The Cubs rudely welcomed Jeff Samardzija back to Sloan Park with quite a bit of pop, much of it coming from the young players that were part of the core the Cubs theoretically tried to sell Samardzija on when they failed to extend him. So it goes, and the Cubs beat the White Sox today 6-3.
- Jason Hammel pitched well, giving up just a couple earned runs over six innings. He struck out only two, but walked no one, and gave up six hits. He was at the edges of the zone all day, and he has inspired some additional confidence over his last few starts.
- Starlin Castro continues to look uncomfortable in field, but he showed off his power at the plate, taking Samardzija deep.
- Also taking Samardzija deep: Jorge Soler, Anthony Rizzo, and Chris Coghlan. And there you have the Cubs’ six runs today. That could be the Cubs’ story this year, as they once again walked just once (against 11 strikeouts) and notched only five non-homer hits. That’s ok. Having lots of power is a good thing.
- Speaking of which, that Rizzo homer was his first of the Spring, which means folks can stop worrying (needlessly) about any kind of lack of power.
- Arismendy Alcantara looked good at third base, and Tommy La Stella looked good at second base. It’s going to be nice to have those two guys around, regardless of where they land.
- Each of Pedro Strop and Phil Coke threw a scoreless frame in relief of Hammel. Hector Rondon gave up a solo homer in the 9th inning.
- The game set yet another Cactus League attendance record at 15,342.