The Cubs were solidly in control of this one going into the 9th, but the wheels completely came off in a silly inning. A silly, Spring Training inning.
- Mike Olt ripped a solid single to center and made some fantastic plays in the field at third base. Were you judging on today, alone, you’d say this is the third baseman for the Cubs. Were you judging on the entirety of Spring Training, well, you might say it as well.
- The hold-your-breath moment of the game came on a great sliding catch by Albert Almora in center field. Problem was, he slid right into the wall with his right knee. Given his injury-plagued 2013 season, extra nervousness was understandable. He jogged off under his own power, and the Cubs later said it was a bruised knee. If that’s all it is, you’ll thank your lucky stars for the few days he gets off. The good news is, as expected, he looked great out there.
- Dan Vogelbach drilled a couple singles (though he did get picked off first base once – it’s that legendary speed), and looked great at the plate. Physically, as we’ve said before, he looks as good as he ever has. He’s still a stocky guy whom you won’t mistake for a corner outfielder, but he does look like a guy who can play first base.
- Junior Lake hit another homer – a bomb to left field – and struck out twice. Lake, in a nutshell.
- George Kottaras hit a deep double off the center field wall (hooray for trade rumors!), but also dropped an easy pop up in foul territory (boo for trade rumors!).
- Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon looked pretty nasty today in relief, which is good going forward. The offending reliever in the above-mentioned nightmare 9th inning, though? Well, it’s bullpen bubble guy Alberto Cabrera, who gave up five earned on four hits and a walk (including one homer). He struck out one, but that was the only out he got. Is this kind of appearance enough to sink his bullpen chances? Nah. He’s looked good this Spring, and he doesn’t have any options. But, well, it happened.