3 Takeaways Form The Cubs Opening Day Loss to the Rangers

The Chicago Cubs opened the season against the Texas Rangers. What are 3 takeaways from the loss?
Mar 31, 2024; Arlington, Texas, USA; Chicago Cubs first baseman Michael Busch (29) scores the go
Mar 31, 2024; Arlington, Texas, USA; Chicago Cubs first baseman Michael Busch (29) scores the go / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Amazing Infield Play

The Cubs infield consists of two 2023 Gold Glovers in shortstop Dansby Swanson and second basemen Nico Hoerner. So it should be no surprise when great defense happens in the Cubs' infield. Yet, two amazing plays were made in the season opener that left people's jaws dropped.

Hoerner made an outstanding diving stop on a Corey Seager ground ball with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Without Horner patrolling the space between first and second, Segar would have likely gotten at least a single and driven in a run with that hit. If that had happened, all the momentum would have shifted to the Rangers, especially after losing starting pitcher Justin Steele earlier in the inning. Thankfully Hoerner was there to make the play and keep momentum even.

An inning after Horner's great play, Swanson made an incredible leaping catch.

While this play may look routine, it isn't. If you watch Swanson closely, you'll see how he has to switch his feet in mid-air so he can land correctly and make the catch. Not every shortstop is able to do that, and that's why when the Cubs added Swanson it was considered a great move.

These are just the first of many highlights the Cubs infield will produce this season.

3. Bullpen Might Still Be An Issue

Heading into this season, the Cubs bullpen was the area that needed to improve the most from last season. In 2023, the Cubs' bullpen cost them games, especially in the final month of the season. However, they didn't add many arms in the bullpen through free agency, which shows they believe in the guys on the team.

All the belief the Cubs might have had in their bullpen going into the season could already be gone after their poor performance on opening day. The Cubs had to use six relievers across five innings since Justin Steele left the game with a hamstring injury after 4 2/3 innings. The six relievers combined to give up three runs, five hits, two home runs, and five walks. An outing like that is definitely worrying for a Cubs bullpen that wanted to start their season strong after last year's terrible finish.

If the bullpen doesn't improve fast then the Cubs will end up missing the playoffs like they did last season.

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