The Joe Maddon Era remains winless* as the Cubs fell 6-4 to the Rangers today in front of another sell-out crowd at Sloan Park. Clearly, the Cubs were saving their first Spring win for when I get to town (which is tomorrow).
At least the Cubs came back late in this one to make a game of it, but it wasn’t quite enough. With the bases loaded and the Cubs down two, Wes Darvill (or Carlos Penalver – radio had the former, Gameday had the latter) grounded into a double play to end the game.
*In the Spring.**
**Which doesn’t matter.
- Jake Arrieta got in his two innings of work today, and, while he was a little wild, the point is to shake off the rust. Eric Jokisch followed and got slapped around (including a massive bomb by Joey Gallo), and even Neil Ramirez gave up an earned run (though he did strike out the side in his inning).
- Tsuyoshi Wada followed the first three pitchers (which was interesting, because I would have expected him to get into the game earlier when he was more likely to be facing starters), and threw just one scoreless inning. Let the speculation about a possible transition to the bullpen continue. It’s possible that’s at play here, but it’s equally possible that the hamstring tightness that slowed him at the start of camp has him a little behind the other starters.
- Zac Rosscup pitched yet another scoreless inning with a strikeout. With Rosscup, the stuff and the ability to dominate lefties is never going to be in question (and I think he could actually be a really good full-inning guy). The question is always going to be whether the control will be quite enough.
- Javier Baez was 0-3 on the day with three strikeouts. Not much to say there right now because it’s so early. In a week or two, then it could be time to start talking about whether Baez starts the season at AAA Iowa.
- Potential other second basemen Tommy La Stella (playing 3B) and Arismendy Alcantara (playing CF) played today as well, neither recording a hit, and each striking out at least once. Strikeouts were the order of the day, actually – the Cubs had 12 of ’em.
- Another day, another hit for Albert Almora.
- Ryan Sweeney notched a double in his three at bats, and Mike Olt walked once in his three trips to the plate. Because of the potential formulations of the Cubs’ roster, those two could actually be competing with each other for a spot.
- BN’er Tom got video of the end of Kyle Schwarber’s at bat, during which he technically reached base:
— Tom Kimmel (@tgkimmel) March 8, 2015