Jesse Chavez got the start in one of the final tuneups of the spring as Justin Steele was shifted to the intrasquad game at Sloan Park. The veteran lasted three innings without allowing a run, which is significant given the Cubs’ rotation issues. Chavez could end up piggybacking or serving as an opener as David Ross figures out his pitching situation early in the season.
The Cubs got out to a 2-0 lead and then tacked on four more in the 8th, using extra base hits to power most of the offense. A bullpen that’s been solid in the second half of the preseason did its job again, though Kevin McCarthy was the victim of some bad defense that allow the Guardians to get a few runs in the 9th. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
It was the Yan Gomes Show as he had three hits, two of which were doubles, and an RBI. Patrick Wisdom added a double and an RBI of his own to score the Cubs’ second run. The remaining tallies were punctuated by a three-run homer by Alexander Canario in the 8th inning.
In the bottom of the 7th inning, the Guardians were threatening with two on and one out, but then Ed Howard made a great play on a line drive short hop that was turned into a double play to end the inning.
Stats That Matter
- Gomes went 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI.
- Canario went 1-for-3 with his second homer of the spring and three RBI.
- Chavez went three scoreless innings, allowing four hits and a walk with three strikeouts.
- Robert Gsellman also went three innings of shutout ball, something he badly needed to have a shot at making the roster.
Not a whole lot to take from this game beyond the fact that Gomes is heating up and Chavez is looking like he could be a solid long reliever out of the pen this season.
The Cubs will come back to Sloan Park for their penultimate Spring Training game against the Chicago White Sox at 3:05pm CT and Drew Smyly will get his final start of the preseason.