Although Anthony Rizzo hit a monster home run today (his first of the Spring) and Kyle Schwarber made an apparently awesome catch at the wall (based on those who saw it), today’s Spring Training contest between the Mariners and the Cubs is all about the pitching.

(Well, that and the utter implosion in the ninth, but we’ll get there).

Indeed, each of Mike Montgomery (2.0 IP), Brett Anderson (2.0 IP), Wade Davis, Koji Uehara, and Brian Duensing saw action today, and each player figures to be an important potential part of the Cubs’ pitching staff in 2017.

Oh, Cubs lost 8-6. The game was not televised, by the way, so all lack-of-video caveats apply.

  • Montgomery got the start today, his third of the Spring, and gave up an earned run on a solo shot by Mike Zunino. Other than that, however, he gave up just two more hits, no walks, and struck out one. His Spring ERA is at 2.25 (not that it matters (both because it’s only ERA and the time of year)).
  • Anderson relieved Montgomery in the third inning, and I don’t need to tell you that their relative order today has nothing to do (as of now) with their ranking in the mind of the manager or chances at sticking in the rotation. He also tossed two innings of relief, but struggled a bit more in the results department: two earned runs on five hits, no walks, one K. But, perhaps more so than any other pitcher in Cubs camp, staying healthy is the ONLY priority for Anderson right now.
  • And yes, eight hits in four innings from these two starters is A LOT, but aside from the staying healthy mantra, remember that pitchers often pound the zone during Spring Training and/or work on specific things. The results are just not the focus, especially this early on. [Brett: I would also add that there were a TON of hits in today’s game on both sides, which is at least mildly suggestive of a tight zone.]
  • But it wasn’t just the back of the rotation getting work in on the mound today; the back of the bullpen did as well. Wade Davis relieved Anderson in the fifth inning, and he too allowed a run on a couple of hits and a walk (though the run scored, apparently, when Jon Jay lost a ball in the sun). As we discussed earlier in the week, Davis has historically been a guy with weak Spring Training stats, so there’s not much to see here.
  • Koji Uehara got in a clean inning of work, after Davis. He allowed no earned runs and no hits, but did allow one walk (against two Ks) – another solid outing for a veteran who’s just looking to make it through a marathon season.
  • For what it’s worth, Brian Duensing blew the save in the ninth, allowing four runs to score on four hits, a walk, and a throwing error by Cubs catcher Carlos Corporan. To be fair, one of his earned runs happened on a James Pugliese balk after Duensing left the game, but still … yikes. Results still don’t matter, but that was one ugly inning! It’s unclear if there’s a relationship to the results, but Duensing reportedly left with the trainer (Wittenmyer). Hopefully there’s not an issue there, as Duensing still projects to be solid as a LOOGY.
  • All together, the Mariners recorded a ridiculous 17 hits.
  • And speaking of that Schwarber maybe-home-run-robbery, I couldn’t find any video, but the reports are tantalizing:

  • We know Schwarber is more of an athlete than his body lets on, but if he can turn into an average (if not slightly more) defender in left field over the next few years … watch out.
  • Again, you can catch Rizzo’s home run here. He also added a double later in the game, as did Eloy Jimenez (dude is absolutely raking (he added a walk in the 9th, too)) and Willson Contreras. Jimenez’s double, by the way, was apparently very well struck:

  • We’re just not sure how well struck:

  • Jason Heyward, by the way, struck out twice and was hit by a pitch today. We obviously can’t get so granular with his Spring Training statistics every time, but it’s worth mentioning. He’s 0-4 with three strikeouts since his big day on Monday. [Brett: So … you’re saying no soft contact? That’s a win!]
  • The Cubs had a second “B” game going today, as well, and in it:

  • According to reports, outfield prospect Eddy Julio Martinez also had a good showing with a hard-hit single to center field and some nice work on defense:

  • Although he’s far from one of the Cubs top prospects (right now), he remains someone to watch closely. His first year wasn’t eye-popping, but he was transitioning from another country and has limited stateside experience. And, of course, that’s all not to mention the positive (albeit mixed) scouting reports from before his signing.
  • Outside of the game, Joe Maddon was doing some good in the community:

  • Here’s a great shot of a relatively packed house:

  • Change your wallpaper to something awesome … like me (er … like I did):

  • Also, I know it wasn’t from Cubs camp, but this was too awesome not to share:

  • Pardon My Take had a couple of nice guests:

  • And finally, these Cubs sure love to give back, don’t they?:

 


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