The Cubs lost again tonight, dropping their fourth in a row, 8-4 to the Angels.
- Eric Jokisch subbed for Jon Lester today, and it didn’t go so well, as he gave up four earned runs on six hits over his four innings. He didn’t walk anyone, but struck out only one. Barring a last-minute injury rash, Jokisch will head to AAA Iowa to start in the rotation there, and pop up as necessary throughout the season.
- Mike Olt had another great game. Not only did he homer, but he tripled and looked smooth, as usual, defensively. If the Cubs open the year with Olt at third base as the starter, I look forward to seeing how he fares, and how long he holds the job.
- Speaking, essentially, of Kris Bryant, the erstwhile third baseman played left field for the first time tonight, and looked passable, even starting a double play on a liner when he caught a runner napping at second. At the plate, it was a down night – he didn’t even homer five times! – striking out three times and popping out once. The strikeouts were all looking and all borderline, but the showing on this ESPN game where the announcers couldn’t stop hinting at the Cubs’ nefarious intentions with respect to service time probably wasn’t the worst outcome, all things considered.
- Javier Baez had a couple hits and a couple strikeouts, but he was hustling at every turn – almost single-handedly creating a run in the first inning on the basepaths – looked good in the field, and demonstrated all of the “other” things he does well.
- Arismendy Alcantara came in late, and saw more time at shortstop. I like it – the complete versatility, I mean. Speaking of shortstop, Addison Russell continues to look very, very good there.
- Matt Szczur started in center and had an infield single; Junior Lake came in late and doubled. Each is trying to win a job as an outfield reserve – something at which each has a very real shot.
- Not that there was ever reason for concern, but it was nice to see Anthony Rizzo crack a couple doubles.
- Back to the pitching side, Jason Motte gave up the other four Angels’ runs as he got hit hard. On the bright side, he was finally up to 96/97 mph (according to ESPN’s gun). Now for the command part of the TJS recovery.
- Travis Wood didn’t pitch in this one, but he did homer.