For just a moment, I’m flashing on how it would feel if this game were played in the regular season. Sports needs “bad guys,” and the Dodgers are it for me. I don’t care for their “SIGN ALL THE PLAYERS” strategy (1 part jealousy, 2 parts integrity (I think a team of mercenaries isn’t really what sports is supposed to be about)), and nothing would please me more than to see them flop this year.
Well, nothing save for a handful of Cubs victories along the way. Especially against the Dodgers.
So, yeah. Today felt good, even if it was completely imaginary and not necessarily telling of anything.
- Chris Rusin is bein’ a dude this Spring. No, Spring stats don’t mean a whole lot, and we’d have to have a few scouts tell us what they’re actually seeing from Rusin, but the numbers are silly good. And he did it again today against a Dodgers lineup full of regulars: 5 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K, 0 ER. You would take that every single time in the regular season, even if it was just five innings. Rusin is going to be very hard to ignore if the Cubs decide to keep a lefty long-reliever type (it’s pretty much either Rusin or Hisanori Takahashi).
- “Sixth Starter” Drew Carpenter (you’d have to say Rusin is the sixth starter now, yes?) followed Rusin with two shutout innings of his own, allowing two hits and a walk, and striking out two.
- The lone Dodgers run came in the 9th off of Zach Putnam, who walked one and allowed one hit.
- The Cubs hammered out nine hits, but took just two walks today, which is becoming something of the norm for them. Hopefully that latter part is a Spring thing. All of the hits were singles, save for a triple by Welington Castillo, a double each by Brian Bogusevic (natch) and Brent Lillibridge.
- Lillibridge had two hits on the day, and picked right up where he left off before missing a week with a groin strain. He and Bogusevic are your non-roster invitee All-Stars on the positional side at this point, but it’s unlikely both can make the roster. If Lillibridge keeps hitting, his versatility is going to win him a job on the bench.
- Darnell McDonald also had two hits, but I still think he’s on the outside looking for the 5th outfielder job (it’s likely to be one of Dave Sappelt or Bogusevic).