The good: Paul Maholm wasn’t at his best, but the left-hander was crafty enough to hold down most of the Angels’ Opening Day lineup, aside from that two-run bomb Pujols hit in the first inning. Making his final Cactus League start, Maholm gave up his two runs on three hits with a walk and six strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. He will remain in Arizona and make his last spring start in a minor-league game on Wednesday before rejoining the club for Opening Day on Thursday in Chicago.
The bad: The Cubs admit it isn’t an ideal scenario, but starting second baseman Darwin Barney will also serve as the club’s backup shortstop. He got the start there Saturday, making an error when he backpedaled on a hard-hit bouncer and let it play him. The Cubs won’t worry too much about the setup though, since Starlin Castro is expected to play the majority of games at short anyway.
Outside the box: All five relievers the Cubs used Sunday are expected to be in the Opening Day bullpen and got through the game without giving up an earned run. A run scored when Rodrigo Lopez was on the mound, but it was unearned because of the Barney error. Kerry Wood, Carlos Marmol, Rafael Dolis and James Russell all retired every batter they faced.
Up next: Cubs left-hander Chris Rusin (0-0, 1.93) will get the start opposite Angels right-hander Jered Weaver (2-1, 5.83) in the 3:05 p.m. CST start from Tempe. The Cubs’ Matt Garza is expected to pitch in a minor-league game.