Morning News: Notes from Sunday and Game 2 preview
Since there wasn’t a game last night, and subsequently a lack of news, let’s spend a little longer dwelling on the season opener Sunday night.
First things first. Carlos Martinez was dominant on the mound and fooled Cubs hitters all night long. Off the top of my head, I can only recall a couple of balls squared up off Martinez: Kyle Schwarber’s double into the gap and Javier Baez’s single into left field.
The good news: this team simply refuses to give up. Ashamed as I am to admit, I thought the game was over after failing to push a run across with the bases loaded and one out. But, leave it to Willy Contreras to hit one out and tie the game.
Sadly, we know the rest.
Side note/question: why did Mike Matheny opt to try and get six outs from his closer on Opening Night?
Here are a couple last lingering thoughts from Sunday before we put that one behind us and move on to tonight.
- Dexter Fowler sliding into Addison Russell
Not a fan. I enjoyed the moment Fowler and the guys shared during pregame introductions, as well as a a few playful moments on the basepaths with Baez and Rizzo. But, the slide just was not cool, not to mention illegal. As Brett Taylor pointed out here, Fowler appears to go out of the baseline and right into Russell while Addy tries to turn the double play.
I get that he is a competitor and is simply trying to give his team any edge he can, but what did you guys think of Fowler’s play? Dirty or just baseball?
- Kris Bryant is not one for the first game of a season
Geez. Kris Bryant honestly looked lost out there at the plate, striking out three times and hitting a weak pop up to shallow right in a critical eighth inning, failing to bring in a run. It eerily reminded me of his debut two years ago, where he also fanned three times at Wrigley. Don’t worry…he seems to know how to bounce back.
- Jon Lester tried to paint too many corners
For the majority of his outing, it looked to me like Jon was focused on making perfect pitches every time rather than relying on his stuff and defense to get outs. As a result, his pitch count skyrocketed and he only made it five innings.
On To tonight…
Pitching Matchup: Jake Arrieta vs. Adam Wainwright
OK, there is no denying that Wainwright is a great pitcher, but at this stage in his career, he has to be running out of gas. I expect the Cubs to jump on him early and for Bryzzist to have a much better night behind Schwarbs.
On the other side, I am looking forward to seeing what Jake brings tonight. He was up and down for the most part last season, but he has the capability of twirling a gem every time he steps on the mound.