The Cubs came back from a 6-0 deficit to tie this one at eight, because they are the Spring Training Kings, but then decided that was plenty, and allowed the Rangers to go ahead and win 12-8.
Those six early Rangers runs came in a funky 2nd inning, with a couple flukey hits off of Jake Arrieta, a double play that didn’t get turned, and then some more runs scoring after Arrieta had departed that inning. Arrieta, for what it’s worth, came back out for the third and recorded two strikeouts in the inning. Shrug. Very little in Spring Training was going to tell you much about Arrieta beyond his health (check), his ability to command most of his arsenal (check), and his velocity (check). Now we just have to see how it all plays in the regular season.
The runs late came mostly off of James Norwood, who couldn’t find the strike zone today. Ryan Tepera also gave up a couple in an inning after the primary defenders had departed. A lot of excusable stuff, but generally not a good pitching day. You know, 12 runs and all.
One good inning came from Brad Wieck, who struck out two, and another from Dillon Maples, who struck out three with a walk mixed in. Nasty stuff, as usual:
Dillon Maples' off-speed is mesmerizing. pic.twitter.com/YOLSzXrcC8
— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) March 28, 2021
Maples, who just made the team, is out of options at this point, both literally and figuratively:
When people are like “how many last chances can you get” w/ Maples, the answer is — literally — this many. You get a certain number of options, he’s used them all up. This works or he goes on waivers. But there were real mechanical changes, and it makes sense to see it out!
— Away Games Podcast (@AwayGamesPod) March 28, 2021
Random shout to Patrick Wisdom, who has done nothing but hit all Spring, including a couple more today. He wasn’t a realistic candidate to make the roster out of the gate, but he was well-liked by the Cubs at the alt site last year, and hit extremely well the two years before 2020 (mostly AAA, but also some time in MLB with the Cardinals). Just seems like a good bat to have in the organization just in case you decide you want to give him a bench look later on. He’s got options, and can play all four corners.