arizona cactusIt was a fun day at the ballpark for (most of) the Taylor Family, and The Little Girl really enjoyed her first Cubs experience. She made it into the 8th inning, which is far longer than I thought she would make it – and she was still shouting “Go Cubs!” until we made the executive parenting decision to go out on a high note. A great day.

As for the baseball game, it went well, too, with the Cubs taking out the Royals 4-3. A little yackety sax defensively in the 9th allowed the Royals to get close, but the Cubs held on.

  • Jason Hammel looked pretty good today, pounding the zone and getting plenty of whiffs. He gave up a few hard-hit balls (two landed for hits), but you’ll have that when you’re in the zone as much as he was today. Four innings, three strikeouts, no walks, no runs. Good game.
  • Phil Coke and Zac Rosscup each looked solid in a scoreless inning of relief, though each did allow a baserunner.
  • Matt Szczur had a bunt hit, a stolen base, and at least one excellent play in left field.
  • It wasn’t a great day at the plate for Javier Baez, who swung at virtually every pitch he was thrown today (most well out of the strike zone), and only kind of shortened up his swing one time when he faced a two strike count. He did show plenty of hustle out there, and played solid defense at second base.
  • Albert Almora took a walk on some borderline pitches. Ditto Starlin Castro with the bases loaded. That was nice to see, in terms of season readiness.
  • Mike Olt looks really good at third base. He makes tweener plays look like easy plays, he makes hard plays look like average plays, and he makes impossible plays look almost possible. He had at least one of the first two categories today that I saw.