I had long ago not planned to go to Friday night’s game at Peoria, and that was before I realized it would be a night game. A car trip across the valley on a Friday during rush hour can take well over an hour.
There were some positive things to come out of this loss, so let’s look at them.
The Cubs plated a run in the first inning in the manner we hope we’ll see many times this year. Kris Bryant led off the game with a single and Anthony Rizzo then sent a baseball into the right-center field gap [VIDEO].
KB scored from first to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead — within the game’s first seven pitches. This is exactly the reason to have Bryant and Rizzo 1-2 in the batting order. Unfortunately, the rally died there and that’s all they scored, but this is still something that can reasonably be expected to happen many times in 2020. For his part, KB says he enjoys leading off [VIDEO].
I thought Tyler Chatwood threw well enough, despite issuing two walks. His velocity was good and he allowed just one hit, although that was responsible for the only run off him, a home run by Trent Grisham. Chatwood was helped out in the second inning with this slick sliding catch by Jason Heyward [VIDEO].
Here’s Chatwood on his outing:
Chatwood after two-inning start pic.twitter.com/Ae3KjIHlar— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) February 29, 2020
Jeremy Jeffress, in his first spring outing in a Cubs uniform, looked solid. Looked like his breaking ball was working and he showed no effects of the hip injury that slowed him last year and eventually resulted in his release by the Brewers. Wouldn’t it be great if Jeffress could take over Pedro Strop’s setup role and help stop the Brewers this season? Here are a couple of the outs Jeffress recorded [VIDEO].
And some comments from Jeffress on his spring debut:
Jeffress after scoreless spring debut pic.twitter.com/PJ6luuXAwz— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) February 29, 2020
The Padres put a run across the plate against Jason Adam in the sixth inning. Adam had gotten himself in trouble with walks, unfortunately. Two more San Diego runs scored in the seventh off James Norwood, and one last run off Brock Stewart in the eighth.
Saturday afternoon, the Cubs return to Sloan Park to take on the Brewers. Yu Darvish will make his first start of the spring for the Cubs and Freddy Peralta will go for the Brewers. Game time is 2:05 p.m. CT, with TV coverage on the Marquee Network. There’s a Brewers radio broadcast on 620 WTMJ, available online as well as over-the-air in the Milwaukee area (and much of the northern half of the Chicago area).