It was one of those days. The Cubs couldn't seem to get a hit no matter who was pitching. They totaled 5 on the day and didn't score a run. Aesthetically, it wasn't a fun game to watch either. The Cubs lost 5-0 and really were never in the game. There were, however, a couple of positives to talk about in Jeff Beliveau and Brett Jackson...
- The most impressive thing the Cubs did on offense today was work the count and grind out ABs. The results weren't there as far as hits are concerned, but that will come as long as the Cubs continue to produce quality at-bats. They drew 5 walks today in addition to their 5 hits, but just couldn't seem to get a hit when they needed one.
- Brett Jackson got Dale Sveum's attention today despite not getting a lot of action. He made the most of his opportunity. He singled in his only AB and then came in hard but clean to break up what looked like a sure double play. Sveum liked the effort so much that he got up to greet and praise Jackson as soon as he came back to the dugout.
- Blake DeWitt continues his hot hitting. He had a single and a walk today in 3 plate appearances. Despite the good showing, his average dropped from .625 to .600. He did get picked off 2nd base, so not all was well this time.
- Anthony Rizzo got a hit to raise his average to .308.
- Matt Garza really struggled today. The radar readings on WGN were scary in that they had his fastball clocked at 89 mph, but considering it also clocked the soft-tossing Andy Sonnanstine at 100 mph and a Jeff Beliveau pitch at 58 mph, it's probably safe to say that something was wrong with those readings today. That doesn't excuse Garza's lack of control. He didn't get hit hard, giving up 3 soft singles, but the 2 walks added in made it a rough outing when all was said and done. He gave up 4 runs in 1 1/3 innings.
- Chris Rusin made a brief appearance and got Garza out of the jam with an inning ending double play. This has nothing to do with today, but I'm now thinking that Rusin's future role won't be as a starter, but as a lefty specialist out of the bullpen.
- Andy Sonnanstine pitched a scoreless 3rd inning and gave up one hit and Trever Miller continued his solid spring with a hitless inning.
- The pitching star of the day was Jeff Beliveau. We always say "it's early" in the spring because things can change. Beliveau is a perfect example of that. He was wild in his first outing and then got hit hard in his second outing. This time around he pitched 2 hitless/walkless innings and struck out 5. He is a pleasure to watch operate. He has a slight hitch in his delivery and keeps the ball hidden behind him pretty much until the moment he releases the ball. It has to be tough for hitters to time him and pick up the ball and it makes his 89 mph fastball look like it's at least mid-90s. It often resulted in late, feeble swings by the Dodger hitters. Control-wise he was a machine when it came to throwing tough-to-hit, knee-high strikes. It's safe to say he's back in the bullpen picture.
- Bobby Scales played SS later in the game and air-mailed a throw that Rizzo was able to leap up and deflect, likely preventing it from going into the dugout.
- The normally dependable Marlon Byrd was a little non-chalant on an apparent single up the middle that Dodger Trent Oeltjen hustled into a double. Knowing Byrd, I'm guessing that's not going to happen again anytime soon.
Overall, it was the Cubs most dismal effort of the spring so far but the outstanding outing by Beliveau and the hard-nosed baserunning play by Brett Jackson were sure to grab the attention of the Cubs staff.
Filed under: Game Recap