Viva l’Italia!

I think that’s what you say. Apologies in advance if that’s actually some kind of insult.

That is all to say, Team Italy took down the mighty Chicago Cubs today (in an exhibition game of limited competitive intentionality) 8-7 at Sloan Park. The Italian crew got out to a 6-1 lead until the Cubs put up a six spot in the 6th inning, which included homers by expected AAA Iowa bats Taylor Davis and Chris Dominguez.

Alas, two runs for the Italians in the 9th in Jake Buchanan’s second inning spelled doom for the Cubs.

… but this doesn’t even count in the Cactus League standings, so now who looks silly, eh?!?

  • John Lackey made his Spring Training debut in this one, and, no surprise, he was just getting in his work for two innings. The results were fine, albeit with some hard contact, and it just doesn’t matter because he was pounding the zone. You know the drill.
  • Pedro Strop, on the other hand, followed Lackey and was unable to finish his inning, which featured a lot of loud contact and two walks. Probably doesn’t mean anything, but we’ll see how he looks the next time out (which implies the obligatory caveat for this one: no video from today, so honest analysis is scant).
  • Hector Rondon and Carl Edwards Jr. also got in an inning of work, and although each gave up a run, eyes on the game indicated that they looked perfectly fine. That’s all you ask.
  • Rob Zastryzny pitched two clean innings with four strikeouts, as he tunes up for a role in the AAA Iowa rotation, and a chance to be among the first starters called up if and when an in-season need develops.
  • Offensively, there’s not much to write home about from this one other than the Davis and Dominguez homers. Jeimer Candelario had another hit, because obviously.
  • Cubs outfield prospect John Andreoli had a hit, a walk, and scored a couple runs … for Team Italy.
  • Italy is clearly ready for WBC play – they open up in two days against Mexico.
  • On the news front, if you missed it, the Cubs cut six pitchers from camp today.
  • Coming fun:

  • These boots were made for winnin’:

  • A little batting practice video to remind you that, yes, the Cubs still take batting practice:

 


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