Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

arizona cactusThe Cubs dropped the first of two exhibition games against the Diamondbacks, losing 5-1 at Chase Field. The Cubs’ lone run came off the bat of pinch hitter Travis Wood, who went deep in that capacity for the second time this Spring. Here’s hoping he duplicates that feat in the regular season, as I expect we’ll see him doing a lot of pinch hitting, especially when the starting pitcher is pulled early in the game.

Wood, in case you missed it, picked up the final spot in the Cubs’ rotation, as expected.

  • Edwin Jackson, then, moves to the bullpen, and he pitched just one inning last night, not unlike relievers do sometimes. Jackson gave up a couple hits and one unearned run in his inning (would have been out of it with just a single allowed, but Tommy La Stella made an error at second base.
  • From there, only Zac Rosscup – who will be in the bullpen at Iowa – pitched a clean inning, though Hector Rondon and Phil Coke did not allow runs in their innings. Each of Brian Schlitter and Pedro Strop allowed an earned run on a couple hits, and minor leaguer Michael Jensen allowed the other two runs (one earned).

  • Not much in the way of offense in this one. Arismendy Alcantara tripled, and Jorge Soler doubled. Welington Castillo came off of the bench and had a hit.
  • Dexter Fowler left the game after just one at bat with lower back stiffness, though he apparently told the media if it was Sunday, he’d still be playing. I don’t doubt him, though backs are tricky. Because it was recent, I remember last year when Anthony Rizzo played for a little while with a minor back issue, then he was going to miss a day or two just to be safe, and then he wound up missing about three weeks. Fingers crossed that Fowler is out there on Opening Night, and we never hear of this issue again.
  • The Cubs will play the Diamondbacks again today at 3:10pm CT, but the Cubs’ regulars will have headed back to Chicago by then so that they can get ready for Opening Night. So, look for today’s game to be prospect-heavy.

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