Jason Hammel strong; bullpen falters in Chicago Cubs 6-1 loss to the San Diego Padres


6. 127. Final. 1. 9

The Chicago Cubs’

Jason Hammel

continues to look more and more like they pitcher he was before being traded to the Oakland Athletics last season. Hammel pitched five shutout innings, allowing only three hits while striking out nine.

Unfortunately he was outdueled by the San Diego Padres new ace James Shields, who threw five no-hit innings of his own, striking out six and walking two. The Cubs (9-11) scored their only run in the sixth, when Arismendy Alcantara homered for the second time this spring off reliever Jose Valverde.

Felix Doubront‘s rough spring continued, as he allowed an RBI double to Wil Myers, as Abraham Almonte score the tying run in the seventh. Once thought to be in the running for the final starter spot, Doubront now will have to fight for a roster spot as his ERA sits at 11.57 on the spring.

The Padres (9-10) broke the tie in the eighth with a two-run home run from Tommy Medica off Cubs’ reliever Francisley Bueno. The Padres added three more in the ninth off of Gonzalez German in the ninth.

What Stood Out:

Hammel’s outing is a great sign for the Cubs, as he continues to look like the pitcher they anticipated having back in Chicago. After having one of the best stretches of his career with Chris Bosio as his pitching coach, he’s setting his sights on pitching 200 innings this season.

Anthony Rizzo went 0-for-3, and saw his average drop to .129 this spring. The Cubs aren’t panicking at all, as this was the case last season before Rizzo had a spectacular 2014 campaign.

Also, Kris Bryant didn’t hit a home run. So that stood out, of course he didn’t play as the team continues to monitor his shoulder this spring.

What’s Next?

The Cubs will be off on Monday before taking on the Oakland Athletics (13-8) at their old stomping grounds at HoHoKam Stadium. Edwin Jackson is slated to pitch, and hopes to continue his strong spring. He’s performed admirably, but his role on this team is still up in the air as he battles with Travis Wood for the last spot in the rotation.

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