The Cubs welcomed the Diamondbacks to Sloan Park in a game that had neither home radio nor television coverage, which means it may not have even taken place. Based on at least one performance, it might be better to have the whole contest stricken from the record books. Unfortunately for Craig Kimbrel, this one isn’t actually expunge-worthy.
José Quintana was on the mound for the second time and he got off to another rocky start, grinding through seven batters before finally escaping with just one run allowed in the 1st. Just like in his debut, however, he settled down and sat down three straight after a leadoff single to start the second.
Kimbrel was essentially a parody of himself as he failed to complete an inning of work, with a Jon Jay single adding insult to injury. It was only the 3rd inning, but the game was over for all intents and purposes — or intensive purposes, if malapropisms are your jam — and the D-backs cruised. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
Outside of Jon Dulplantier imploding in the 2nd inning, the Cubs mustered next to nothing at the plate. They had only three hits, one of which came off the bat of none other than Daniel Descalso, who would go on to score the lone run after an HBP and two walks. Small ball, indeed.
Kimbrel entered the game for his second spring appearance and promptly gave up a double. Then he struck out David Peralta on a 96 mph fastball that conjured images of the elite closer who once terrorized opponents in the 9th inning. Then he piped a 94 mph heater that Jake Lamb deposited well over the wall in right. Another strikeout was followed by that Jay single and Kimbrel was done for the day.
Stats That Matter
- Kimbrel fell a triple shy of the cycle during his outing and now has allowed two homers in less than two innings.
- Dillon Maples touched 98 mph and struck out two in a perfect inning
- Danny Hultzen hit 95 mph in his spring debut, striking out the first batter he faced and sandwiching a single between groundouts.
- Steven Souza Jr. was dropped to ninth in the order and only bunted as the result of a blister on his hand. It’s not expected to be an ongoing issue.
The only good thing about this game is that it wasn’t being broadcast.
The Cubs have a rare day off Monday before returning to action Tuesday against the Giants in Scottsdale. Tyler Chatwood takes the bump in the 3:05 CT start that will be carried by Marquee Sports Network and MLB Network, though the latter is for out-of-market viewers only. That works out well, since the former is barely for in-network viewers.