cactusThe Cubs went down early last night to the Mariners, and although they came back to take the lead in the 6th, the Mariners won it late.

  • It was a rough start for rotation hopeful James McDonald, who did perhaps the worst thing you can do when you’re trying to win a job as pitcher in the Spring: he couldn’t find a strike zone. McDonald walked five over just 2.2 innings, and some of the walks were ugly. Out of his 64 pitches, just 26 were strikes. I suppose the one bright spot is that he gave up just two earned runs despite the walks. At least McDonald says he was trying to work on a new two-seamer (it sounds like it’s almost a sinker).
  • Let’s admit it, the best parts of last night’s game were the Baez bomb and the two Mike Olt bombs. In case missed them, you can see them here. #Swoon.

  • Those homers came off of Randy Wolf (one each player), who is trying to come back this year, and off of Charlie Furbush, a fairly legit lefty reliever (Olt’s second). Does the fact that the homers came off of a come-back player and all off of lefties diminish them? Eh, maybe a little. But they’re still fun to watch, and part of being a successful player is taking advantage of situations like that. You’re not going to homer every time you face Felix Hernandez, but, the thing is, you won’t always be facing Felix Hernandez.
  • James Russell made his Spring debut, giving up a solo homer and striking out one. Tsuyoshi Wada, who has an outside shot at the fifth starter spot, gave up two hits and two walks over 1.2 innings.
  • Although they were cut earlier in the day, each of Jorge Soler, Kris Bryant, and Albert Almora got a couple plate appearances last night, with Almora singling and Soler walking. Other cut-ees Matt Szczur and Logan Watkins saw time, too. It only now occurs to me that Christian Villanueva, who started at third base last night and took a walk over three plate appearances, was not cut with the rest of the prospect crew yesterday. I don’t think he’s a threat to make the team, but it’s probably a nice compliment.

  • In the third catcher battle, Eli Whiteside played last night, but is still looking for his first hit. John Baker started and notched two hits, including a double. One or both of these guys will head to AAA Iowa, assuming both Welington Castillo and George Kottaras remain healthy (knock on wood).
  • Ryan Kalish had a single in his three at bats, and stole another base. Junior Lake got a hit off of, but then was picked off by, Randy Wolf.

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