Despite spring training games having virtually no impact on the season ahead, every game between the Cubs and Brewers has the hype of a regular season contest. Jon Lester took the mound for his second start of the spring. Overall, he was effective during his three inning stint with the only damage coming in the first inning via a Travis Shaw two-run home run.
Aside from Steve Cishek making his spring debut in relief, the Cubs didn’t throw out any other arms in this game that should be breaking camp with the big league squad.
Offensively, Joe Maddon’s lineup consisted of mostly regulars, aside from Mark Zagunis playing in right field following a late scratch of Jason Heyward due to an illness. Zagunis and Albert Almora Jr. plated a run each in the 5th inning to tie the game up at two apiece. After the Brewers regained a three-run lead in the top of the 6th, the Cubs were able to plate two more in the bottom half of the frame to tighten things up.
In the end, the Cubs were unable to muster enough offense to keep up with the Brewers, who were teeing off against the relievers the Cubs threw on the mound. They would fall to the Brew Crew 6-4. (Box Score)
Why the Cubs Lost
Most of the regular relievers for the Cubs had the day off and the Brewers were able to take advantage. Chase Anderson and Zach Davies combined for 5.2 innings pitched for the Brew Crew, providing a higher level of opposition for the Cubs offense compared to what Brewers batters had to face.
The Brewers were able to plate five runs across the 6th, 7th, and 8th innings, which proved to be too much to overcome. It’s important to note that these runs came against the likes of Matt Carasiti, Christian Bergman, and Ian Clarkin. No need to panic.
Stats That Matter
- Zagunis continues to see the ball well early on this spring. He went 1-2 on the day, driving in his ninth run through 17 spring at-bats.
- Trent Giambrone displayed the power today that he has become known for throughout the Cubs system. He hit his second home run of the spring in the 6th inning and is now 7-for-15 through the early stages.
- Alberto Baldonado was sharp in his third spring appearance. He posted a scoreless inning in the ninth, notching two strikeouts. He has now thrown three scoreless innings this spring.
Lester and Cishek were the only regulars to throw on the day. It’s always reassuring to see starters up their innings pitched as the spring progresses without complications. Soon enough we will have the pleasure of watching Lester pitch and others pitch through sizable chunks of ballgames.
The Cubs return to Sloan Park to take on the White Sox on Sunday. Yu Darvish will make his second start of the spring, squaring off against Manny Banuelos. First pitch is slated for 2:05pm CT and you can tune in to Cubs radio broadcast on MLB.com or the Sox call on WGN 720.