Figures, right? I had to miss the last three Cubs spring games at Sloan Park this year and I’ve been dying to see a sub two-hour game and... Sunday’s 5-0 Cubs win over the Royals was just that, completed in a snappy one hour, 57 minutes.
This was the fastest Cubs game of any kind was 13 years ago, a spring game against the Mariners finished in 1:59 on March 28, 2010. I’m actually reasonably sure we’ll see at least one of these at Wrigley this year.
This one finished quickly so I’ll try to make quick work of this recap, too.
Patrick Wisdom began the Cubs scoring with this home run in the second inning [VIDEO].
In the third, it was Dansby Swanson’s turn. Here is Swanson’s first Cubs home run, hit with a runner on base [VIDEO].
Cody Bellinger, who has been hitting the ball with more authority lately, completed the Cubs (and game) scoring with a two-run homer in the fourth [VIDEO].
Justin Steele was dominant, throwing six shutout innings, allowing four hits. Yes, this was a team of Royals minor leaguers (and you’ll see the Cubs do the same on Tuesday), but still, a really good outing and only 67 pitches thrown.
Swanson performed well in the field in this game, too. Here are a couple of slick Dansby defensive plays [VIDEO].
I am completely unconcerned about Swanson’s poor spring numbers. It all resets on Thursday.
Also good today: Nico Hoerner was back in the lineup and went 1-for-4. He’ll play again Monday against the White Sox. After Monday’s game, all the starters and many of the rest of the Opening Day roster will head to Chicago, and as noted above, Tuesday’s contest vs. the White Sox will be all minor leaguers. It’s why the Royals played minor leaguers today — their MLB players left for a two-game exhibition set against the Rangers at Texas.
One other bit of Cubs news:
Cubs: RHP Chris Clarke has been returned from the Mariners, who selected him in the Rule 5 Draft.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) March 26, 2023
Clarke, who turns 25 in May, was the Cubs’ fourth round pick out of USC in 2019. He split last year between Tennessee and South Bend and posted a 5.40 ERA and 1.500 WHIP in seven spring appearances for Seattle.
Attendance watch: Another sellout at Sloan Park of 15,261 brought the season total for 15 dates to 203,691, or 13,579 per date.
Two more tuneups and the 2023 season will begin! Monday afternoon, the Cubs will face the White Sox at Sloan Park. Jameson Taillon will start for the Cubs and Mike Clevinger will go for the Sox. Game time is 3:05 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network. The final spring radio broadcast on 670 The Score will also be tomorrow.