The Cubs broke out the bats Thursday night in Scottsdale and scored 16 runs on 19 hits in what was a wild game with the Giants.
What was lost in the exhibition game due to Jake Arrieta leaving in the first inning with a blister on his right thumb and the misunderstanding with Madison Bumgarner is the Cubs offense really clicked against one of the best pitchers in baseball.
Granted, Madison Bumgarner has not been Madison Bumgarner this spring. He’s dealt with oblique and foot injuries that have led to bad mechanics. Bumgarner has been off while at the same time Scottsdale Stadium has been a launching pad.
The Cubs still put five runs on the board against Bumgarner on eight hits and three walks. Bumgarner struck out three and lasted only 3 2/3 innings before Bruce Bochy lifted him.
Joe Maddon’s starting lineup featured a majority of his regulars and Jeimer Candelario. And the first five batters were on base seemingly the entire time they were in the game.
Dexter Fowler (3-for-4 with a walk, two RBI and two runs scored), Jason Heyward (1-for-4 with a triple, two RBI and a run scored), Kris Bryant (2-for-3 with a triple, a walk, three RBI and two runs scored), Anthony Rizzo (2-for-3 with a walk, two RBI and a run scored) and Ben Zobrist (2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) were a combined 10-for-17 with two triples, four walks, nine RBI and seven runs scored on Thursday night. And both Heyward and Bryant delivered run scoring triples.
The Cubs called up Jeimer Candelario for the day. Candelario started at third base with Maddon wanting to get Kris Bryant time in the outfield. Plus, the Cubs wanted to see Candelario in the lineup with a majority of the every day roster.
Candelario batted eighth, played the entire game and picked up where he left off in the Cactus League before he was optioned to Double-A Tennessee.
Jeimer Candelario went 2-for-5 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored. Candelario led off the fourth inning and took Madison Bumgarner downtown.
In 14 Cactus League games this spring, Jeimer Candelario is 13-for-36 with four doubles and three home runs for a .361/.395/.722 slash line with a 1.117 OPS. Candelario has two walks and five strikeouts in 38 plate appearances.
When Maddon has used a majority of his regulars this spring in the same lineup, the Cubs have given a pretty good indication of what they will be capable of when the games actually count.