The Cubs entered their game against the Texas Rangers Thursday a bit under the weather, as scheduled starter Yu Darvish was a late scratch with an illness. Jason Kipnis was also removed from the lineup and Albert Almora Jr. was sent home. Anthony Rizzo was scratched with a blister issue, but he’s not sick…yet. Those who were able to suit up played as if they were also ailing and produced a very sloppy effort.
Texas took the lead when Dillon Maples, making his first spring appearance, uncorked a wild pitch in the 3rd inning. Jason Adam had his first poor outing of the year in the 4th with a couple of walks and a throwing error that led to a four-run frame. That lead was too much for the Cubs’ cold bats to overcome and the road team picked up the win. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
Seven walks, a hit batter, and a pair of wild pitches creates a recipe for a lot of runs to score. Chicago did a fairly decent job of limiting the damage to just five runs, but an anemic offensive performance made the Rangers’ lead very safe.
Stats That Matter
- Ian Happ had two more hits and continues to have a very strong spring training.
- Maples once again displayed the control problems that have been his Achilles heel. He walked the first batter he faced and sailed a pick-off throw, and generally gave Willson Contreras a heck of a workout behind the plate with two passed balls.
The Cubs keep looking at possible bullpen options from a pool of hard-throwing relievers. Hopefully, a couple of them can break through and earn a relief role.
The Cubs welcome their crosstown brethren to Sloan Park Friday at 2:05pm CT. Jon Lester takes the mound against the White Sox in a game that airs on Marquee Sports Network.