SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- The Cubs lost to the Rangers 5-0 Wednesday afternoon and before I get to some of the details of this one, I wanted to mention this completely irrelevant, but odd, information about this year's Cubs spring schedule:
Cubs record in games I have attended: 7-8 (one tie) Cubs record in games I have skipped: 0-6
Now, obviously my presence or absence has nothing to do with the Cubs' performance on the field. Still... odd.
Anyway, Kyle Hendricks had another very good outing, throwing five more decent innings. He did run out of gas when he was approaching 80 pitches and the Rangers scored a pair of runs in the fifth inning on a double, triple and single. It could have been worse if not for a nice double play begun by Addison Russell, one of two he started in this one. Hendricks has now allowed four earned runs in 19 innings (1.89 ERA), given up 14 hits and two walks (0.842 WHIP) and struck out 19. Stamina was one of his biggest issues last year so I hope he'll be able to go deeper in his (likely) two remaining starts before Opening Day.
Jorge Soler led off the second inning with a single and then this happened:
Yes, that was an outstanding catch by Ian Desmond, but Soler took his time getting back to first base and was doubled off. I'm not sure whether his legs are bothering him or whether it's something else, but that kind of thing can't happen in a regular-season game. He should have been easily back in time.
Soler did make this nice catch in the bottom of the seventh:
During the game, Len & JD interviewed Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez. One of the things Martinez said was that Soler was having to get used to a different position in left field and Martinez was "sure" he'd be able to handle it. It should be noted that Soler's nice catch was in right field, where he played this game.
Meanwhile, Desmond flashed more glove in the third inning. With runners on first and second, Hendricks singled. The runner on second, Munenori Kawasaki, tried to score:
In reality, Kawasaki never should have tried that. Desmond was charging the ball and wasn't that far behind the infield dirt when he threw, and he has an excellent arm. Kawasaki was out by quite a bit.
Manny Parra threw a scoreless inning. He still might have a shot at the 25-man roster if the Cubs decide they need a LOOGY-type (as they really don't have one at this time).
Adam Warren threw the eighth and wasn't good. An error and a wild pitch helped lead to three Rangers runs. Warren has now allowed six runs (four earned) in six spring innings. Seems like maybe he should have had more work than this, considering he might be expected to go multiple innings in relief this year. Hopefully, he's just working all this out in these games that don't mean anything.
There isn't a whole lot more to say about this one. The Cubs got just five hits, all singles, off four Rangers pitchers. That included Matt Bush, former No. 1 pick of the Padres (2004), who is trying to make a comeback at age 30 after well-publicized personal troubles that included a prison term for a DUI accident. Bush pitched quite well in this one and is expected to start the year in Double-A. I hope he makes it. Stories of redemption are always a positive thing.
Kyle Schwarber stole a base, so there's that.
The Cubs' next matchup is with the Giants at Scottsdale Stadium, Thursday at 4:05 Arizona time (6:05 CT), as it was last Thursday, the time is set for an ESPN national broadcast. Jake Arrieta gets this start; at this writing there is no listed starter for the Giants. Based on the Giants pitchers the last few days, this should be Madison Bumgarner's turn, but he's nursing a sore foot and might be held out. The game preview for this game will post tomorrow at 4 p.m. CT.