The Cubs won a game! They beat the A’s 9-5 today (Box Score), and went off via the long ball.
- Jake Arrieta had a long first inning, and ultimately went just five innings in this one despite throwing 102 pitches, but there were long stretches where he more or less looked like Jake Arrieta. After the game, he reportedly said he felt good and was ready to go. For today, that’s all that mattered most.
- I will admit that I’m surprised he went 102 pitches (1) in a Spring Training game, (2) after leaving his last start early because of a blister, and (3) two days after throwing 46 pitches in a bullpen session. But there’s no doubt he’s stretched out at this point and ready for the regular season. I just, well, didn’t expect him to exceed even, say, 90 pitches in his first couple regular season starts, let alone Spring Training.
- Travis Wood pitched the two innings after Arrieta, and gave up a couple homers in the process. Not his best-looking outing, but let’s just got to the season. He was so very good out of the pen last year.
- Offensively, the Cubs got long balls from Kyle Schwarber, Addison Russell, David Ross, Matt Szczur, and Munenori Kawasaki (more on those later). The Kawasaki blast was especially fun, because the crowd went nuts and his teammates did the silent treatment thing in the dugout. It was great.
- There was a mild scare in the middle innings when Anthony Rizzo collided with Andrew Lambo, turned awkwardly, and later left the game. Like Arrieta, though, he said after the game that he was fine.
- Matt Szczur’s homer came as part of a three-hit day, which included a hustle double on a blooper. A good day for Szczur, eh? Nice game, and he found out he made the Opening Day roster.