EASTER WEEKEND RECAP
The Cubs won 2 of 3 against Arizona … Lake Michigan winds added excitement on Friday and Saturday … David Bote’s walk-off single was a thrilling ending to the series … After a (1-6) start the Cubs have climbed back to .500.
-Fri: Cubs win, 5-1
-Sat: D-Backs win, 6-0
-Sun: Cubs win, 2-1 *David Bote walk-off single
FRIDAY: The D-backs infield struggled to field wind-aided fly balls — that was the difference in the game … Professor Hendricks went 7 scoreless and struck out 11 … It was the third consecutive outing by a Cubs starter of 7 scoreless innings (Quintana & Hamels vs. Miami).
SATURDAY: Arizona hit … the Cubs didn’t … Yu Darvish (5 IP, 3 R, 5 H) allowed back-to-back dingers in the first … that was all Zack Greinke would need … He kept the Cubs quite through six efficient innings (0 R, 3 H) … and earned the win — the first of his career at Wrigley Field … Greinke now has at least one win in every National League ballpark.
More history from Saturday’s game … D-backs rookie reliever Taylor Clarke earned the save and recorded his first career hit, an infield single, becoming the first pitcher with a save and a hit in his major league debut since saves became an official stat in 1969, according to the Elias Sports Bureau … Clark was optioned to Triple-A Reno following the game.
SUNDAY: Tyler Chatwood threw strikes … for six scoreless innings … and issued only two free passes … both were wiped out on twin-killings. You couldn’t have asked for a better outing … who knew he had it in him?
Robbie Ray matched Chatwood’s zeros until a Baez triple scored Rizzo in the sixth.
Pedro Strop failed to protect the 1-0 lead in the ninth when Jarrod Dyson — he of 16 career home runs in nearly 2,000 at-bats — tied the game with a solo HR to right … Strop kept the damage to a run to set the stage for a dramatic finish in the bottom of the inning.
Baez led off with a triple against closer Archie Bradley … Contreras was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners with no outs, David Bote delivered the walk-off single.
Rizzo: 4-8, R, RBI, 2 BB, 0 K
Bryant: 3-10, R, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 1 K
Contreras: 3-9, RBI, 2 BB, 2 K
Taking the series was all about the Cubs pitching. The Cubs offense was mostly lucky … half of the 7 runs scored crossed the plate due to fielding miscues by Arizona … The Cubs didn’t homer in the series (AZ hit 4 HR) … they struck out 19 times … went 5-for-28 (.178) with RISP … Without the Lake Michigan winds, the Cubs likely lose this series … The Dodgers come to town on Tuesday leading the NL in runs scored (136).
Brandon Morrow is out indefinitely after experiencing a setback in his recovery from a right elbow injury … It’s probably safe to assume he won’t return this season … and even if he does, can the Cubs count on him?
Strop is a capable closer, but ideally you want him in the set-up role. That leaves either Steve Cishek (125 career saves) or Brandon Kintzler (48 career saves) to spell Morrow.
The real question is whether any of the three are a long-term solutions or do the Cubs needs to look outside the organization?
Right-hander Alec Mills has been recalled from Triple-A Iowa. Lefty Randy Rosario was sent down.
NEXT – Tue. vs. LAD, 7:05 p.m. CT
Kenta Maeda (3-1, 3.80 ERA)
Jose Quintana (2-1, 3.43 ERA)