MESA, Arizona -- More internet problems for me Tuesday, which, I assure you, you don't want to hear about. Suffice to say that Cox Cable has had several pieces of my mind today, and it's still out -- I'm out right now, so this will have to be short.
Kyle Hendricks was very, very good Tuesday afternoon, the kind of Hendricks we saw in his debut half year in 2014. He located well, mixed his pitches well, and allowed just a pair of first-inning singles before retiring seven straight to end his three-inning stint. He also made a very nice defensive play on a bunt attempt by the speedy Micah Johnson, who the Dodgers acquired from the White Sox in the three-way trade that landed Todd Frazier on the South Side.
So Hendricks, about whom it was rumored his rotation spot might not be guaranteed, took a big step toward solidifying that spot with this outing.
The Cubs scored single runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings. Kris Bryant drove in two of the three runs with a single and his first spring homer. "Grandpa" David Ross had a double to deep center field and produced the other run on a solo homer, also his first of the spring.
That's all good. The bad: Travis Wood. He was all over the place, allowing seven hits, a walk and a hit batter and really looked like he was laboring -- far different from his first outing last week. While it was a longshot for Wood to make the rotation anyway, he certainly needs to show better than this, because he's suppose to be an important part of this year's bullpen.
Armando Rivero, who once was thought to be a potential important bullpen piece, was just as bad. He allowed three hits including a long triple by Trayce Thompson (who also came over with Johnson, and who, if you did not know, is the brother of Golden State Warrior Klay Thompson). He also wild-pitched in a run. Not good. It took minor-leaguer Jeffry Antigua to end that mess of a seventh inning in which the Dodgers put the game away with three runs.
Javier Baez singled in four at-bats, made a throwing error and also had a brain fart when he failed to run out a ground ball to third base that was clearly signaled fair by the third-base umpire. Even in a spring-training game... you've got to run those out.
That's about the summation of the game, which was another sellout: 15,315. That brings the total attendance for the four home dates so far to 58,141, or 14,535 per date.
The Cubs wore their blue jerseys again Tuesday. I inquired, because before Monday they had never worn anything but home whites at home during spring training. As you probably know, Major League Baseball has made Spring Training (capitalized on purpose) a "jewel event," meaning, among other things, branding all over the place. That includes special jerseys for each team (although the Cubs' is pretty much the same as their regular-season blue alternate), which they are now mandated to wear for all games. The Cubs were exempted for the first two games in order to get all their players in home whites before the regular season begins, and also to show them off to fans. But they'll be wearing the blues for the rest of the spring.
Wednesday, it's a Cy Young matchup of Jake Arrieta and Corey Kluber as the Cubs face the Indians at 2:05 CT at Sloan Park.
After the game I was invited to an event that unveiled a new logo for the Cactus League. Here it is, along with the old logo below:
Unlike a lot of new logos, I like this new one (top) a lot. It keeps some of the flavor of the old, is very "baseball" and "Arizona," and I think captures the essence of spring-training baseball in Arizona. Nicely done by Moses of Phoenix.