All good things must come to an end and the Cubs’ 4-game winning streak did just that today with a 7-0 loss to the San Diego Padres.
Arismendy Alcantara led off and went 1 for 2 with a walk to bring his spring average up to .250. More importantly, he looked very comfortable and smooth over at 3rd base, making several good plays and throwing out a speedy Cameron Maybin.
Kris Bryant was the DH today and went 1 for 3 with 2 Ks, but his 1 hit was a deep double to RF that missed being a HR by about a foot. His swing is so impressive and if it was a regular season game, he may have gone for and made it into a triple. It was his 2nd double and he is now hitting .435.
The bullpen after Lester’s shorter-than-planned start (3.1 innings instead of the scheduled 4) did outstanding. If you throw out Frank Batista’s appearance (2/3 IP, 2 hits, 1 BB, and 1 earned run), the combination of Motte, Ortiz, Ramirez, Britton and Parker combined to pitch 5 innings of scoreless one-hit baseball with 0 BBs and 3 Ks.
Jon Lester did not have great stuff going today, but it was his first time struggling all spring and it was also his first time throwing to Welington Castillo. In total, Lester gave up 6 earned runs on 7 hits (2 HRs), 1 walk and 4 Ks. His ERA is now at 6.48 after 5 scoreless innings to start his spring.
The Cubs had 2 more errors and, with the exception of Alcantara at 3rd, looked a little too relaxed in the field. Castro didn’t make a couple plays that he really should have, including one that saw him positioned exactly where the ball was hit.
The Cubs also struck out 10 more times today and are 5th in all of baseball this spring with 115 Ks.
The Cubs will get after it again tomorrow against the Royals at 3:05 (CST) with Jason Hammel getting the start.