4/20 Russell: "It doesn't matter how old you are"

OK, James Russell wasn’t going to go through the entire season without giving up a run. At least, he knew that. On Monday, the Cubs rookie was charged with two runs in his two-thirds of an inning, the first runs off him. He now has given up two over five innings in six games.

“You don’t want it to happen but it does,” Russell said of the runs. “You can’t go out there and be perfect every day. It’s just part of the game. I made a good pitch, and unfortunately, it got hit out [by Angel Pagan]. It happens. You just come back and don’t let it happen as often.”

The Cubs bullpen is very young but they don’t seem fazed by anything.

“It doesn’t matter how old you are,” Russell said. “You still have to throw over an 18-inch plate. You still have to make pitches. Right now, we’re not making the pitches we need. It [stinks], yeah, but yesterday’s game is over. It’s not like you can go back in time and make a different pitch. You can just learn from it and do whatever you have to do.

“We’re still learning as young pitchers and bullpen guys,” he said. “We’ll figure it out.”

Russell may have known he’d eventually be charged with a run. Told that Cubs fans have high expectations and probably expected him to go untouched the entire season, the lefty laughed.

“That would’ve been what, the first time ever?” he said. “It would’ve been cool but not really plausible.”

— Carrie Muskat

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