Spring Training Game Twenty-Three – Cubs 16, Giants 14
WP – Brandon Gomes (1-0) LP – Josh Osich (0-2) Save – Starling Peralta (1)
Jake Arrieta could not complete the first inning of Thursday’s exhibition game. Arrieta left with one out in the first inning due to a blister on his right thumb. The Cubs dug out of an early hole, scored eight runs in the fifth inning and outlasted the Giants on a wild, wild night in Scottsdale.
Jake Arrieta and Joe Maddon downplayed the blister on his right thumb. Arrieta called it a minor injury and said he will not miss his next spring start. Arrieta made only 34 pitches and will have to be stretched out further than planned in five days.
The Cubs and Giants played an incredibly ugly game that required four hours and seven minutes to complete. The two teams scored a combined 30 runs on 33 hits and 16 walks. Jake Arrieta left in the first inning with a blister. Madison Bumgarner was hit extremely hard. Bumgarner and Jason Heyward got into a heated argument after the Giants lefty thought the Cubs were stealing signs. Cubs’ pitching uncorked five wild pitches and the two teams committed more than the four errors that ended up in the box score.
Anthony Rizzo (2-for-3 with a walk, two RBI and a run scored) drove in the first run of the game, a single to center that plated Kris Bryant (2-for-3 with a triple, a walk, three RBI and two runs scored) in the first inning. The Giants scored five runs in the first and two more in the second and took a 7-1 lead into the third inning.
The Cubs started chipping away at the Giants lead in the third inning. Juan Perez hit for Michael Jensen and moved to third on a single from Fowler. Jason Heyward (1-for-4 with a triple, two RBI and a run scored) tripled to center. Perez and Fowler scored and Heyward dashed in on a single from Kris Bryant.
The Cubs were down 8-4 by the fourth. Jeimer Candelario launched a homer to left off Madison Bumgarner and made it 8-5.
The Giants scored three more runs in the fourth and took an 11-5 lead into the fifth. The Cubs scored eight runs in the top of the fifth inning and took a 13-11 lead.
With the bases loaded and no outs after a Rizzo walk, a Ben Zobrist (2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) single and Miguel Montero (1-for-4 with a run scored) reaching on an error, Addison Russell (1-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored) reached on a swinging bunt up the third baseline. Rizzo scored on the play. Candelario singled to center, Zobrist scored and the line kept moving.
Willson Contreras worked a bases loaded walk and forced in Montero. Bruce Bochy replaced Javier Lopez with Josh Osich and Fowler ripped a single to left. Russell and Candelario scored. Heyward struck out swinging for the first out.
Kris Bryant cleared the bases with a triple to center and gave the Cubs a 12-11 lead. Rizzo singled to right. Bryant scored and made it 13-11, Cubs. Rizzo was picked off first. Zobrist walked and moved to second on a wild pitch. Montero singled to left. Zobrist held at third and was stranded when Russell grounded out to third.
The Cubs scored two more runs in the seventh after Albert Almora Jr. (2-for-2 with a double and two runs scored) doubled, went to third on a sac fly and scored on a passed ball. John Andreoli walked, stole second and scored on a Munenori Kawasaki (1-for-2 with a double and a RBI) double.
The Cubs added an insurance run in the ninth. Almora Jr. singled, moved to second on a grounder to third. Almora Jr. stole third. John Andreoli (no official at bat, one walk, one SF RBI, one run scored) hit a sac fly to right. Almora Jr. tagged and scored.
Jeimer Candelario (2-for-5 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored) had a big bight at the plate. Candelario drove in two runs during his recall for the day, including a solo homer off Madison Bumgarner in the fourth inning. Candelario drove in a second run in the fifth. Candelario ripped a single to center off Javier Lopez with the bases loaded that plated Ben Zobrist.
Willson Contreras (0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored) worked a bases loaded walk in the fifth off Lopez that allowed Miguel Montero (1-for-4 with a run scored) to trot in.
Miguel Montero had a rough night behind the plate. Not only did the Giants steal two bases, Cubs pitching was charged with five wild pitches … at least four of the five should have not gotten past Montero.
Thursday’s Spring Training game got heated in the top of the fourth. With one in, runners on second and third, one out and the Cubs trailing 8-5, Jason Heyward was called out on strikes. Heyward appeared to stare down Madison Bumgarner. The Giants lefty thought the same and walked off the mound toward Heyward asking if he was talking to him. Bumgarner was fired up. The situation was quickly diffused as Heyward explained what he was doing. Bumgarner thought Fowler was stealing signs and relaying information to Heyward.
Heyward and Fowler explained after they left the game that Heyward was asking if the called third was actually a strike.
The Cubs pitching staff, as a whole, had a bad day. Jake Arrieta, Michael Jensen, Justin Grimm, Brandon Gomes, Jeffry Antigua, Neil Ramirez and Starling Peralta allowed 14 runs on 14 hits with nine walks and five strikeouts. While Miguel Montero was behind the plate, the Cubs threw five wild pitches.
Jake Arrieta looked off from the first pitch he threw. Arrieta wasn’t able to get through the first inning due to a blister on his right thumb. Arrieta was behind in the count and threw a first pitch strike to only one of the seven batters he faced.
Arrieta recorded one out before he was lifted from the game with the bases loaded. Arrieta was charged with five runs on four hits with two walks and no strikeouts in a third of an inning.
Michael Jensen was called on when Arrieta left the game. Jensen allowed two of three inherited runners to score. Jensen stayed in for the second inning. The Giants teed off on the minor leaguer. Jensen gave up two more runs in the second inning.
Justin Grimm could not pitch around an error by Ben Zobrist that let Pagan reach to start the third. The Giants added an unearned run off Grimm in the third on two hits.
Brandon Gomes continued to struggle in the fourth inning. Gomes could not throw strikes and when the ball was in the zone, the Giants made a lot of loud contact. Gomes gave up three runs on two hits and four walks with a strikeout. Hunter Pence hit a two-run homer off Gomes.
After the Cubs put an eight-spot on the board in the fifth, minor leaguer Jeffry Antigua kept the Giants from scoring in the home half of the fifth. The first half-inning the Giants did not score a run. The Giants scored an unearned run off Antigua in the sixth.
Antigua was left in for a third inning of work. The Giants scored two runs on Antigua in the seventh inning.
Neil Ramirez retired all three batters he faced in the eighth inning.
And Joe Maddon summoned minor leaguer Starling Peralta for the ninth inning. The right-hander picked up the spring save with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
With Thursday’s win, the Cubs improved to 8-14-1 in Cactus League play.
The Cubs finally return to Sloan Park for a Friday afternoon (3:05pm CDT) spring game against the Brewers. Jon Lester is scheduled to face Jimmy Nelson.