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Reds 5, Cubs 2: Kyle Schwarber, Bringer of Rain

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The Cubs slugger was pretty much the whole offense in this rain-shortened affair.

Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — I had decided long before the spring-training season even began not to go to the Cubs/Reds game at Goodyear; the long drive out there during rush hour did not appeal to me.

Turns out that was the right decision, as a rainshower engulfed Goodyear Ballpark during the middle innings and the grounds crew, not accustomed to getting the field covered, took a while to get the tarp out. A wise decision was made to call the game in the bottom of the fifth. Thus the result: a 5-2 Reds win.

This is going to be one of the shortest recaps you will read of any Cubs game, even a spring game, because although this game was televised, I spent my evening watching the World Baseball Classic match between the USA and Puerto Rico, won by the USA in a blowout. You can read more about that in Josh’s recap.

Kyle Schwarber went 2-for-3 and drove in the Cubs’ only runs with a two-run homer.

Perhaps even more impressively, he led off the game with a bunt single off former Cubs righthander Scott Feldman, hit perfectly down the third-base line.

That’s probably the most important takeaway from this game, given that Schwarber has been anointed the Cubs’ leadoff hitter by Joe Maddon. If Kyle can bunt like this every now and again, that really opens up more possibilities for him. Obviously you don’t want this all the time, not with his power, but it gives him another offensive weapon. (And yes, I am aware that “Bringer of Rain” is the nickname of the Blue JaysJosh Donaldson. It still seemed appropriate for a headline for this one.)

Feldman gave up only one other hit, a single to Matt Szczur, though he issued three walks. He also drove in one of the Reds runs with a single.

Ryan Williams, who started the game for the Cubs as Jon Lester stayed back in camp (along with Anthony Rizzo, who also bunted for a hit in a game against the Tijuana Toros), allowed all five runs, including a two-run homer by Adam Duvall. Williams, who missed much of 2016 with injuries, still hopes to resurrect his chances at a future Cubs rotation at Iowa this year.

That’s really it from this one. Oh, except this:

Well, sure. But that’s not really a “Reds” sellout... it’s a sellout because the Cubs were playing there. All but one of the Reds’ other home games this spring have drawn fewer than 5,000. Attendance Wednesday night was 11,553. The only other Reds home game with a crowd more than 5,000 was... against the Cubs March 2 (6,722).

The Cubs will be back in action Thursday afternoon at Talking Stick against the Diamondbacks. Jake Arrieta will go for the Cubs and Zack Greinke for Arizona. The game preview will post at 1 p.m. CT.