Spring Training Game Thirty – Cubs 5, Mets 1
WP – Trevor Cahill (1-0) LP – Chasen Bradford (0-1) Save – None
The Cubs played small ball Thursday night in Las Vegas and walked away with a spring win. The Cubs scored two runs on balls that did not leave the infield and a third on a bases loaded sacrifice fly. Cubs’ pitching held the Mets regulars in check as Joe Maddon’s team took the first game of The Big League Weekend series.
The Cubs offense did not light up the scoreboard at Cashman Field, but instead did the little things right to score runs.
Ben Zobrist (2-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored) tied the game in the fifth. Zobrist singled to right and plated Tim Federowicz (1-for-2 with a double, a walk and two runs scored). The Mets defense botched a routine grounder to first that allowed Jason Heyward (0-for-3 with a run scored) to reach second and Zobrist to make it to third.
Kris Bryant (1-for-2 with a walk and a RBI) put the ball in play and beat David Wright’s throw to first. Zobrist scored from third, the eventual winning run. Heyward advanced to third on the play.
Trevor Cahill entered the game in the fourth inning and replaced Anthony Rizzo (0-for-2) in the batting order. Cahill dropped down a bunt, Heyward ran in from third and slid in headfirst for the Cubs third run of the game.
The Cubs tacked on in the sixth. Jorge Soler (SF RBI) batted for Jason Heyward with the bases loaded and one out. Soler lifted a 3-2 pitch to right center. Yoenis Cespedes caught the ball and threw to third. The throw was off line. Kris Negron slid in as Tim Federowicz crossed the plate.
Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-1 with a home run) hit a towering homer in the eighth inning off Hansel Robles for the Cubs fifth and final run.
Ryan Williams got the start Thursday night and was very good for three innings. Williams surrendered just two hits and did not walk a batter. Williams struck out one. The groundball machine recorded six outs on the ground, and started a 1-6-3 double play in the third. Williams handled a majority of the Mets everyday lineup, facing just one over the minimum. Williams made 40 pitches, 29 for strikes.
Trevor Cahill followed Williams and was effective. Cahill’s command was off from where it had been earlier in the spring. Cahill gave up a run in the fourth inning after David Wright singled to right, moved to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third when Yoenis Cespedes flied out to right. Lucas Duda drove a 2-1 pitch into left. Wright scored and gave the Mets a 1-0 lead.
Cahill completed a scoreless fifth inning to wrap up his Vegas outing. Cahill allowed one run on three hits with no walks and a strikeout. Cahill made 34 pitches, 23 for strikes.
Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon combined on a scoreless sixth inning. Strop struck out one of the two batters he faced on nine pitches, six for strikes. Hector Rondon was charged with a hit in his third of an inning.
Minor leaguer Stephen Perakslis gave up a hit and struck out one in the seventh.
Justin Grimm threw heat in the eighth. Grimm struck out all three batters he faced on 12 pitches, nine for strikes.
Carl Edwards Jr. was called on for the ninth. Edwards Jr. allowed a hit to one of the four batters he saw in the final frame.
Terry Collins left most of his starters in the entire game. Cubs’ pitching limited the Mets to one run on eight hits, seven singles, with seven strikeouts while not walking a batter.
With Thursday’s win, the Cubs improved to 11-17-2 in Spring Training.
The Cubs wrap up the two-game series with the Mets on Friday afternoon (3:05pm CDT). Jason Hammel is scheduled to face Steven Matz.