The Cubs’ offense – with some help from struggling Angels pitchers – blew up today with their regulars in tow, scoring 13 runs on 14 hits and 8 walks. That was enough for the win, although Cubs pitchers (and the defense) countered by allowing 10 runs.
- He did it! Jason Heyward not only notched his first hit of the spring, not only did he hit it hard, and not only was it a long homer, he also added a rocket double to left later in the game. To the extent there is such a thing as a Spring Training monkey, Jason Heyward just got it off of his back.
- Not unlike Jon Lester yesterday, Jake Arrieta gave up plenty of hard contact in this one, but he was pretty obviously getting in his work. There’s not too much to take away from an outing like this one in the Spring, especially when Arrieta was pounding the zone (precisely what you’d want to see him doing today).
- Eddie Butler followed Arrieta with a couple innings, and I think his command wasn’t there. He seemed to battle through most of his at bats, and worked with runners on base nearly the entire time he was in. The camera angle for the game was really awful, by the way:
Spring Training for camera angles. pic.twitter.com/praTopxqrn
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) March 6, 2017
- … which makes it virtually impossible to even comment intelligently on pitch command. That’s why I say things like “it seemed,” and “I guess.”
- Ryan Williams got in the two innings after Butler, allowing two hits, no walks, no runs, and striking out one. It’s been easy to forget about him after a lost 2016 season (and, due to a shoulder injury, which always makes you nervous for the future), but if he could get back to where he was in 2015? That’s a fantastic depth starter to have at AAA Iowa, together with the other options.
- Munenori Kawasaki had a good day at the plate, which probably won’t impact his chances of making the big league roster (at this point, realistically, only injuries can do that), but it’s still nice to see.
- Kyle Schwarber had a really rough error in left field (had trouble getting to a hard, bouncing single to his left, and then the ball got under his glove), and lacked fluidity on at least one other single I saw him fielding. We often focus on an outfielder’s ability to track balls in the air, but it was a reminder that taking good routes to cut off balls on the ground as quickly and efficiently as possible is also going to be a developing skill.
- Jeimer Candelario made it into today’s game, which confirms that, yes, he’s feeling fine after that HBP yesterday.
- Clearly, you should be following John Arguello on Twitter, because look at this:
Heyward with a loud BP session today.
— John Arguello (@CubsDen) March 6, 2017
- And then we know what Heyward did.
- Albert Almora Jr. left the game before taking his first at bat, and here’s why:
#Cubs Almora left the game because of left calf soreness. Fouled ball off his leg the other day
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) March 6, 2017
- It’s not just the games at Spring Training – the players still get after it in the morning:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) March 6, 2017