With today’s 5-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers, the Chicago Cubs finish ONE GAME over .500 (17-16-2), which brings me far more joy than it really should. If the Cactus league were like the National League, and five teams made the playoffs, the Cubs would have finished (as of today) just a game out of the second Wild Card. How about that?
Your final bits of the year…
- Travis Wood, who’s ticketed for AAA Iowa, finally had a good Spring outing (not that it came against a particularly potent Brewers lineup, mind you – it was a split squad with no Braun, Weeks, Ramirez, or Hart), giving up six hits and a walk in six innings of work. He allowed one run (a solo homer to Alex, er, I mean Andy Gonzalez).
- Rafael Dolis came into the game for a tuneup inning after Wood, and gave up his first Spring Training run. He hasn’t officially been named to the bullpen, but, despite the two walk, one hit, one error inning, I don’t expect a surprise tomorrow.
- Shawn Camp pitched the 9th inning for the save today, allowing one hit and striking out one. I have a hunch that Dale Sveum would like Camp on the team.
- The positional regulars mostly tuned up with short, good days – all of Darwin Barney, David DeJesus, Starlin Castro, Geovany Soto and Ian Stewart reached base. Castro hit a monster two-run homer. Alfonso Soriano went 0-2.
- A number of youngsters – like, rookie/A-ball young – made appearances today, including Trey Martin, Oliver Zapata, and Jeimer Candelario, who made an appearance at third base. He went 0-2 with a K, but you’ll likely be hearing more of his name this year, and in the future.
- All in all, it was a fine Cactus league slate for the Cubs, who rarely seemed to be “trying” to win (leaving starters in late, using situational relievers, etc.), but still won more than they lost. It doesn’t really mean much of anything, but most experts agree, having a winning record in Spring Training is better than going 0-fer. How much better is debatable, but it’s probably somewhere between “incrementally” and “marginally.”