It was another game that would have driven you crazy if it were the regular season, and not just because it ended in a tie, which, like, doesn’t happen in the regular season.
The Cubs had a three-run lead heading into the 9th inning when Hector Rondon came on for the save. Then he got singled to death, as he sometimes does (plus one walk), giving up three runs, and the game ended in a tie. Get it out of your system now, Hector, I guess, and you’ll be good to go.
- Kyle Hendricks cruised today, going four scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out five. He also had just one flyout, as compared to three groundouts. It remains the case that, barring a health issue or some total disintegration of his mechanics, he will be the Cubs’ fifth starter to begin the season (and other teams should be so lucky to have a fifth starter as good as Hendricks).
- Travis Wood followed with two scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out one. Pedro Strop and Manny Parra each pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts on the way to Rondon in the 9th.
- Jeimer Candelario’s huge spring was covered earlier, as he had another three hits and a homer today. Tiny sample, early, etc. But it’s been really fun to see.
- Willson Contreras had another couple hits, too, including a double, and John Andreoli homered for the second time this spring, and a day after he was 4-4 with a triple. Hopefully all of these guys carry this performance over to Iowa, and the offense there is just explosive.
- Javier Baez apparently looked really good at second base (naturally), and Kyle Schwarber made a nice running catch at the wall in left field, though I haven’t seen the highlights yet myself. Hopefully we’ll get some.
- Munenori Kawasaki walked twice today, pushing his OPS up to .955 on the spring. His role with the Cubs won’t be decided by his bat in the spring, though, and it’ll likely have much more to do with how his glove is looking and how healthy the other bench competitors are. It’s still unlikely he winds up on the big league team out of the gate (about as unlikely as it was that Jonathan Herrera would make the team last year (and then stick on the team all season)), but it’s not something you can dismiss out of hand just yet, especially given the injuries to Tommy La Stella and Matt Szczur.
- David Ross had a hit today, and his OPS stands at 1.000, just as it totally will when his retirement season ends.