Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (3/14/21): Cubs 1, Angels 1 – Pi Day, Tie Day as Cubs Punt on Final At-Bat

Neither team had been able to push a run across through the first six innings, so even a tenuous one-run lead felt like it could assure victory given the shorter games. Ah, but that is changing now as teams play a full nine innings unless a mutual agreement has been reached. In this case, that meant the Angels were able to nose their way to a tie on the strength of a run-scoring triple in the 9th.

The Cubs opted not to take their last turn at bat, so the score ended in a deadlock. The regulars had all been lifted by then anyway and the results of these games are anything but consequential. What does matter, however, is getting pitchers stretched out and starting to get a feel for bullpen management, so Trevor Williams going a strong 3.2 innings was good to see. (Box score)

Why the Cubs Tied

They only mustered three hits on the afternoon and scratched out their only run because they had replaced Joc Pederson with speed demon Ian Miller. Cubs pitchers did their part as well, but James Norwood walked the first batter he faced and then got tagged for a triple.

Key Moment 

With one out in the bottom of the 7th, Anthony Rizzo poked a grounder through the left side, allowing Miller to score. I hadn’t realized at the time that Pederson, who had held up at second on what could have been a triple, had been lifted and I was surprised to see the runner being sent. Then I realized it was Miller, so the send made sense as he scored easily.

Stats That Matter

  • Williams allowed three hits and did not walk anyone while striking out Mike Trout for his lone K.
  • Pederson had another hit and his spring OPS is now 1.918
  • Rizzo struck out twice but drove in the Cubs’ lone run with a nice piece of hitting.
  • Jason Adam struck out all three Angels he faced and could be in line to pick up some saves if Craig Kimbrel keeps struggling.

Bottom Line

This was one of those grindy games that wasn’t entirely fun to watch, but Williams and the relief corps looked very good. The trio of Norwood, Adam, and Brandon Workman combined for seven strikeouts and two walks over three innings, something we may see in the late innings quite often.

On Deck

The Cubs head to Camelback Ranch to take on the White Sox Monday afternoon at 3:05pm CT. Alec Mills takes the bump against Dylan Cease and you can watch the Sox broadcast on or hear Len Kasper on ESPN 1000’s radio call.

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