The Cubs had a little split-squad action on St. Patrick’s Day with a home game at Sloan Park against the Dodgers and a trip to Camelback Ranch for a matchup with the White Sox. The North Siders did not have the luck of the Irish as they failed to win either game.
The Cubs got behind the White Sox early but were able to take the lead back on a two-run homer from Yan Gomes in 3rd inning. Edwin Ríos got to Sox starter Mike Clevenger again in the 4th with a solo shot to increase the advantage to two.
The White Sox rallied back to tie the game in the 7th inning on an Erik Gonzalez single. Sergio Alcántara went deep again in the 8th to put the Cubs back ahead, but the home team evened it up in the bottom of the frame and the contest ended in a 4-4 deadlock. (Box score)
Hayden Wesneski got the start in Mesa and looked as good as ever, racking up punchouts and holding the Dodgers scoreless through three innings. Ian Happ cracked a double in the bottom of the 3rd to put the Cubs ahead by one.
Wesneski then had his first really bad inning of the spring in the 4th. His command was off and he walked the leadoff hitter and then gave up a single before JD Martinez hit a three-run bomb to center field. Max Bain took over later in the frame and the Dodgers poured it on. Jason Heyward doubled and so did Martinez, who collected five RBI in the inning.
Chicago did eat into that 8-1 deficit, as Cody Bellinger tripled in two runs as part of a three-run 6th inning. Jacob Wetzel clubbed a three-run homer to lower the margin to 9-7 in the 7th, but LA closed out the game from there and took home the win. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost/Tied
One bad inning doomed the Cubs in Mesa Friday and the bullpen was unable to hold on against the White Sox leading to a tie.
Stats That Matter
- Dansby Swanson finally got an extra-base hit, doubling in the 6th inning.
- Cam Sanders allowed a run but still displayed his nasty stuff with three strikeouts.
- The WBC must have helped Matt Mervis because he had three hits Friday, two of which were doubles.
- Adbert Alzolay threw two perfect innings on Friday.
Wesneski still looks very good and one rough spring inning won’t change the fact he has earned a rotation spot. The Cubs are going to need Swanson, Bellinger, and Mervis to deliver extra-base power like they did Friday if they want to contend in 2023.
The Cubs head to Scottsdale Saturday to take on the Giants at 3:05pm CT. Adrian Sampson attempts to right the ship on the mound and you can watch it on Marquee.