Day two; it’s winning time

No time like the present to get on a roll.  The Cubs once again take the field against the hapless (HAPP, amirite?) Marlins in Miami tonight at 6:10 PM CST.  Every team wants to get off to a good start and the Cubs are no different, they have a great opportunity to really put the screws to the Marlins tonight and take a big step towards a series win with a big effort.

Radio:  670 the Score
TV:  WGN

Kyle Hendricks takes the ball in what many believe could be a special year for the professor, as you can see from the image above, Kyle is jacked up.  The Cubs will face off against Caleb Smith who is someone that I have never faced so I have something in common with all the Cubs.  No Cubs hitter has any experience against Smith who has just two games started at the big league level.  Neither were very good, but he did have a strong year in the minors last year.

Player to watch:  It’s Hendricks, expectations have never been higher and I’m right there with the masses.  Time to take it to another level.

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The pen and the power; Cubs roll in opener

One pitch, one loud noise, welcome to the 2018 championship season.  Ian Happ decided to send that special first pitch of the season baseball into the right field stands to set the tone today.  The Cubs’ bats were in midseason form as they cranked out three dingers en route to an 8-4 opening day victory.  Anthony Rizzo, and Kyle Schwarber supplied the rest of the power in this one as both launched solo shots.

https://www.mlb.com/video/share/must-c-happ-starts-2018-with-hr/c-1897931483?tid=11493214

Jon Lester didn’t have it, period.  It looked like the velocity wasn’t there, and he found himself nibbling the zone way too often, looking a lot like Jon Lester circa 2017.  I wouldn’t read too much into it, Lester typically starts slow and as Maddon said after the game the little extra finish on Lester’s pitches just wasn’t there today.

https://www.mlb.com/video/share/schwarbers-solo-homer/c-1897954583?tid=6479266

Aside from the power surge the strong work of the bullpen grabbed the rest of the headlines.  Newcomer Steve Cishek was tremendous as he was forced into early duty when Lester couldn’t get out of the 4th (my Dad shakes his head in disgust).  Cishek worked and inning and two-thirds giving up one hit while walking one, and striking out two.  The bullpen combined to go five and two-third scoreless innings while giving up just one hit.

Good start.  Welcome back, baseball.

Spring Training AC; Big Ninth Pushes Cubs to Victory

cubs-3-1Full Box Score

On the Mound:

  • Eddie Butler was solid in his Cubs debut, he worked two innings giving up one run on one hit while striking out one.
  • Ryan Williams was outstanding in relief, he worked two scoreless innings, giving up one hit.
  • Jon Martinez struggled with command, he worked a scoreless inning while walking THREE, and striking out one.
  • Mario Meza worked two-thirds of an inning, he walked one and that was it.
  • Tommy Nance had a bounce back effort, he worked a scoreless inning while striking out one.
  • Duary Torrez was touched up a bit, he worked one inning, giving up one run on two hits while striking out one.
  • Juan Paniagua also struggled with his command, he worked one inning, giving up one run while walking THREE.

At the Plate:

  • Javier Baez went 1-for-3 with a run scored, he’s now hitting .364 on the spring.
  • Ian Happ was 1-for-2 in the win, he stole a base, and scored a run.
  • John Andreoli, Jacob Hannemann, Jeimer Candelario, Chesny Young, Albert Almora Jr., Eloy Jimenez, and Chris Dominguez all registered one hit, Jimenez with a double, and Andreoli with a triple.
  • Victor Caratini was strong once again, he went 3-for-4 with a run scored.

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Spring Training AC; Addison Russell Destroys Baseball (VIDEO-NSFW)

Russell Dinger 2016

To say that Addison Russell is full of confidence might be a bit of an understatement.  Coming off an extremely productive 2016 Russell is playing at a different level.  For the second straight day, the shortstop of my dreams crushed a dinger, today it was a three run bomb.  Be careful opening this video at work, you might get fired.

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Spring Training AC (After Championship) — BAEZ VIDEO

baez-tattoo

We’re back, I hope that suits you, Mr. and Mrs. Reader.  The purpose of the “SPRING TRAINING AC” posts will be recapping the spring events, you know, the first camp post World Series title, God that’s fun to say.

I, like most of you, have spent my off-season watching highlights of the season that was, maybe some compiliations of Javier Baez playing stupid good defense.  Well because 2017 has begun, Javy is already wetting our palette for the regular season, here’s a nice play from today.

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