Offense was on display Sunday afternoon as the Cubs outlasted the Royals in a game that saw the two teams combine for 25 runs, 36 base runners, and 12 extra-base hits.
Unsurprisingly, that meant that it was a rough day for pitchers. Among those was likely Opening Day starter Kyle Hendricks, who allowed four runs on four hits (two home runs) and a walk in three innings of work. It wasn’t all bad though, as he looked like he had good stuff and did also strike out five.
Most of the Cubs’ offensive damage came after the regulars left the game, but Patrick Wisdom had his best performance of the spring. Back over at third with Frank Schwindel back at first, Wisdom bashed two mammoth homers and drove in four runs. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
It was quite the back and forth tilt against Kansas City as the Royals broke a 4-4 tie with a 6-spot in the 6th inning. However, the Cubs scored two in the bottom of the frame to make the score 10-6 and then scored seven runs in the bottom of the 7th to take a 13-10 lead. The Royals almost rallied in the top of the 9th but could only manage two more runs.
Reliever Chris Martin struggled against the Royals’ subs in the final inning, allowing two runs before a nifty game ending 3-2 double play. Jared Young fielded a weak grounder, then stepped on first and threw home to catcher John Hicks, who was able to tag the runner before he could get back to third.
Stats That Matter
- Hendricks had his longest outing of the spring with three innings, but he allowed allowed a lot of hard contact to go along with that handful of K’s.
- Wisdom went 2-for-2 with two home runs, four RBI, and two runs scored.
- Ed Howard also went 2-for-2 with a double, two RBI, and two runs scored.
- Reliever Robert Gsellman had arguably the worst outing of any Cubs pitcher this spring, managing just a third of an inning and allowing six runs on five hits and a walk.
While Hendricks’ numbers should be cause for some alarm, he told assembled media after his outing that he mostly felt good and wasn’t concerned about the results. Wisdom’s power display was a welcome sight after he started the spring 1-for-11 with a single. Of course, the pitchers he took deep today are unlikely to be on the Royals Opening Day roster, so it’s hard to know exactly how much to take from that performance. Perhaps it’s the beginning of him seeing the ball better.
The Cubs will head to Goodyear for a rare night game against the Reds at 8:05pm CT. Marcus Stroman is slated for his third start and, like Hendricks, should be looking at a longer outing than his first two.