CI Recap (3/12/17) – Cubs 8, A’s 9: War Bear Triples…Again, Bryant Goes Boom

Let’s go ahead and forget about the matching four-spots the A’s posted late in the game after the Cubs had taken their foot off the accelerator with a 7-1 lead, shall we? Yes, we shall. I’ll just sit here and sip my Lazer Snake while watching the US fight off Canada in the War of North-of-the-Border Aggression. Sorry, that’s a bad WBC joke.

Anywho, back to Spring Training. The regulars all got at least three plate appearances today as the Cubs get closer and closer to regular-season readiness. Four members of the lineup (Kyle Schwarber, Kris Bryant, Miguel Montero, Matt Szczur) had two hits, and only Jason Heyward and Albert Almora failed to reach base.

It’s all about getting into a rhythm, getting ramped up to a full complement of at-bats each game, and just staying healthy. That said, it’s no less fun to see the Cubs hang some crooked numbers on the board. They first broke through in the top of the 3rd, when Schwarber singled in front of Bryant.

Before we watch the highlight, let’s revisit what Mike Bryant told us about what he and his son worked on this winter:

If the pitchers are going to be stupid enough to try to change the way they pitch to him because he’s got a .429 batting average on pulled balls or whatever, we’re already a step ahead of them. [W]e prepared together what the technique’s going to be to drive the ball hard into the right-center field gap…

Yeah, I could get used to that. You know what else I could get used to?

War Bear may have ended up with an easy stand-up triple there, but that ball is a home run roughly 99 times out of 100. Good to see the top of the lineup starting to heat up.

The pitchers appear to be rounding into form as well, though the results are really secondary to building arm strength and getting a feel for various pitches. Jake Arrieta was on point Sunday afternoon, allowing a single run on no hits and three walks. He also struck out five, including this little nugget of nastiness.

Stats that matter

  • Starting lineup was 10-for-25 with 4 walks
  • Ian Happ picked up another base hit

Bottom line

It had absolutely no greater significance, but Anthony Rizzo smashed the press box window with a foul ball, which was reminiscent of The Natural.

On deck

John Lackey will be taking the bump as the Cubs head to Peoria to take on the Padres and their little-known stud pitcher, TBD. First pitch is scheduled for 3:10pm CT.

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