After a 5-1 loss to the Giants Saturday afternoon, the Cubs have now lost five in a row (with a tie sandwiched in Friday) and their Spring Training record is even-up at 10-10.
Does that matter? Of course not. Let’s take a look at some of the things from this game that did.
Adrian Sampson had probably his best outing of the spring season so far, throwing 4x innings and allowing just two hits and two runs, one of those runs unearned due to an error on Eric Hosmer. Honestly, I wish the Cubs would just let Hosmer go and give the first-base job to Matt Mervis. There doesn’t seem to be much point in keeping Hosmer around; he hasn’t hit much and his defense has been mediocre.
After that throwing error by Hosmer, David Bote made a nice stab of a sinking liner that he turned into a double play.
Sampson did strike out six and here are those six K’s [VIDEO].
Michael Rucker, who otherwise has looked pretty good this spring, had a rough inning-plus of work in which he allowed two hits, three walks and two runs. Rucker might be odd-man-out for the Opening Day roster because he has options remaining.
Mark Leiter Jr., also on the bubble for a roster spot because he has an Opening Day opt-out date, got touched up for a run in the eighth. I wonder if Leiter’s good second half was as good as it gets for him and the Cubs should just move on. He just turned 32 and the Cubs might have better relief options.
As far as Sampson is concerned, I haven’t seen anything — yet — that would convince me to put him in the Opening Day rotation ahead of Hayden Wesneski. I do think he could be a useful multi-inning reliever.
The Cubs got on the board in this game in the top of the seventh. Patrick Wisdom doubled and Edwin Rios singled him in.
I’ll say again that I was wrong about Nick Madrigal’s ability to play third base. He made another nice play Saturday:
I still do have my doubts that he can hit well enough to be a major league regular.
That’s about all I’ve got on this one and heck, who am I kidding? Most of you were watching college basketball this afternoon anyway.
The Cubs return to Sloan Park Sunday to take on the San Diego Padres. Justin Steele will start for the Cubs and Julio Teheran will go for San Diego. Game time is again 3:05 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network. There will also be a radio broadcast on 670 The Score.