Today was a fun one at Sloan park. The Cubs were playing baseball, Kyle Hendricks pitched well during the 2 innings he was in the game for, and there was a sparkle in the stadium. At no point was that more evident than when Kris Bryant smashed a grand slam off of Brock Stewart in the 4th inning to give the Cubs a five-run lead they would not relinquish. It was Bryant’s first home run of the spring, and it was a beauty.
The aforementioned Hendricks, along with Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon, and Carl Edwards Jr. all made their spring debuts. That tells me it’s getting much closer to real baseball, which I cannot wait for.
Stats that Matter
- Spring Training and Whose Line is it Anyway have at least one thing in common: the points don’t matter. You could argue that everything is made up, but that’s a philosophical argument for another day. There were some good things that I saw in the game, however.
- Jason Heyward and Kyle Schwarber both took bases-loaded walks. It’s good to see them comfortable enough to keep the bats on their shoulders in that situation.
- The pitchers, as a collective, hit their spots with consistency. Seth Frankoff came in for the final 2 innings and walked three, so he was missing the zone consistently, but he was also not wild. The pitches he threw were around the zone and some of them were borderline.
Spring Training is all about the process behind the stats, and so far the process looks pretty good for the Cubs. Yes, they scored a ton of runs today, but Cubs batters forced Dodgers pitchers to hit the zone, which is more of what we saw last year when the Cubs led the league in walks with 656. All in all, it’s one game, so not much can be gleaned from it aside from the simple fact that baseball is back and the Cubs are the reigning World Series Champs.