The Cubs headed to Camelback Ranch Thursday to do battle their NLCS opponents, the LA Dodgers. Eddie Butler took the hill looking to build his resume for a potential rotation spot in 2018. Chicago posted a lineup of mainly reserves for the road matchup.
The Cubs went ahead quickly in the 1st when Albert Almora doubled and was driven home on a Matt Szczur single.
Butler was very strong against an order that included several Dodger regulars, going 4 innings and allowing only one hit while striking out 4.
Nothing of any particular interest happened until the bottom of the 7th, when Yasiel Puig took a borderline called third strike from Jim Henderson. It might be hard to believe, but Puig lost his temper and slammed his bat down in anger. The volatile Cuban was ejected, which you don’t see very often in Spring Training.
Bijan Rademacher doubled home a run in the 8th inning and RBI doubles from Chris Dominguez and Jacob Hanneman in the 9th made the score 4-0.
Stats That Matter
- Ian Happ doubled and walked twice, raising his spring average to .441. Happ did have an error and a couple misplays at second base.
- John Andreoli was 0-4 in his first start since coming back from the WBC.
- Justin Grimm had another clean inning today; he may become more important if Hector Rondon pitches like he did in the WBC Wednesday.
Butler created a lot of ground ball contact and pitched very well Thursday. He has the kind of stuff to be a solid MLB pitcher.
The Cubs will be back in Glendale to take on the crosstown White Sox Friday. Prized prospect Duane Underwood Jr. gets the start for the Northsiders at 3:05 CDT. The game is on CSN Chicago with White Sox announcers.