The Cubs lost their first practice game in 130 days tonight, and it was so freaking nice to just slide into baseball mode for a while.
The White Sox won 7-3 at Wrigley Field tonight. The fake crowd was highly entertained.
What matters most is that Kyle Hendricks looked healthy and prepared for the season ahead, and the Cubs got in some practice against another baseball team. I would’ve celebrated only in a troll-y kind of way if the Cubs had won (still will if they win tomorrow), but it wouldn’t have meant anything. So it is with a loss tonight. It’s practice. I was very happy to see it. Even in this moment, as I seek to think about how much tonight’s game didn’t mean in expected future performance, I’m happy. I missed baseball.
A Jason Kipnis solo shot, a Nico Hoerner sac fly, and a David Bote infield dribbler. That was it for the offense tonight for the Cubs. Decent amount of hard contact that went for naught, but the point is to see some live pitching. Man, it’s gonna be such a limited dose of practice for these guys.
That didn’t seem to hurt the White Sox against Jharel Cotton. He followed Hendricks and gave up double, double, double, triple to consecutive batters, and every one of them was a rocket. You don’t want one exhibition appearance to count for too much, but let’s get real here. There are just three exhibition games total, and then the season starts. You’d have to have a lot of confidence in Cotton coming into tonight for the appearance not to impact your thinking whatsoever. It’s also worth remember that Cotton came to the Cubs as a reclamation project. I don’t mean that in a derogatory way – just that it wasn’t a given he could slot right into the bullpen or the rotation and succeed.
I have no idea how Dan Winkler puts the ball anywhere near the plate given how wild and max effort his delivery is, but the fastball has good rise and it just seems like he’s kind of an off-putting at bat for guys. Got results again tonight.
For as dodgy as Rowan Wick looked in the spring at times, he looked perfectly fine tonight. Good life on the fastball, incredible break on the curveball. Gonna need him to be good right out of the gate.