RECAP — Cubs 6, Angels 1

The Cubs don’t seem to be planning to lose anytime soon in Spring Training, as Jon Lester dominated against the Angels and the Cubs won 6-1. It marked the Cubs fifth straight win, 11th overall for the most wins in both the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues.

Standout Performers

David Bote: 3 AB, 2 H (HR), 1 R, 3 RBI
Mike Freeman: 2 AB, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB
Kyle Schwarber: 3 AB, 1 H (HR), 1 R, 2 RBI
Jon Lester: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, W

How it Happened

The Cubs got on the board first once again and dealt out all their damage over the first four innings off the Angels’ Matt Shoemaker. Albert Almora got it going in the first on a line drive to left field knocking in Jason Heyward for the first Cubs run. David Bote singled to center in the second inning that scored Peter Bourjos for a 2-0 lead. Then in the third inning, Kyle Schwarber blasted a two-run home run that put the Cubs out on top 4-0. In the fourth inning, David Bote matched Schwarbs with a two-run shot of his own that stretched the Cubs lead to 6-0. At this point in the game, Jon Lester had already been dominating the Angels and was guaranteed a win. LA did tack on one run in the sixth, but that was it as the Cubs won 6-1.

One Great Moment

For once it was not a great play that led to runs or a diving catch, but it was Matt Shoemaker trying to pick off Anthony Rizzo. If you do not know, Rizzo is said to be one of the hardest players in Baseball to pick off, which is kind of unbelievable for his speed. It is true, and Shoemaker became a victim of a completely frozen Anthony Rizzo. In the third inning, Shoemaker attempted to pick off Rizzo, but Anthony stood completely still and did not flinch while his foot was on the bag. There was probably no reason for the throw to first because he was definitely not attempting to steal a base, but that’s our “One Great Moment” of the game.

Conclusion

It’s going to be a tight race for the leadoff spot between Ian Happ and Albert Almora. Happ who has not homered in the past two games is making an incredible case, while Almora is making defensive gems and recording hits at key times. Almora had another nice performance with one hit and one RBI and seems to be helping the Cubs during this extremely good stretch in Spring. Should be fun to see who the leadoff hitter is, or maybe Joe Maddon even rotates Happ and Almora.

Next Up

The Cubs will have their first split-squad game of Spring Training, with a game at 2:05 PM Central at Sloan Park against the White Sox, and an 8:05 PM Central game at Camelback Park against the Dodgers. We are curious to see how Joe Maddon utilizes the lineups in both games, and which pitchers are a go.

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