cactusAnother day at Cubs Park, and it was another enjoyable one. It didn’t hurt that they had a food truck serving gourmet sliders.

The Cubs lost the game, though, which would have served as more of a damper if the game didn’t include a Javy Bomb.

  • Jeff Samardzija got hit quite a bit, but from where I sat, he wasn’t really throwing anything but fastballs. Really not a lot to take away from his performance.
  • I’m not sure if you can say the same for Chris Rusin, who’s trying to win a job in the rotation, and seemed to labor. He didn’t get much help behind him, though, including a Little League-style grand slam (Rusin had loaded the bases, and the clearing took place after he departed) on a single and at least one very ill-advised throw by Christian Villanueva.
  • Josh Vitters saw some time in left, dropping a pop fly in foul territory (it was right on the cusp of the shadows from the grandstand, so that probably impacted things, but still). He did stroke two nice singles, though, and his swing does look pretty sweet.
  • Brett Jackson whiffed a couple times, and really seemed to be pulling off the ball (to my very untrained eye). Junior Lake also had serious contact issues today, seemingly whiffing on everything at which he swung (which was a lot).
  • Untold by our homer love is the fact that Javier Baez also did quite a bit of whiffing today, particularly early when he was facing more big league-ish pitching (the homer came off a decent, but journeyman-ish minor leaguer). He swung at the first five pitches he saw, missing a couple, fouling off a couple, and popping one up. He also fouled a ball off of his foot, terrifying everyone in attendance for the 30 seconds he lay motionless on the field. The homer came after that, so I’m guessing it was just a case of “holy crap ow,” rather than “holy crap I’m injured.”
  • Armando Rivero struck out one in his scoreless inning, but he did give up three hits.
  • George Kottaras did what he can do: he hit a homer and took a walk. Given the team’s affection for his dog at camp, his penchant for walking, and his Greek background, I’d say it’s fair to call him – or his dog – the Greek Dog of Walks.
  • Ryan Kalish got on base a couple times, and did the kind of dirtball hustle stuff that most fans eat up. If he can pair some baseball talent with it now that he’s finally healthy, he could be a great piece to have.
  • Christian Villanueva had a nice solid single in his one at bat.


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