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.
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.
The Pelican defense was not up to par in this one as they committed three errors which played a huge roll in a 3-2 loss to Carolina last night.
At the Plate:
Rashad Crawford has a relatively tame game by his standards; he went 1-for-5 with his third double of the season.
Gleyber Torres is starting to trend in the right direction; he went 1-for-4 with a walk.
Jason Volser had a solid game; he went 2-for-4 with a double, a triple, an RBI, and a run scored.
Jeffrey Baez was hit and miss in this one; he made one of the costly errors, but finished the night going 2-for-4 with a double, and an RBI.
On the Mound:
Zach Hedges was really good in this one; unfortunately he was still hung with the loss. Hedges worked 6.2 innings, giving up three runs, one earned, on seven hits while walking three, and striking out one.
Daury Torrez kept things close out of the pen; he worked 1.1 scoreless/hitless innings while striking out two.
Missed opportunities were the name of the game for Tennessee as they went 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position en route to a 5-4 loss to Mobile.
At the Plate:
Bijan Rademacher is red hot in 2016; he went 2-for-5 and is now hitting .500 on the season.
Chesny Young is opening some eyes in the early going; he went 2-for-4 with his second dinger of the season, a walk, an RBI, and a run scored.
Billy McKinney is starting to heat up; he went 2-for-5 with an RBI, and a walk.
Victor Caratini was 2-for-3 with his first double of the season, an RBI, and a run scored.
Mark Zagunis was productive near the bottom of the order; he went 3-for-4 with his second double of the season.
On the Mound:
Tough day for Jen-Ho Tseng, and he was awesome. Tseng had to leave early after being hit by a comebacker, before that he worked three scoreless innings, giving up three hits while walking one, and striking out four, no update on his condition.
Michael Jensen struggled in relief; he worked 2.2 innings, giving up three runs on two hits while walking two.
Corey Black was much better out of the pen yesterday, but he picked up the loss. Black worked two innings, giving up one run, unearned, on one hit while walking one, and striking out three.
Andury Acevedo worked 1/3rd of an inning, giving up one run, unearned, on one hit while walking two.
Josh Conway worked a scoreless inning while walking one, and striking out one in the loss.
Baseball during the day is so very nice, even if it doesn’t count yet. Pierce Johnson takes the mound for the Cubs today as they open their home portion of the spring schedule. Here is how they will line up, I believe the game is on MLB.tv with a subscription, and Cubs.com has the audio.
La Stella 3B
SP – Pierce Johnson
On a personal note, Pierce Johnson is one of my favorite players, rooting hard for him. Go Cubs!