The Cubs battled the Giants at Sloan Park on Tuesday as Spring Training winds down. Jake Arrieta got his final appearance before the games start counting he looked for a while more like the Baltimore clunker than the sleek, late-model edition we’ve grown used to. When all was said and done, his line (4 IP, 3 R, 5 H, and 7 K), was fine, but the 1st inning (36 pitches) was worrisome.
Chesny Young struck the first blow for the Cubs with a two run homer off of Giants starter Matt Cain to cut the San Francisco lead to 3-2.
Cain helped himself with a two-run double off Mike Montgomery in the 6th. The Cubs, now behind 5-2, rallied back against in the bottom of the inning. Huh, where have I heard that before?
Javy Baez had a run-scoring single to start the surge and Tommy La Stella followed with a double to right center to score another. Ian Happ put Chicago up with a two-run double that carried over former Cub Justin Ruggiano’s head in right.
Yasiel Balaguert added a solo blast in the 7th to make it 7-5 Cubs. Pierce Johnson entered to close it out, but things did not go well for close-cropped reliever. By the time the 9th had mercifully ended, 5 runs scored on 3 homers (box score).
Stats That Matter
- Ben Zobrist was 0-2 with walk; good to see him back after missing time with a stiff neck.
- Ian Happ was 2-2 with 2 RBI after coming in late, which seems to be happ-ening a lot. Seriously though, he will be doing a lot of damage in Iowa come April.
- Tommy La Stella suddenly looks like he has the edge in the battle for the last roster spot. He added a great defensive stop at 3rd to his RBI double.
An important thing to watch this season with Jake Arrieta will be how efficiently he can navigate innings? High-pitch-count innings were a big problem for him last year and more starts like today won’t help.
The Cubs wrap up their Cactus League schedule against the A’s at Sloan Park. John Lackey takes the mound for the 3;05 CDT game.