It was a fun day at Goodyear Park, not only because the Cubs beat the Reds 9-6 (Box Score), but also because the Taylor Family took in the action (and a bunch of food, drink, etc.).
The Cubs built a 5-2 lead in the middle innings before the Reds put up a four spot in the 6th to take the lead. But, from there, the Cubs scored four more of their own to take the game. Sure, it’s still fake baseball, but it was about as exciting as a fake baseball game gets!
Among the other things …
- Jason Hammel started for the Cubs, and mostly cruised through his five innings of work. Although he gave up a couple runs, one came after a dropped ball by Jorge Soler (it looked like he was battling the wind and the sun, not that you want to see a drop at any time). Hammel struck out three, and walked one. He also got an assist at one point on a nice pick-off throw by Kyle Schwarber, nailing a runner at first. All in all, Hammel looked comfortable, crisp, and in command. Schwarber looked good behind the plate.
- Brandon Gomes gave up most of the damage after Hammel departed. He’s in camp on a minor league deal, and was not a significant threat to make the big league team at this time. Jean Machi followed with a scoreless inning.
- From there, Trevor Cahill pitched the final two innings (he appears to be transitioning back into his bullpen role), facing just six batters (he hit one of them, but the batter was erased on a double play).
- Dexter Fowler and Matt Murton each doubled in the game, and Ben Zobrist was one twice (walk, single).
- Anthony Rizzo was hitting the ball hard all day, including a homer to dead center field. Back-up-back-up-back-up catcher Tim Federowicz also homered, and I remain very hopeful that the Cubs are able to keep him stashed at AAA Iowa, just in case.
- It was great to see so many regulars in action, and start dreaming on what the season is going to look like. It looked good from where I was sitting.