Chicago Cubs: Takeaways from the team’s Opening Night loss

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Apr 2, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; The Anheuser Busch Clydesdales run on the warning track prior opening night between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

A walk-off loss to the St. Louis Cardinals isn’t how the Chicago Cubs envisioned their return to the diamond as World Champions. Still, there’s a lot we can learn from Sunday’s NL Central showdown.

For much of the evening, it was the Carlos Martinez show. The hard-throwing right-hander dominated the Chicago Cubs’ lineup top-to-bottom. The only possible exclusion to that rule came in the form of leadoff man Kyle Schwarber.

Jon Lester gutted his way through a start that seemed to expose some unfamiliarity with his new receiver, Willson Contreras. As the two become more familiar, it’s likely we see more fluidity, but the first time out was rocky, at times.

One of the question marks for Joe Maddon‘s club is the relief corps. Given the fashion in which the Cubs lost the season opener, you can expect the doubters to come clamoring out of the woodwork.

The product on the field was not what we saw last October. The defense made a few questionable plays and the offense hadn’t looked that poor since the NLDS last postseason.

The simple takeaway is this: it was one game – so don’t put too much stock into what happened. That being said, here are some takeaways from the season opener.

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