Boom. Shut out’d.
Today the Cubs took down the Indians behind some brilliant pitching, and just enough offense. Here’s hoping we hear that a lot this year when the season rolls around. The bits…
- Look. Say what you will about Spring Training stats and their relative meaninglessness, but here’s what we know: Jeff Samardzija came into today’s start believing that he had to perform in order to lock up a rotation spot. He performed, and then some. Facing a lineup almost exclusively of left-handed batters, Samardzija allowed just three hits and a walk over six innings. He struck out five, and gave up no runs (obviously). He also tripled. The walk was his first all Spring. There are reasons to keep Samardzija in the bullpen, but none are compelling enough for me to say he shouldn’t be given a spot in the rotation at this point. The Cubs have very little to lose, and a whole lot to gain. I’m on board, Jeff.
- The other three scoreless innings came from Carlos Marmol, James Russell and Rafael Dolis. Marmol’s was the quietest inning, with just one walk and a K. Russell gave up a couple hits, and Dolis gave up a couple walks. All three are going to end up with jobs in the bullpen out of Spring Training (unless the Cubs want to use today’s wildness as an excuse to send Dolis to AAA (he’s got an option), and keep an optionless reliever in his place to start the year).
- Ian Stewart, like Bryan LaHair, started out a little meh this Spring, but has turned it on of late. He had another couple hits today. LaHair had another hit, too.
- Joe Mather had a hit and a walk in three plate appearances. Once again, we can gnash our teeth about Spring stats all we want, but the guy is a virtual certainty to break camp with a job on the bench. We might as well buy into the story, and start cheering. I’m into it.
- Steve Clevenger was Geovany Soto’s sub late today, and, what do you know, he had another hit. That’s all he and Welington Castillo have done all Spring. My nod still goes to Clevenger as the back-up, but it’s so close that no decision is going to be a bad one.
- Tony Campana probably got a taste of what he’ll be doing when the season starts: leading off and playing in the outfield. It’s just that he’ll be doing it for the Iowa Cubs.