SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- As I mentioned, I didn't go to today's game in Goodyear. And I missed quite a scene, a scene you likely want to look at again. So here's video of the back-to-back-to-back home runs hit in the fourth inning by Jorge Soler, Javier Baez and Kris Bryant:
Baez's and Soler's both hit the fence at the back of the berm in left field, in nearly the same spot. Having been to Goodyear I can tell you those are very long home runs. There's a 20-foot-high wall in left field, the berm, and a walkway behind the berm. 430 feet each, maybe more. Bryant's went to the opposite field, also quite impressive. In the next inning, Welington Castillo also homered, tying the game. That was the first time since Friday that the Cubs did not trail, but it was not enough. Matt Szczur and Gleyber Torres hit ground-rule doubles in the ninth inning to get the Cubs some consolation runs. Torres, the Cubs' big IFA signing a couple of years ago, might play at Myrtle Beach this year (correct me if I'm wrong, Tim Huwe). He just turned 18 in December.
The Indians defeated the Cubs 10-6 to keep the Cubs winless in seven tries this spring. With the Brewers defeating the Royals this afternoon, the Cubs now stand as the only remaining winless major-league club.
I know, I know, wins and losses really don't mean anything in spring. And they don't. But it still would be nice to have one.
Before the home runs the story of the game was atrocious defense, particularly by Junior Lake. He made an error in a two-run Indians second inning and then inexplicably stopped while running after a fly ball in the third. That one dropped in between him and Arismendy Alcantara and helped lead to two more runs. Kris Bryant also made an error, as did Alcantara, as did Christian Villanueva... need I go on?
The only thing I do need to go on about is that Junior Lake doesn't appear to be a major-league quality outfielder. Despite obvious physical talent it doesn't seem as if he has baseball instincts. That's a really subjective judgment, of course, and it doesn't help that Lake strikes out way too much. Maybe it's time for the Cubs to take Josh's idea and convert him to pitching. It sure couldn't hurt and might even help!
Travis Wood didn't pitch too badly. He was victimized by the errors, and got hit hard after that. Only two of his four runs allowed were earned. Pierce Johnson threw two decent innings, but then, Blake Parker got touched up for a run and then Joseph Ortiz and Corey Black were pretty awful in a four-run Indians seventh that put the game away.
Wednesday, there's a marquee pitching matchup as Jon Lester will pitch against the Dodgers' Zack Greinke in a game that can be seen on MLB Network. Naturally, that matchup will last just three innings until other pitchers take over. Perhaps tomorrow, the Cubs will post their first spring win.