If you were worried about Dansby Swanson’s early spring performance, it’s certainly a good thing that he’s ending the Spring Training schedule on a high note.
Swanson homered for the second straight game. Unfortunately, a five-run White Sox ninth made the result a 6-6 tie between the Cubs and White Sox.
The result doesn’t matter, here’s the important stuff.
The Cubs began the scoring in the bottom of the first off Mike Clevinger. Ian Happ and Cody Bellinger had RBI singles, Trey Mancini drove in one with a sac fly and Eric Hosmer plated the fourth run with a double.
Here’s the entire four-run inning [VIDEO].
Swanson’s solo homer came in with two out in the second inning [VIDEO].
The Cubs added a sixth run on this RBI single by Miles Mastrobuoni in the fourth [VIDEO].
Just as good was the outstanding outing from Jameson Taillon in his final spring start. Taillon threw five innings, allowed just two singles, and struck out five. Can’t ask for much better than that. Based on the way the pitchers have been throwing this last week, it looks like Justin Steele will follow Marcus Stroman, and then Taillon after that, followed by Drew Smyly (who will go tomorrow against the Sox) and Hayden Wesneski, who will throw in a minor-league game tomorrow.
Julian Merryweather, who appears to have made the Opening Day roster, was touched up for the only White Sox run in his inning of work, though he did strike out a pair. Also throwing well for the Cubs Monday afternoon: Adbert Alzolay (scoreless inning) and Michael Rucker (scoreless inning, two strikeouts).
Michael Fulmer, who is the likely closer for the Cubs when the season opens, had a rough outing. He served up a three-run homer to Romy Gonzalez. Fulmer got hit pretty hard and had to be removed. Hopefully this isn’t something that lasts more than one day, as it seems likely he’ll be the closer starting on Opening Day. Minor leaguer Brad Deppermann allowed a two-run single as the Sox tied the game, which is where it ended.
As noted above, Drew Smyly will throw the spring finale Tuesday afternoon at Sloan Park against the White Sox. The Sox will go with Michael Kopech. A couple of things you should know about Tuesday’s game: First, it will start an hour earlier than today’s, at 2:05 p.m. CT. TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network. Also, all the regulars and likely others on the Opening Day roster are leaving Arizona this evening and flying to Chicago. Thus it’ll be all minor leaguers for the Cubs in Tuesday’s game. It’s unclear whether the Sox will do the same.
That’s pretty much all I have for this one, as Spring Training is winding to a close. Opening Day is coming soon, and while this forecast isn’t great, it does appear that they’ll get the game in, with temperatures in the 50s. We’ve had worse.