The Cubs’ bats came out to play in this one, scoring five runs on Padres starter Tyson Ross before he’d recorded his second out. And he never did record a second out, because that bounced him from the game.
The inning included a Dexter Fowler leadoff walk, a Jason Heyward hustle double, a Kyle Schwarber walk, a Jeimer Candelario double, a Javier Baez single, and a Tim Federowicz double (and Arismendy Alcantara walk, though the scoring had stopped by then).
When all was said and done, it was an 11-1 win for the Cubs – here’s your Box Score.
- Heyward added a second double in the game (bases-clearing), and Fowler added a second walk. Candelario added a single, and Schwarber added a double. Baez didn’t add another hit, but he did steal a base. Offense!
- Speaking of Heyward following Fowler: seems like we’ve seen that a ton already this Spring, frequently with Anthony Rizzo batting third, and the third base spot (often Jeimer Candelario, but it would be Kris Bryant in the regular season) batting cleanup. Are we getting an idea of the top four in the typical lineup? You’d then probably have Kyle Schwarber batting fifth, Ben Zobrist sixth, Miguel Montero/David Ross seventh or eighth, pitcher eighth or ninth, and Addison Russell ninth or seventh. Nothing is set, and I bet there will be a lot of flexibility in that lineup when the rubber meets the road, but that might be the early look. You can’t really go wrong with this group.
- John Andreoli hit yet another home run (albeit of the inside-the-park variety, but it was thumped), giving him a team-leading three on the Spring. Across 1763 minor league plate appearances, he has eight. Either he figured something significant out over the offseason … or hitting in Spring Training is weird, small sample, and subject to crazy fluctuations. (See, for example, fellow pop-challenged outfielder Matt Szczur hitting five homers last Spring Training before hitting only eight total at Iowa (though that was a career high, and came in only 70 games). Speaking of Szczur, being that he’s out of options, hopefully he can get into games ASAP so that the Cubs can make an informed decision on him before they have to risk losing him on waivers for nothing.)
- Munenori Kawasaki had another couple hits while playing shortstop, and is clearly getting a nice long look as the Cubs’ 25th man, especially with Szczur and Tommy La Stella on the shelf.
- On the pitching side, Clayton Richard pitched two innings to start the game, walking two, allowing one hit, striking out none. Ryan Williams followed with three innings – no runs, four hits, two strikeouts, no walks, tons of groundballs.
- Neil Ramirez struck out the side in his inning of work, which is hopefully a very good signal about his stuff. There was no gun on the broadcast, and it didn’t look like he was throwing elite gas (and the guys he struck out were not Major Leaguers). Still, though, it could be a good signal. It’s just hard to tell from a broadcast sometimes.
- Spencer Patton’s strong Spring continues, with another couple strikeouts in the 9th inning.