At this point in the spring I really don’t care about what the box score says despite the fact that I provide one to you daily. What I do care about is the eye test, and how guys feel after performing, and it appears that all is good on that front for Yu Darvish. Darvish made his 2019 debut which was highly anticipated coming off a lost 2018 that ended prematurely with an injury. Reports from the game were that Darvish was sitting at 94-95 MPH, and touched 96 per Cubs Insider/Len Kasper.
All in all Darvish worked 1.1 innings and struggled in finding the strike zone. 36 pitches, 17 for strikes doesn’t exactly scream excitement but again, he looks and feels good.
The Cubs scuffled again at the plate but they definitely made the most of their hits. They only had three hits but managed to push across four runs which obviously wasn’t enough because if you read the headline you already knew they lost. Albert Almora Jr. smacked a double out of the lead-off spot, and Javy Baez picked up his first hit of the Spring in the loss.
Cole Hamels will make his 2019 debut against the Rangers, the team he spent the majority of 2018 with.
I don’t understand the thought process, but the Cubs decided to let Kris Bryant only play in one game today, so obviously they only won that one. That’s right, the dream of an undefeated season came to an end today as the Cubs could only take care of the Padres while losing to the Dodgers.
This one was an uphill battle from the jump as the Dodgers blitzed the Cubs for three quick runs in the bottom of the first off Christian Bergman. It didn’t get much better from there as Cubs’ pitchers combined to give up fourteen hits, and eleven runs over eight innings of work. To make things worse, the combo of Bergman, Kyle Ryan, Ian Clarkin, and Manuel Rondon walked six guys in six innings.
Not much better at the plate for the Cubs as they could only manage two runs on four hits in the loss. The lone bright spot at the plate was second baseman Trent Giambrone who went 2-for-4 with a double and his first home run of the spring.
A much better result at “home” against the Padres, as this Cubs team was led by the big lefty Jon Lester who made his spring debut. Lester was sharp, he walked the first guy he faced, allowed him to steal 2nd and 3rd then got out of trouble per usual. Lester worked two innings, allowing only one base-runner and striking out three. Working out of trouble was all the rage in this one as Brandon Kintzler, Brian Duensing, and Randy Rosario all worked scoreless innings despite heavy traffic on the bases.
A couple of loud noises from the Cubs hitters today. Willson Contreras, and Jared Young launched long home runs, a three run shot for Contreras and a two run dinger for Young. Kris Bryant was picked off first in this one which is the only time that he has made an out this spring, he finished the day with no official AB’s and two walks.
Joe Mather made another huge statement on Sunday, hitting a game winning solo shot in the top of the 9th inning against the Rangers. A home run that might have cemented his spot on the Cubs bench for the upcoming season. Mather has been fantastic this Spring, hitting .379, with 2 HR’s, and 7 RBI in 29 Spring at bats.