The key to any spring training game is to get better. We all know this and in Jon Lester‘s outing against National league Central division rivals Milwaukee Brewers come from behind win over the Cubs 5-4, despite the loss, Lester looked good.
Two hits over five innings is the kind of magic the Cubs will need from Lester this season. As the season draws closer, the games take on more intensity as rivalries heat up.
“I think it looked a lot better than it was,” Lester said. “For me, it definitely wasn’t as good as last time, as far as stuff and location, but we kind of masked that pretty well. Sometimes you have starts like that, especially now, you feel like you’re going pretty well and then your body lets you know that it’s Spring Training and you don’t have everything figured out. It was good to get up and down five times and face a team that we’re going to have a lot of experience with this year,” he said. “It’s good to kind of get a grinder like that out of the way, too.”
The Cubs have a tough rotation. Any of those guys could be the Opening Day starter and nobody would take fault to that. Last year, lester got the nod but this year it goes to National League Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta. However, Arrieta has been suffering from some finger issues but states that he should be fine and ready for the big day.
“It really won’t be a problem at all,” Arrieta said. “It really wasn’t even a blister. From the environment here, the skin, having to deal with dry skin, cracking all that stuff, it’s just managing it. Once we get out of Arizona, it’ll no longer be an issue at all.”
However, if situations change, Lester is all in should he be called upon to start Opening Day.
“If that’s what happens, then that’s what happens,” Lester said. “I think all five of us are prepared to go whenever they tell us to go. So if it’s a day sooner, we’ll make an adjustment. If it’s my normal day, then we’ll stay right on track. But talking to Jake this morning, I don’t think he’s too concerned about it. Hopefully that thing heals up fine and we don’t have to worry about it. I don’t think it’s going to affect him too much.”
Speaking of Opening Day, we have a tradition in our household that we celebrate the start of the season with a get together. Baseball in Canada in early April is a little bit colder than the Chicago(though not by much) so we bring Chicago to our home.
When we visited Chicago last May we discovered the fine cuisine of your beautiful city. The thirst quenching taste of Old Style soothed our hearts after the Cubs loss to the Pirates. The beer wasn’t my favourite though at eight bucks for a twelve pack wasn’t bad at all. Up here a twelve costs $25. The best beer belongs to Goose Island. Their IPA is incredible and it’s now available in the Great White Northside. That’ll be on tap for our Opening Day festivities.
I’m not a fan of pizza, although if you’re ever visiting the Kingston or Ottawa area, be sure to stop in at Gabriel’s Pizza, it’s the only pizza I’ll have.
Giordano’s and Old Style went down deliciously during our visit to the North Side of Chicago.
This year, we’re planning on doing Chicago style sausages. What I’m looking for is an authentic recipe. If anyone has a recipe pass it on to me. I’m talking heart of Chicago, spicy Italian goodness. We’re going to try a bit of a twist and go for maple baked beans as a side dish. You know, a little Canadiana to throw into the mix. Add the Goose Island and away we go!
Here’s a recipe I found. Looks delicious, but I want the real thing!