Fly the W: Cubs top Giants, start spring 2-0
Davis had a big day in the win

Fly the W: Cubs top Giants, start spring 2-0

by - Senior Writer -

SCOTTSDALE - Although the overall Spring Standings may not mean much or count for anything, Spring Training is all about prepping for the regular season. Through two games this spring, the Chicago Cubs have looked impressive as they put together another complete team victory over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday, 8-4.

This comes after topping the White Sox 8-1 to open the season in a game where their pitching allowed just four hits. Once again, the offense got rolling early and often, but the overall pitching continued to be the story as they held the Giants to just three hits through eight innings before falling apart in the ninth. That makes less than ten hits in two games, as their pitching has been impressive.

Going up against one of the better pitchers in the National League in Logan Webb, acting Manager Ryan Flaherty countered with Drew Smyly as he is looking to carve out his role for the season. Expected to battle for the final spot in the rotation, Smyly also has a shot to make the team as a reliever, where he was much better last season.

Smyly didn't get off to a great start, as his command was an issue, but after settling in, he did what you want your pitchers to do by not allowing a run in two innings of work. That put the pressure on Webb to do the same, and after a very quick first inning that saw Mike Tauchman lead off the game with a first-pitch single before a double play, the Cubs offense finally started to get to him in the second inning.

Once again, it was a lead-off single that things going for the Cubs as Matt Mervis flared a softly hit liner to center field for a single. Jorge Alfaro followed that up with a hit by a pitch before being erased at second by a Miles Mastrobuoni fielders choice. Mastrobuoni would eventually steal second, but with two outs and two runners on base, the Cubs were in danger of letting an early opportunity get away.

That was until Brennan Davis came through with a sharply hit single to left field as the Cubs took the lead and never looked back 2-0.

Davis is often forgotten about in terms of the top prospects, but after dealing with injuries the past few seasons, it will be interesting to see what he can do when he is healthy.

Not only was Smyly good on the mound, but every pitcher who followed him was equally as good, including top-10 prospect Ben Brown. Expected to contribute to the Cubs at some point this season, Brown made his Spring debut and was seen touching 97 MPH. He was having Patrick Wisdom add an RBI double in the third to give the Cubs a 3-0 lead made things easier for him as he continues to show why he has MLB caliber stuff.

Once the Cubs offense got rolling it seemed like they started to get into a bit of a groove as Davis connected for a solo shot in his second at bat to extend the Cubs lead to 4-0.

Davis led the Cubs with three RBIs in the win as he finally seems to be rounding back into form.

Besides the two hits Brown allowed on his outing, the Giants' offense did next to nothing as the Cubs' pitching remained strong.

Luke Little started that off with a scoreless fifth, but you also saw Riley Thompson, Sam McWilliams, Blake Weiman and Chris Kachmar among others. Still holding their 4-0 lead in the sixth, Mervis led things off with a walk before advancing to third on a Mastrobuoni single. That single was followed by a Kevin Alcantara single as the Cubs led 5-0. Throw in a two-run shot from David Bote in the eighth and a solo shot from Chase Strumpf in the ninth and it was all Cubs as they led 8-0 with just three outs remaining.

Looking to cap off another strong pitching performance was Kachmar, who opened things up to begin the ninth. Allowing a lead-off single didn't help, but Kachmar bounced back to retire the next two men he faced as he was on the verge of getting out of things. That was until a walk and steal put runners in scoring position before Yoshi Tsutsugo ended the shutout bid with an RBI knock, sparking the call to Joe Nahas.

Nahas was rudely greeted to begin his outing as Otto Lopez touched him up for a two-run shot to pull the Giants within 8-4. That was as close as they would get as the Cubs continued to play sound baseball with an 8-4 victory.

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