Rain cancels remainder of Cubs-Reds game
|Thursday, March 16, 2023, 6:41 AM- -|
Every so often, teams elect to play a night game for Spring Training. When it comes to the Cubs, they have had several night games already this spring, with back-to-back night games taking place on Wednesday. Facing off against the Cincinnati Reds for the second time this spring, the Cubs grabbed the early 1-0 lead and held a 2-1 advantage into the fourth inning.
That is when mother nature decided to get in the way as it began to rain. Given that these games don't count and the duration of the rain itself, it was decided that this game would be canceled, with the Cubs winning 2-1 at the time of the cancellation.
Although this game was canceled, there were still some fun plays and important players eager to see action on the field. One of those players was Caleb Kilian, who is looking much better this spring. Seen as the top pitching prospect in the organization last year, Kilian dealt with command issues all season and had the worst year of his professional career thus far. It was later revealed that he was dealing with knee pain during the second half of the season, and some wonder if that was the reason for his struggles.
In what has now been three appearances this spring, Kilian has been dominant, and you can tell he is healthy once again. The command is back where he is accustomed to having it while also moving better on the mound, which became evident on his diving catch. The Cubs also received a pair of RBI hits in the game, with one coming in the second and one in the fourth.
The first of those RBI hits came off the bat of Jake Slaughter, who continues to show promise this spring. Slaughter was one of the more improved players in the minors last season and has quickly become a fan favorite. Look for him to join AAA at some point this season and continue to push his way toward the majors.
Following that single from Slaughter, the Reds tied things up in the bottom of the third when Joey Votto connected for an RBI single of his own. Zach McKinstry responded with an RBI in the top of the first to put the Cubs back in front 2-1, as that is where things ended when the rain came. Chicago is back at Sloan Park on Thursday when they host the Arizona Diamondbacks.
PHOENIX - While the Cubs game may have gotten canceled, there was arguably an even more important game going on as team USA took on Columbia for a spot in the World Baseball Classic quarterfinals. All USA needed to do was win this game to advance, while Columbia not only needed a win but also to win by at least three and score four runs or more.
With Merrill Kelly getting the start in front of his home fans, the right-hander labored through three innings as he had a hard time finding the plate. Kelly would allow two runs on four hits while walking two and striking out one. Both runs came in the third inning when Gio Urshela put Columbia on the board with a sacrifice fly, only to see Rodriguez rip an RBI double to center to put the Americans in a 2-1 hole.
Following Kelly's departure, Mark DeRosa went with an all-hands-on-deck approach in hopes of getting to Miami. What started with Kendall Graveman and his inning was followed by Daniel Bard, David Bednar, former Cub Jason Adam, Devin Williams, and Ryan Pressley as they all tossed one inning of work. Most importantly, they didn't allow a run and struck out nine, giving the USA offense a chance.
All they needed was a chance and the captain Mike Trout who shouldered the load. He opened the game with a triple in the first and put USA in front 1-0 with an RBI single in the third to score Mookie Betts. Trout would add another single in the fifth to plate the tying and go-ahead runs as he was responsible for all three RBIs in the 3-2 USA win.
The USA will make their way to Miami this weekend for the quarterfinal round, where Pool D winners Venezuela awaits them. Venezuela went 5-0 in pool play and has looked very impressive thus far.