The Cubs beat the Mets 5-1 in Las Vegas (Box Score), as we get closer and closer to Opening Day.
- Pitching prospect Ryan Williams started the game for the Cubs, throwing three scoreless innings, allowing two hits, no walks, and striking out one. He recorded six outs via the groundball, and just one in the air, so it was pretty vintage Williams. If he can keep his groundball rate elite, Williams won’t have to strike guys out at even a league average rate to be an effective back-of-the-rotation starter in the big leagues. But that’s what I’ll be focusing on this season: can he get the strikeout rate up just a bit at AAA without losing the elite groundball rate and without increasing his typically microscopic walk rate.
- Trevor Cahill pitched the next two innings, allowing the Mets’ one run, and also getting a ton of groundballs. He also got a chance to take an at bat, and put down a squeeze bunt that scored Jason Heyward:
- Hector Rondon and Pedro Strop then split up the sixth inning for some reason.
- Justin Grimm looked the best of the bunch in his inning of work in the 8th, striking out the side in nasty fashion:
- Carl Edwards, Jr. got the 9th inning, allowing one hit, but otherwise keeping things calm with three groundouts.
- Offensively, the Cubs got multi-hit games from Ben Zobrist and Tommy La Stella, a pinch hit sac fly from Jorge Soler, and a run-scoring single from Kris Bryant.
- Cubs first base prospect Yasiel Balaguert had the one homer in the game, and it’s kind of amazing that it went out, because it didn’t look like he got much of it: