The Cubs played two games Monday afternoon in Mesa, with the home team featuring a slightly more exciting lineup. Jon Lester started and pitched two innings of no-hit ball with three strikeouts, and there were a lot of familiar names at the top of the batting order.
Even the pitching replacements were known commodities, as Brandon Kintzler, Brian Duensing, and Randy Rosario saw action. There were a few other guysit would take a really hardcore fan with a deep knowledge of the system and the non-roster invitees to keep track of the scorecard in this one.
For what it’s worth, this was Lester’s first start with the 20-second pitch clock being used across spring training this season. His opinion on it was pretty much what you’d imagine.
“Sure,” he said when asked if he noticed the clock. “Whatever makes people feel better.”
The Cubs relied heavily on the longball for their scoring, getting five runs on two homers. At this point, it’s all about getting out there on the field and getting the timing back. Once the weather warms a little more and the regular season draws closer, that’s when we can really start taking stock. (Box Score)
Why The Cubs Won
Willson Contreras hit a very loud three-run bomb in the 4th and Jared Young added another to give the Cubs all the scoring they’d need.
Kris Bryant apparently was apparently cloned in an attempt to bat for himself.
— Evan Altman (@DEvanAltman) February 25, 2019
Stats That Matter
- Lester walked the leadoff batter, then retired the next six batters in order
- Bryant didn’t get a hit, but walked twice to maintain his 1.000 average
- Daniel Descalso was the only regular to strike out
- Young hammered a two-run bomb to extend the lead in the 7th
A win is a win, even when it doesn’t officially count for much of anything. Lester got out there for his first start of the spring and Bryant is showing that his impeccable eye is just as good as always. Between that and the power, he’s looked great so far.
The Cubs are back at Sloan Park Tuesday as Yu Darvish makes his spring debut against the Diamondbacks. First pitch is set for 1:05pm local time and can be heard on MLB.com.