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Spring Training Miscellany: A’s 9, Cubs 8 – Arrieta Ks, Big Bats Thump, Forgettable Day for Some Pitchers

Chicago Cubs News

It happened again! The Cubs got out to a huge, definitely-out-of-reach lead … and then lost! This time, it was the A’s who got the Cubs, 9-8. If this were the regular season, the panic would be overwhelming.

But, once again, I have to point out that today’s game was lost by the Cubs after the regulars had departed, and, although you’d love to see the prospects and non-roster guys pulling out every win, it’s not something to tear your hair out about.

  • Jake Arrieta had nasty stuff working today, but he also ran into one of his not-altogether-infrequent bouts of total command loss, walking two straight A’s in his final inning of work. He said after the game (CSN) that he couldn’t explain why he lost his feel, but he felt like he was throwing left-handed to those two batters. Arrieta finished the inning on a couple balls in play (one was rocked, but caught by Kyle Schwarber in left on a really nice play), and that was his day. We won’t quite know if he would have gotten back on track from there, but that’s what Spring Training is for – noting issues, workshopping them between starts, trying things out in the next exhibition game, and going from there. Arrieta had five strikeouts in his three innings of work and did not allow a hit.
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  • Some GIF-ified nastiness:

  • Much like a couple games last week, the Cubs’ regulars and starting pitcher put them out in front with a healthy lead, and then the younger/non-roster guys gave it up later on. This time, it was starting pitchers Williams Perez and Rob Zastryzny each giving up four runs – Perez in his inning of work, and Zastryzny in his … no innings of work. Yes, unfortunately Zastryzny’s outing went walk, single, single, walk, walk, single, and then he was out. Who knows if he was working on something, but if he’s physically feeling fine, just throw that one away, young man. Perez and Zastryzny are both candidates for a rotation job at AAA Iowa to open the season, with Zastryzny just about a lock, and Perez something of an outside shot.
  • I am duty bound to inform you that Jason Heyward went 0-3. I am also duty bound to note that one of those was a very well-struck ball to right center that hung up long enough to be caught, one was a more or less standard fly ball to center, and one was a very good at bat that ended on a swinging strike at a very solid looking breaking pitch. I know how that all sounds. I’m just passing it along.

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  • The big three at the top of the order did what they do, with Kyle Schwarber singling and tripling (high off the batter’s eye, so it was a homer in any other direction), Kris Bryant singling and homering, and Anthony Rizzo doubling. The trio drove in seven runs.
  • Matt Szczur also did what he does, which is – at a minimum – rake in Spring Training. A single, a double, and a walk for the man who just returned to the lineup. I’m glad the Cubs have him and everything, but boy would I like to see what he could become if he were given a starting job for a full season.
  • Jacob Hannemann got a chance to show off his speed, getting an infield single, stealing two bases, and flying around the outfield. As long as he hits even just a little bit, Hannemann will be a useful big leaguer.
  • The Cubs scored eight in this one despite being 3-17 with runners in scoring position. Again, if this were the regular season, you’d say some things. As it stands, I mostly just note it to emphasize how valuable slugging is.
  • Be careful out there, writers:


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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor of Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.

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