Some days in baseball, nothing goes right. Friday afternoon was one of those days for the Cubs. Right at the top of the list of guys who struggled was starting pitcher Alec Mills, who made his second start of the spring. It turned out he fooled nobody as he allowed two homers and five runs in 1.2 innings before being lifted.
The Cubs offense didn’t have a particularly good day, either, despite the fact that new Seiya Suzuki and Jonathan Villar made their spring training debuts. Even when the offense started warming up, like when Nick Madrigal roped a double in the 2nd, the inning ended when Willson Contreras was thrown out at home plate.
The defense finished out the trifecta of terrible thanks to a throwing error by Villar in the 1st inning, another by Madrigal in the 2nd, and a fielding error by Trent Giambrone in the 8th. The team could have had four errors when Jason Heyward lost a high fly in the sun, but left fielder Clint Frazier swept in to make the catch. Villar also had another play where he wasn’t credited with an error but he had trouble with a play at third when he dropped a throw and couldn’t find the ball. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Lost
Defense and pitching were as bad as we’ve seen this spring from the Cubs, who were down 10-0 after the 3rd inning.
Ezequiel Tovar hit a two-run homer in the 2nd inning after Villar’s error to put the Cubs down 4-0 and that was more than enough for the Rockies.
Stats That Matter
- Mills allowed six runs on seven hits (two homers) and one walk. Three of those runs were unearned due to errors.
- Suzuki did not have a great debut, striking out looking in both his ABs.
- Rockies first baseman C.J. Cron went 3-for-3 with three doubles and two RBI.
- In total, Mills (2), Wyatt Short (3) and Kevin McCarthy (1) allowed six home runs.
It’s only spring and it was only his second start, but Mills was fooling absolutely nobody and the vast majority of his pitches were finding entirely too much of the plate. Even when the ball wasn’t leaving the park it was getting hit hard. Here’s hoping that was “working on something” instead of “nothing working.”
The Cubs will travel to Peoria Stadium for a 3:10pm CT contest with the Padres where Drew Smyly will make his Cubs debut and his first start of the spring.