[adinserter block=”2″]Hooray! The Cubs are good again!
Last year, it took the Cubs eight tries to win a Spring Training game, and they went on to win 97 regular season games. So, I’m pretty sure that means they’ll win 140 or so this year.
The Cubs beat the Angels 3-0 today at Sloan Park in front of 15,446 fans, a new Cactus League record (breaking their own record from last year, which broke their own record, which broke their own record … ).
Two-thirds of the offensive pop came from Addison Russell, whose two-run homer was a thing of beauty, as he loaded up with the leg kick he adopted in the second half last year and then unwound like a spring on a fastball on the inner third. The ball was an absolutely crushed no-doubter, and Michael snagged some video of it from the stands.
David Ross got everyone on their feet (by which I mean me in my living room, but presumably also everyone in the stadium) with an incredible diving catch behind the plate on a popped bunt, which he not only caught, but then turned into a double play at second base when the runner at first tried to tag up. Hopefully we’ll get a full video of it soon, because it was awesome. GIF form, for now:
Ben Zobrist and Javy Baez linked up for a nice play, too, with Zobrist ranging far to his left to snag a grounder, and then Baez scooping a tough hop at first on the throw from Zobrist. GIF form:
Zobrist also slapped a single in the game, though Jason Heyward struck out in each of his two debut at bats with the Cubs.
Pierce Johnson’s inning of work was held scoreless, in part, because a would-be three-run Mike Trout homer came up 409 feet instead of the requisite 410. Johnson’s fastball had some nice sink, and he got a K with a nice curveball, but there wasn’t quite enough to see to make any kind of real pronouncements. (Not that there would have been even if he’d gone three or four innings.)
The entire pitching staff was solid on the day, with Carl Edwards, Jr. issuing the only walk (and striking out one). Stephen Fife (Tommy John recovery) pitched two scoreless and looked interesting. Prospect Felix Pena looked to have some nice stuff in the 9th, and was aided by a really good catch in right field by John Andreoli.
If you missed it earlier, Munenori Kawasaki had some fun with his teammates this morning, leading them in a song.
Michael should have some more in-person stuff for you folks later.