After picking up a great comeback victory in Arizona against the Kansas City Royals, the second half of the split squad couldn`t work the late inning magic in Las Vegas, dropping game one in Sin City by a score of 9-4.
The Cubs worked hard to come back from an early 4-0 deficit, tying it up with two homers from Anthony Rizzo, and a bases-loaded walk from Ryan Sweeney, but after five solid innings from the bullpen, things got out of hand in a hurry in the eighth, resulting in a tough loss.
33-year old southpaw Tsuyoshi Wada had another poor performance on the mound, finishing with 4 earned runs allowed on five hits over two frames to raise his spring ERA to over seven. What`s more important is that he did not seem to be in any command today whatsoever. Even if Wada had a slim shot at making the team out camp, that is most likely dashed now, as the Cubs have a nice amount of younger options with more upside in that bullpen competition.
Thankfully for Chicago, 40-year old Bartolo Colon was also hammered (mostly by Rizzo), serving up four runs on seven hits over four-plus innings, including the two Anthony Rizzo bombs. After tying it up at four a piece, things were looking up for the Cubs, but the Mets bullpen was ready, tossing four-plus scoreless innings after Colon`s departure to keep the Cubs in check.
As mentioned before, Wada was lit up early, starting the scoring with a two-run double from David Wright. Andrew Brown followed Wright with a double of his own, making it 3-0. Andrew Brown got one more RBI in off Wada, singling home a run in the third to end Wada`s day.
Rizzo cut into the deficit with two homers, a two run shot in the 2nd (his first of the spring) and a solo in the fourth, coming within a run. The Cubs would proceed to rally for the tying run in the very next inning, with Ryan Sweeney drawing a bases-loaded walk to tie things up.
The score stayed tied until the eight, when lefty Zac Rosscup left a pitch over the middle for Wilmer Flores to drive, giving New York a 6-4 lead with a home run. The Mets weren`t finished until it was out of reach, with three more runs coming across the plate on RBIs from Eric Young Jr, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and another from Andrew Brown to effectively put the hammer down on the Cubs.
On a side note, Javier Baez showed why Spring Training is always just Spring Training, going hitless in four at-bats, striking out twice and leaving three men on base. According to MLB.com`s Carrie Muskat, Baez will see action at second and third starting next week before being sent off to minor league camp.
After splitting up between Las Vegas and Arizona today, the Cubs will do the same tomorrow, with Chris Rusin (1-2, 8.22 ERA) set to face Jenrry Mejia (0-0, 0.00 ERA) and the Mets again in Vegas, while Travis Wood (0-1, 7.94 ERA) will square off against Justin Masterson (1-0, 0.00 ERA) and the Cleveland Indians at Cubs Park.