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Tommy Hunter debuts with save, 99 mph pitch

Tommy Hunter got the final two outs of the ninth inning on Saturday, earning a save in his Cubs debut. Getty Images/Mike McGinnis

MILWAUKEE -- For once the Chicago Cubs were buyers at the trade deadline instead of sellers.

"We didn't have to say goodbye to our friends," is the way first baseman Anthony Rizzo put it on Saturday.

Their mini buying spree paid immediate dividends as newcomer Tommy Hunter entered the game in the ninth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers after Jason Motte struggled to get just one out. It was a Jorge Soler leaping catch at the wall which prevented the game from getting to within one run. In came Hunter who got the next two hitters to earn his first save since May 9 of last year. His adrenaline may have been pumping just a little bit.

"First two warmup pitches I throw, go to the backstop, then he swings at the first one," Hunter said of Jean Segura. "Thank you."

Segura grounded out then Hernan Perez flew out to end the game but not before Hunter hit 99 mph on the radar gun. That had the locker room buzzing afterwards.

"I looked up and said ‘that's a 99 ball right there,'" catcher Kyle Schwarber said. "That's why it got on him a little bit. That's probably the first time I caught a 99 ball right there."

Hunter explained: "It's not like you're going to see that every day."

Then he paused.

"Hell you might. You never know."

Hunter's big personality will fit right in with the laid back Cubs -- he actually said he took it easy the first time during their traditional post-win celebration -- and his arm will play for Maddon if he keeps this up. Motte's been struggling lately and the Cubs simply needed one more arm for insurance.

"What Hunter did today there is pretty impressive, throwing 99," first baseman Anthony Rizzo said.

Hunter did his part in his first chance to do so. Starter Dan Haren will get his chance next week. Small moves sometimes pay off. They did on Saturday.

"That was awesome," Hunter declared.