It was a quiet day at the office for the Chicago Cubs’ bats as they managed just two hits and no runs in a 2-0 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Chris Gimenez continued his strong spring with another base hit, but the team couldn’t get their offense going as home runs from Nick Ahmed and Ray Fuentes led the Diamondbacks to the victory.
Cubs Opening Day starter Jon Lester gave up one run in 2.2 innings of work, striking out three batters as he worked his way through a third inning jam. In that inning, Lester struck out Paul Goldschmidt and Jake Lamb with runners on first and third and no one out, and Daniel Camarena struck out Yasmany Tomas to end the frame without a run crossing the plate.
Reliever Justin Grimm did conceded a pair of free passes in the fourth inning of the game, but managed to escape unscathed as he continues to battle for a spot in the team’s bullpen.
Ultimately though, the Cubs were unable to get any production from their starting lineup, with Jason Heyward, Javier Baez, and Willson Contreras going a combined 0-for-9 with four strikeouts in the contest.
News and Notes:
-Jon Lester was charged with an error in the game after an errant throw to first base, but he says the bounced throw to first baseman Efren Navarro was deliberate.
Calling it a "Jordan to Pippen" pass, Lester said that he doesn't care what the throws look like as long as they hit their target.
"I don't care what it looks like," he said. "I don't care if it bounces 72 times over there, an out's an out."
-Javier Baez made another stellar play at second base during the game, but his bat has yet to really wake up in Arizona, as he's now hitting just .167 after going 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts.
Jason Heyward is also struggling at the plate despite making some solid contact and taking the ball the opposite way at times during Cactus League action. He is now batting just .091 after going 0-for-3 in the leadoff spot for the Cubs.
The Cubs will look to awaken their bats on Monday as they play a second straight game at Salt River Fields, battling the Colorado Rockies. Kyle Hendricks will take the hill for the Cubs in the game, as the team will be opposed by Tim Anderson.