Saturday, March 9, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Indians 9, Cubs 2
By Jesse Rogers
MESA, Ariz. -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Saturday:
The good: Chris Rusin had a solid start for Chicago. He gave up three hits in three innings, picked off a runner and induced a double-play ball to prevent any trouble from starting. David DeJesus had three good at-bats -- two against left-handed pitching -- which produced two doubles. Javier Baez homered and added another hit, raising his spring average to .360.
The bad: As soon as Rusin departed, the Cubs' pitching took a nose dive. Brooks Raley was hit hard, as was Alberto Cabrera. Those two combined to give up seven runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Logan Watkins and the formerly hot Nate Schierholtz both struck out twice.
What we learned: Baez came up with a man on second and no one out in the first inning and wasn’t thinking about just getting him over. He took two big hacks; the second one sent the ball over the left-center-field wall. His bat speed continues to impress, though manager Dale Sveum said before the game he’s still ticketed for minor league camp in about a week. ... With ailing pitchers, there’s room -- at least to start the season -- in the bullpen, so if Rusin is thinking about grabbing a spot there, he didn’t do anything to harm those chances.
Bottom line: The Cubs fell to 5-10 in Cactus League play and haven’t won a game since a split-squad affair Sunday.
Jesse Rogers covers the Cubs for ESPN 1000 and ESPNChicago.com