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.
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.
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.
Once again Jason Hammel was brilliant in six innings of work for the Cubs as they held on to beat the Marlins 3-2. Hammel thought he could have went longer, which is usually the case as he only threw 80 pitches before being lifted for Miguel Montero in the bottom of the 6th (Montero failed). The strike zone was getting worn out by Hammel who finished the night throwing 52 strikes, and just 28 balls. Joe Maddon felt it necessary to pull Hammel in favor of Montero to try and capitalize on a scoring chance against Jose Fernandez, it didn’t work out.
Pedro Strop was ineffective but his stuff was pretty darn good to this uneducated baseball watcher. Strop gave up two runs, only one of them was earned as he was charged with an error on a botched double play ball. It looked like there was a lack of communication between Zobrist and Russell on the play, shortly after that a ball ricocheted off of Strop and into right field for single to score the second run, just odd. Hector Rondon and Aroldis Chapman shut the door in the eighth and the ninth to secure the victory. Dexter Fowler was in the middle of it all as usual at the plate, he went 3-for-4 with a triple, an RBI, and two runs scored. Willson Contreras also had a stellar night against one of the best in Fernandez, he went 2-for-3 with a walk, and an RBI. The Cubs will go for the sweep tomorrow behind John Lackey, and the Cardinals lost so the NL Central lead swells to nine games.
Early on in this one it looked like the Cubs were going to fall back into their familiar, troubling ways as they put two guys in scoring position with one out in the first only to see Javier Baez foul out. Then Addison Russell, as he has done for the better part of the last two months, came up with a huge two run single to give Kyle Hendricks more than enough in this one. Hendricks was dominate as he went the distance against the Marlins for his tenth win of the season and lowered his ERA to 2.22, that’s an elite level right there. Joe Maddon needed a big effort from his starter, and allowed him to get there as Hendricks tossed 123 pitches which is a career high by quite a bit.
The Cubs had hits up and down the lineup but once again struggled to cash in as they left nine guys on base in the first four innings which is almost impossible. Hendricks came up big this time with the bat as he laced a one out RBI single in the fifth to push the Cubs lead to three, and they never looked back. Anthony Rizzo also had a huge night at the plate going 3-for-3 with a double, a triple, a walk, and a run scored. The win is the Cubs’ second straight and fifth in their last six on this home-stand which continues tonight against the Marlins.