The day started with the Cubs putting up six runs before starter Mike Montgomery could even get comfortable in the dugout. Led by Mark Zagunis and David Bote, the offense was simply too much for the Padres’ staff, which went through seven pitchers before the 7th inning.
Zagunis, who led off the game and played right field, reached base four times — twice via walk — while Bote reached as many times strictly from making contact. The other great outburst came from Cristhian Adames, who may be contributing to the big league team sooner rather than later. He added three hits and drove in five runs. The Cubs had innings where they scored six, five and seven – pretty overwhelming.
Montgomery’s consistency left a bit to be desired, but I liked how much movement he got on his breaking balls. He generated some weak contact, which is his M.O., but also surrendered two walks and three runs.
The other discouraging sight was watching newcomer Brad Brach struggle to get through just one inning. He threw 31 pitches, walking two and gave up three runs. Needless to say, the bullpen needs him to step it up and get right quickly.
On the bright side, Tyler Chatwood threw a clean inning and made it look easy. That is a sentence we can all get behind, I’m sure. He located his fastball and his curve was nasty, making his attack on hitters seem unfair. Dillon Maples struck out the side in his inning of work, which was also great. (Box score)
Why the Cubs won
The Cubs won because the Padres’ pitches seemed magnetized to the Cubs’ barrels. Give the Cubs credit for taking advantage, though, as they were onto everything San Diego tried.
It’s hard to pinpoint one moment due to the number of good performances by the offense. I’ll let Chatwood and Bote share the moment here. Chatwood had control and was clearly locked in, while Bote continues to show why he should get lots of at bats starting this Thursday.
Stats that Matter
- Bote went 4-for-5 with a double, and RBI, three runs scored, and no strikeouts.
- Zagunis went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and added two walks. As someone who is fighting for a big league spot, he had a nice late-spring audition.
- Adames reached base three times and drove in five (!) runs.
- Montgomery only lasted two innings, allowing three earned runs and walking two.
- Chatwood struck out two and had wicked action on his curve. More importantly, he was locating his heater.
Only a couple of today’s position players will break camp with the Cubs, but it’s good to see them jumping all over an opponent and establishing confidence.
The Cubs host the Red Sox in the final spring series Monday night at 8:00pm CT at Sloan Park. NBC Sports Chicago and 670 The Score will carry the game, so you can watch or listen as you please.