As is the case for most spring games, don’t read too much into the Cubs’ 7-0 win over the Dodgers Thursday evening, because this wasn’t off the Dodgers’ frontline pitching, nor was the offense generated produced by the Cubs’ better hitters.
Nevertheless, it was good to see some of the sub Cubs break out the bats.
They got the run-scoring started in the first inning thanks to some sketchy LA defense. Nico Hoerner singled with one out and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Then he took off for third, and a bad throw by Dodger catcher Austin Barnes allowed Nico to score to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. This was off Jimmy Nelson, who has spent more than three years trying to get back to starting in the big leagues after a shoulder injury suffered while he was running the bases after a single against the Cubs in Chicago in September 2017. (Cue rant about the universal DH.)
Trevor Williams, in his Cubs debut, had two solid innings. He did allow four hits, but also struck out four, including this one of Mookie Betts [VIDEO].
That’s some nice pitch framing by Austin Romine on that one. From Williams:
Williams tested out a new slider grip today a couple times, but mostly stuck with his familiar, trusted version. He went with old reliable on the first K to Betts.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) March 5, 2021
"It does nobody any good, especially on my first date with Romine, to throw a slider that backs up on him."
The Cubs broke the game open with five runs in the third. Michael Hermosillo led off the inning with his second homer in as many days [VIDEO].
Ian Happ walked and Nico doubled him to third. Another double, by Ildemaro Vargas, plated two runs to make it 4-0. One out later, Romine increased that to 6-0 [VIDEO].
The final Cubs run came on their third homer of the night, a solo shot by Ian Happ [VIDEO].
That completed the scoring. Five Cubs relievers (Rex Brothers, Joe Biagini, Cory Abbott, Jerry Vasto and Trevor Megill) threw one scoreless inning each and combined to allow just two hits, though with four walks. The Cubs turned two double plays on the night. The game was the Cubs’ second shutout in four games so far this spring.
In the end, though, not too meaningful.
We should see more Cubs regulars in Friday’s game at Sloan Park against the Cleveland Indians. We’re back to afternoon contests for a while this spring. Game time Friday is 2:05 p.m. CT. Alec Mills will make his 2021 spring debut and start for the Cubs and top Cleveland pitching prospect Triston McKenzie will go for the Indians. TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.