It’s a tie! That’s basically a win! It’s 8-8 Cubs and Angels, and here’s your Box Score.
This was not the Cubs’ best turn through the rotation. Jake Arrieta kinda got lit up and left early because of a blister problem. John Lackey kinda got lit up. Jason Hammel kinda got lit up (only “kinda” because of the Addison Russell error). And now Kyle Hendricks got lit up. Even Jon Lester, who got good results against a hapless Brewers club said he was not impressed with his stuff or command.
Not a good turn. But it’s Spring Training, so my wild, not-really-serious-but-sort-of-hoping conspiracy theory is that the Cubs decided to play a little rope-a-dope this time through, and just get their pitches in, and let other teams knock the around as much as they please. Why give future opponents anything to scout, right? Um. Right?
- Hendricks’ line on the day went 5.2 IP, 6 R (4 ER), 9 H, 2 BB, 3 K, and he definitely gave up plenty of hard contact (including two blasts to Mike Trout and Albert Pujols). Clayton Richard finished off the sixth inning for Hendricks.
- Justin Grimm followed with a scoreless seventh inning, striking out two and walking one.
- Then, it was Neil Ramirez, who added a scoreless frame of his own, with one strikeout. He’s vying for that 8th spot in the bullpen, and it could come down to the wire on the decision.
- Offensively, the Cubs got homers in the 5th inning from Anthony Rizzo and Jason Heyward (Heyward’s was a monster shot), and a triple from Kris Bryant. Tommy La Stella had three hits, including a double, and it remains that case that it’ll be so hard for the Cubs not to carry him, even though he’s not a perfect fit for the bench positionally-speaking, and even though he’s got minor league options left. I think he winds up making the club on Opening Day.
- Albert Almora had a couple hits and a walk on the day. He’s had a nice spring altogether, when you consider the whole package. Looking forward to seeing his progress at AAA Iowa this year.