Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

arizona cactusAnd the Cubs close out the Cactus League slate with a win, 11-7 over the Brewers, to finish at .500. Given how they started, that’s impressive. Not that it really matters, but, hey, maybe they’ll be feeling confident and positive heading into the games that count.

  • Jason Hammel was once again solid, allowing just one earned run on six hits and one walk in five innings. He struck out five, and looks ready to go. Being a Cub works for him. Let’s hope he repeats his 2014 success.
  • The Cubs’ offense blew up again, with each of Anthony Rizzo, Jorge Soler, Dexter Fowler, and Tommy La Stella homering. Each was on base at least one other time, and Fowler was 3-3 with the homer, a triple, and a walk. He’s been on freaking fire lately. Ditto Tommy La Stella, who had another hit and a walk, in addition to the homer. Keep it up, gents.

  • Matt Szczur had another couple hits on the day that Junior Lake was optioned to AAA Iowa. It looks likely that Szczur will open the season on the big league team. What happens when Chris Denorfia is ready to go (assuming he is DL’d to start the year) remains to be seen.
  • Justin Grimm’s possibly final tuneup didn’t go so well, as he failed to retire any of the four batters he faced. Neil Ramirez struck out one and allowed one hit in his scoreless inning of work.
  • The Cubs will take tomorrow off before playing the Diamondbacks at Chase Field in exhibition games on Friday and Saturday (though the big league team will have headed north by the time that Saturday game is played). The Cactus League is over, and the Cubs did just fine. Some injuries here and there. Some good performances. Some bad performances. But most of the players seem ready, and healthy for the season. That’s really all you can hope for.

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