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Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Cubs 5, Rangers 4

By Jesse Rogers

MESA, Ariz. -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 5-4 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.

The good: Innings 3-5 for Chris Rusin were very good. He struck out four while walking no one. The Cubs bullpen was excellent picking up where Rusin left off, pitching a shutout over the final four innings. Alfonso Soriano hit an early home run as did Darwin Barney.

The bad: Innings 1 and 2 for Rusin were bad. He got hit hard and often ... Anthony Rizzo didn’t have the best day at the plate but was able to squeeze out a sacrifice fly in the first and did get two runners over on a ground ball in the 5th.

What we learned: Rusin showed something by keeping the Cubs in the game after facing his first adversity of the spring.

“Just have to figure out the mistakes in the game,” he said afterwards. “I was able to calm down and find the location of my fastball, in and out, and keep them off the balance.”

If he makes the team out of the bullpen then the Cubs might want to pitch him there over the next week in Cactus League play, otherwise he’s next up as a starter if one of the top 5 have an issue.

What’s next: The Cubs are off on Wednesday and then play split-squad games on Thursday. They’ll take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in a day game in Tuscon, Ariz. The contest will benefit the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Foundation. Later that night the Cubs will also take on the Seattle Mariners in Peoria, Ariz. Scott Feldman will pitch the matinee while Jeff Samardzija will throw the night game.