The Chicago Cubs took an offensive approach in the teams first exhibition game of the 2013 season. A 5-run-second inning and a 4-run-eighth inning pushed the Cubs to a 11 to 2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday.
What Went Right: The Chicago Cubs’ offense was clicking against the Angels on Saturday. Perhaps the most impressive performance was provided by outfielder Brett Jackson who went 2 for 2 with two triples and 2 RBIs. First baseman Anthony Rizzo notched a double in his only hit in the game and the same can be said about left fielder Jorge Soler who went 1 for 3 with a RBI double. Both Luis Valbuena and Junior Lake hit solo home runs for the Cubs in the team’s victory over the Angels on Saturday.
The Chicago Cubs pitching staff was also strong in the team’s Spring Training debut on Saturday. Travis Wood was the starting pitcher for the Cubs and allowed 2 runs on 1 hit and 1 base on balls all while pitching 2 innings on Saturday. After Wood, Trey McNutt, Hisanori Takashi, Rafael Dolis, Hector Rondon, Zach Putnam and Jaye Chapman held the Angels scoreless for the remainder of the game.
What Went Wrong: Not much went wrong for the Cubs on Saturday. If one were to nitpick, then perhaps the performance of Travis Wood was disappointing but in the first game of Spring Training that would be putting too much stock in a Spring Training performance.
- It certainly is encouraging to see Valbuena and Lake hit a home in their first exhibition game. With injuries to Ian Stewart and Josh Vitters, both Valbuena and Lake could take advantage of increased playing time over the next couple of weeks. Valbuena could start the season as the Cubs’ starting third baseman if Stewart fails to make the team, and Lake could leapfrog over Vitters on the organization depth chart at third base.
- Spring Training as it may be, it still was impressive to see Brett Jackson’s two triple performance in the Cubs’ exhibition opener on Saturday. With an adjusted batting stance, Jackson is determined to start the season as the Cubs starting center fielder and performances like the one he had on Saturday will certainly help his cause.