Half of the Cubs roster was in Las Vegas to play the Reds for the second time in a game that went ugly early. Acting manager Dave Martinez got a little creative with his lineup Sunday, hitting Anthony Rizzo leadoff.
Reds starter Tim Adelman was, how should I put this, not good. Rizzo annihilated the first pitch of the bottom half for the 1st for a long home run. Albert Almora followed with a three-run homer and by the end of the inning it was 6-0 Cubs.
Eddie Butler, who figures to provide a little AAA starting depth this season, took the mound for the Cubs. Other than Billings Mustangs legend Jesse Winker, Butler had little problem with the Reds order.
There were a couple of odd plays in the game Sunday, one of which saw Winker called out on appeal for leaving early on a tag play in the 4th. In the 6th, John Andreoli threw out catcher Tucker Barnhart at first base on what looked like a single to right.
An Almora double kicked off another three-run Chicago rally in the 4th and the Cubs centerfielder added his second blast in the 6th inning. That wasn’t close to the end of the offense for the boys in blue.
Bijan Radenmacher hit a grand slam in the 7th inning, followed by a Charcer Burks three-run poke in the 8th to give them 20. Oblivious to the Vegas rules, the Cubs continued to hit and ended up busting with a total of 22 runs.
Stats That Matter
- Albert Almora went 3-for-4 with two homers, a double and 5 RBI. Not a very bad day at the old ball park.
- Eddie Butler had a very nice line: 4.2 IP, 2 R, 7 H, 1 K, and 1 BB. He continues to generate ground ball contact and may have a real shot to start in 2018.
- Kris Bryant got on base three times via a double and two walks. I think he’s ready to go in St. Louis in a week.
Albert Almora had a major league glove from day one. If he can produce even part of what he did today on offense, the Cubs will have a tougher lineup than expected, which is kind of amazing.
The Cubs travel to Goodyear Monday night to battle the Indians at 8 PM CDT. If you aren’t watching David Ross dancing, the game is on the MLB Network.