human being -- get your laundry done, go shopping, get a haircut, all those things. Seriously. There's just no time. You have to take advantage of the road, where you play more night games, to sleep and get your rest, and you come back knowing it'll be more hectic.

"It's not big secret, and I'd be disingenuous if I told you something differently. I'm not blaming anybody or pointing fingers. I just think it's a better method to permit your players more consistent rest."