Look, I’m going to be honest and upfront with you. Like most of you, I was watching the World Baseball Classic final Tuesday night, the tensely-played 3-2 win by Japan over the USA, the culmination of a fantastic tournament.
So I didn’t watch most of the Cubs/Royals game. I finally turned it on after most of the festivities were done in Miami, and then it started raining hard in Surprise, Arizona, so the game was stopped with two out in the top of the seventh. That gave the Cubs a rain-shortened 6-2 victory over the Royals.
Yes, there are a few things to “yay” about for the Cubs from this one, and I saw as much as you did, so let’s look at the highlights.
The Cubs scored a pair in the first inning on this two-run single by Patrick Wisdom [VIDEO].
Spring stats, I know, small sample size, I know, but Wisdom is having a good spring. He’s now batting .357/.436/.538 (10-for-29) with two doubles and a home run. Yes, also 12 strikeouts, but I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t start at third base on Opening Day.
After a really slow start, Morel has hit really well over the last week or so and is now batting .225/.311/.500 (9-for-40) with three home runs. Yes, and 19 strikeouts, which is a lot. Morel could help the Cubs, but I suspect he’ll be sent to Triple-A Iowa to start the season.
Jameson Taillon had a good outing, marred by one bad pitch that was hit by MJ Melendez for a two-run homer. Taillon completed five innings, striking out nine with no walks. He’ll have one more start before Opening Day and should be ready to go. Here are Taillon’s nine K’s [VIDEO].
The Cubs scored twice more in the top of the seventh, on an RBI double by Nelson Velázquez and sac fly by Matt Mervis, and then the rain began to fall much harder and the game was ended by mutual agreement.
You’ll notice that a lot of the Cubs regulars played in this game. It’s my feeling that the guys from the starting lineup will have to start playing back-to-back days soon, so perhaps they played in this game, won’t play the day game Wednesday, then possibly play back-to-back home games Thursday and Friday.
One thing we do know is that Wednesday’s game is going to be a bullpen game. Adbert Alzolay is listed as the starter but all of these relievers are also on the list to throw against the A’s: Brad Boxberger, Michael Fulmer, Rowan Wick, Julian Merryweather, Ryan Borucki, Michael Rucker and Anthony Kay. So, perhaps Alzolay goes two innings and everyone else on that list gets one.
The A’s will start James Kaprielian. Game time Wednesday is 3:05 p.m. CT and we are assured that rain will be out of the area by game time. TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.