Some sun and (relative) warmth for Cubs opener
It’s a different kind of Opening Day at Wrigley Field. The wind is absolutely howling out, and temperatures could reach or top 60 degrees. That’s a far cry from the usual 38 degrees we usually get. It reminds me a little of Opening Day 1994, when the Cubs’ Tuffy Rhodes hit 3 homers off the Mets’ Doc Gooden. The teams combined for 30 hits that day, and the Mets won 12-8.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum summed today up this way: “It’s howling out. It’s one of those rare days in April with a little warm front that’s coming in after that cold front. It’s a keep-the-ball-down day.”
Edwin Jackson will be charged with that for the Cubs as he opposes flyball pitcher Marco Estrada of the Brewers.
Team chairman Tom Ricketts gave the general media an audience just before first pitch. He said he remains optimistic a deal on renovating the ballpark can be reached with the city of Chicago but added he is staying away from talking deadlines and timeframes. We’ll have more for the paper tomorrow.
Second baseman Darwin Barney will wait until later in the week to have the stitches in his left knee removed. After that, it will be on to a rehab assignment, perhaps with the Kane County Cougars, but possibly with another minor-league team.
Team president Theo Epstein voiced his support for manager Dale Sveum’s decision to demote closer Carlos Marmol Epstein said Marmol deserved to start the season as closer and should not have lost the job entering the season after a poor finish to spring training.
Nick Struck worked 5 innings and gave up 8 hits and 4 runs as Class AAA Iowa fell to 0-4 with a 7-3 loss to Albuquerque. Ryan Sweeney went 2-for-3 with a walk and a solo homer.
Class AA Tennessee fell 5-4 to Pensacola. Kyle Hendricks, obtained last year from Texas, worked 5 innings and gave up 8 hits and 5 runs in taking the loss. Justin Bour was 2-for-4.
Class A Daytona blanked Brevard County 9-0. Jorge Soler hit his second homer, going 2-for-4. It was Soler’s second homer in two days. Micah Gibbs also homered. Starter P.J. Francescon got the win, pitching 5 innings and giving up 1 hit while walking one and striking out six.
The Kane County Cougars fell to 0-4 with a 13-inning, 3-1 loss to Quad Cities. Michael Heesch started and worked 6.1 innings, giving up 1 hit and 1 run. Oliver Zapata was 2-for-5 with a walk, and Rock Shoulders was 2-for-3.