After losing three straight games to conclude February, the Cubs have now won two games in a row to kick off March. Monday afternoon, the Cubs welcomed back a familiar face who spent the last five seasons as their skipper.
Unfortunately for Joe Maddon, his former team spoiled his return to Sloan Park by defeating his new team 9-4. (Box Score)
Why the Cubs Won
Kyle Hendricks and Jeremy Jeffress were sensational through their four combined perfect innings of work. In total, the Angels failed to produce their first baserunner until the 5th inning, when they earned their first walk of the game. Credit to Chicago’s pitching staff, they were able to keep their team in the game until their offense finally woke up in the 6th.
Thanks to a pair of doubles from Kyle Schwarber and Victor Caratini, the Cubs were able to spark a five-run 6th inning that was ultimately the difference-maker against the Angels.
Stats That Matter
- Schwarber went 1-for-3 including a bases-clearing double.
- Ian Happ went 1-for-2 and produced his first home run of the spring.
- Caratini went 1-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI double.
- Hendricks completed three perfect innings and struck out three during his second start of the spring.
While the outcomes of most spring training games are usually meaningless, this victory over the Angels means a lot for the Cubs. They didn’t take it easy against their former manager, which will likely be something Maddon is reminded of when these two teams meet again later this month.
This was a split-squad game, with the other half of the team facing the A’s at Hohokam Park at 8:05pm CT Monday. Alec Mills is backed by a B lineup in that one, with MLB Network on the coverage. The Cubs will visit the Rockies for the first time this spring on Tuesday, with first pitch slated for 2:10pm CT. José Quintana is expected to make his spring debut and Marquee Sports Network has the coverage.