Jake Arrieta dominates on the mound and with his bat – Cubs crush the Rockies 18-4
The Chicago Cubs put on a scoring clinic today against the Colorado Rockies. It started early and they never looked back. The Cubs going into the game only trailed the Los Angeles Dodgers in home runs this spring. By looking at the score you’d think they must have had at least three or four today – but they had just one.
The Cubs would just take what the Rockies starting pitcher Jon Gray would give them. Getting base hits and moving the runners along and keeping the inning alive. Anthony Rizzo scored the first run on a throwing error by the catcher. Kris Bryant would score the second run on a fielder’s choice that the pitcher wouldn’t get any of the runners out.
Ryan Sweeney singled to right scoring Chris Coghlan for the third run. David Ross would play small ball next – laying down a bunt single to the pitcher allowing Addison Russell to cross the plate for the fourth run of the inning.
The next batter was the pitcher’s spot – easy out right – wrong. Arrieta turned on a three-two pitch, sending it deep to left center field for a three-run homer making the score 7-0 Cubs. That would end the Gray’s day with just two-thirds of an inning pitched – surrendering seven runs, six earned, with four hits.
The bottom of the second would provide a few more sparks from the Cubs offense. After a pair of singles by Bryant and Coghlan – Sweeney grounded out to score Bryant for an 8-0 Cubs lead.
Ross again could come through, this time hitting a line drive single to left scoring Coghlan – now 9-0 Cubs.
Arrieta up again for the second inning in a row – put another charge into the ball coming just short of a second home run to center field. He would end up with a double while Ross would trot easily home for a 10-0 lead.
The Cubs would notch two more runs on the board in the third – Matt Szczur scored on a force error and Bryant would come home on a single by Russell to add onto the Cubs lead now at 12-0.
On the mound, Arrieta was very good for the Cubs. He pitched his four innings only allowing three hits while striking out five and allowing no walks. He did have one hit batter but besides that his control was just like the pitcher we saw last year.
With the Cubs up 14-0 in the top of the seventh Jason Motte allowed a solo home run to Matt McBride to put the Rockies on the board. Motte would exit and allow P.J. Francescon to take over for the Cubs. He would get his first batter out but then gave up three straight run scoring singles making the score 14-4 Cubs.
The Cubs would answer those four runs with four more of their own. Carlos Penalver scored on a Dan Vogelbach ground-out double play – Szczur crossed home on a Kevin Brown single and Wilson Contreras doubled home Brown and Jeimer Candelario. The four runs in the seventh would be the last of the scoring in the game.
The final score of the game – Chicago Cubs 18, Colorado Rockies 4.
What Stood Out-
You have to start with Jake Arrieta (3-1, 3.86) both on the mound and helping himself out at the plate (2-3, double, home run, one run, four runs batted in today). He showed the command and poise that made him the best pitcher the Chicago Cubs had last year.
This was an important outing for the young pitcher. It gave him, the team, and the fans reassurance that he is ready to help the Cubs get to the next level.
Kris Bryant went 4-5 with a double and two runs scored – continuing his amazing spring at the plate.
David Ross also came up big today getting three hits, two runs batted in, and two runs scored.
As a team it was great to see the Cubs moving runners along the bases and across the plate without having to rely on the long ball to do all the scoring. It will be important on the very windy days in Wrigley Field when it will be extremely hard to hit one over the ivy.
Next up for the Chicago Cubs (11-15) is a visit to Surprise Stadium to play last year’s surprise team – the American League Champions, The Kansas City Royals (16-9).
The Royals will have Edinson Volquez (1-2, 9.49) ready to try to stop the Chicago Cubs hot bats – while the Cubs will have Edwin Jackson (1-1 7.59) on the mound to face the Royals….if his GPS shows him the right way to the ball park.
The first pitch is slated for a 3:05 CT start.