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Cubs 1, Angels 1: Beware the ties of March

The Cubs and Angels decided not to play the bottom of the ninth.

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

It was a bit weird when the top of the ninth inning in Sunday’s game ended with the game tied 1-1 and everyone started walking off the field.

But managers David Ross and Joe Maddon had already decided to end the game and so it ended in that 1-1 tie.

There were some good things that came out of this quick contest that ran two hours, 30 minutes, particularly Cubs pitching.

You know, I think the Cubs might have gotten themselves a real steal in Trevor Williams. In three appearances he’s posted a 1.04 ERA and 1.15 WHIP and walked just one in 8⅔ innings. Yes, small sample size. Yes, spring training. But Williams has looked a lot like the pitcher he was in 2018, when he posted a 2.6 bWAR season for the Pirates. I’m a fan of his approach and performance and I think he’s going to have a big year.

Here, he strikes out Mike Trout [VIDEO].

That was a really nice rising fastball.

No one really did anything in this game in the first six innings. Only four runners combined between the two teams got past first base through the top of the seventh. Good relief outings from Trevor Megill, Andrew Chafin, Rex Brothers and Brandon Workman kept the game scoreless through that time.

The Cubs broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the seventh. Joc Pederson slapped a ball down the first-base line that eluded Angels first baseman Phil Gosselin for a two-base error.

One out later, Anthony Rizzo singled pinch-runner Ian Miller in [VIDEO].

Jason Adam struck out the side in the eighth. Adam flew kind of under-the-radar in 2020 but pitched decently well, and he will likely make the Opening Day roster.

This all would have ended happily if James Norwood hadn’t given up a two-out triple with a runner on first in the top of the ninth. That tied the game, and that’s where we came in, with the teams walking off the field without playing the bottom of the ninth.

It’s spring training in COVID-19 protocols. What can I say?

The Cubs will face the White Sox in a road contest Monday afternoon in Glendale. Zach Davies will start for the Cubs and former Cubs prospect Dylan Cease will go for the Sox. Game time is 3:05 p.m. CT and while there’s no TV coverage of Monday’s game, you can listen to Len Kasper call the game on ESPN 1000. That ought to be fun!

NOTE: Thanks to the BCB reader whose name I cannot now recall who posted the headline to this article as a comment in the Cubs’ previous tie game this spring. Thought it was appropriate for this one.