Just two days ago I reminded you that it was the 70th anniversary of the Cubs being no-hit by the Giants — the New York Giants! — in a spring training game at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles.
They nearly returned the favor Friday night at Scottsdale Stadium. Marcus Stroman, Mark Leiter Jr., Jonathan Holder, Stephen Gonsalves and Locke St. John threw seven no-hit innings against the Giants, who now, of course, reside in San Francisco. The Giants then touched up Eric Yardley and Matt Dermody for three runs in the eighth and ninth but the Cubs had scored enough early for a 7-3 victory, their first of the spring.
Here’s the hit that broke up the potential no-no, a leadoff double by Bryce Johnson off Yardley in the eighth [VIDEO].
Now let’s rewind to the beginning of the Cubs’ first win of spring 2022.
Marcus Stroman, making his Cubs debut, retired all six Giants hitters he faced, two on ground balls, two by strikeout. This is generally his game — mostly grounders, but enough to K hitters when he needs to. Here’s Stroman on his outing [VIDEO].
The Cubs began the scoring in the third inning. Dixon Machado singled with one out and Bryan “No Relation To Jack” Brickhouse wild-pitched him to second, then third. After Nico Hoerner walked, Rafael Ortega made it 1-0 Cubs [VIDEO].
Clint Frazier walked to load the bases and a forceout by Yan Gomes made it 3-0. Ildemaro Vargas followed with a single to give the Cubs a four-run inning.
Two more Cubs runs came across in the fourth. Hoerner reached on an error and Brickhouse (who had left the game and then returned, thanks to relaxed Spring Training rules) threw his third wild pitch of the game and then issued a walk. Brickhouse left and his replacement, Patrick Ruotolo, issued another walk to load the bases. Frazier then lofted a single to center, scoring a pair to make it 6-0.
After that it was mostly minor leaguers in the game, though it should be noted that Mark Leiter Jr. (whose father Mark Sr., uncle Al and cousin Jack Leiter, a No. 1 pick of the Rangers last year, were all in the stands watching) threw two strong innings, striking out three. Leiter Jr. might have had a chance to make the Opening Day bullpen if not for the flurry of bullpen signings the Cubs made this past week. Instead, he’ll likely head to Triple-A Iowa.
Overall Cubs pitchers struck out 14 and Cubs batters drew six walks. Both of those things are good.
The Cubs will face the Padres Saturday afternoon at Sloan Park. Justin Steele will start for the and Reiss Kneihr will go for the Padres. Game time Saturday afternoon is 3:05 p.m. CT. and TV coverage will be on Marquee Sports Network. There will also be a radio broadcast on 670 The Score.