Hometown hero Kris Bryant and some of his Cubs teammates headed to Las Vegas to play the Reds Saturday. Alec Mills continued his strong push for a rotation spot, but another important part of pitching staff crapped out against Cincy in Sin City.
Chicago took the lead in the 3rd inning when Nico Hoerner laced a two-run triple to left. Mills allowed a run-scoring single to Kyle Farmer in the 4th for his only blemish on the day, but Cincinnati gave Rowan Wick a rough ride in the 6th inning. The Reds scored four times off the burly Canadian and took a lead they would never relinquish. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
The Cubs bullpen was unable hold a narrow lead. With last season’s relief issues in mind, they would like to avoid a similar fate in 2020.
Stats That Matter
- The run Mills gave up was his first of the spring: 3.2 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 3 K, and 0 BB.
- Ian Happ walked, doubled, and in the biggest development of the afternoon appeared to crack a smile in an interview.
- Wick’s ERA is at 22.05 after two rough Cactus League outings.
The Cubs need Wick to be a big piece of the bullpen in 2020, so let’s just hope these bumpy outings are just small sample size hiccups to start the spring.
Chicago plays another pair of split-squad games on Sunday afternoon, both of which start at 3:05pm CT. José Quintana faces the Diamondbacks at Sloan Park and Colin Rea takes on the Reds in Vegas. Marquee Sports Network televises the Cincy game while the legendary Pat Hughes and crew have a radio broadcast of the D-Backs game for 670 The Score.