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Tough Cubs debut doesn't concern Davis

New closer allows three runs; Maddon pleased with velocity
MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

MESA, Ariz. -- Last spring, Wade Davis gave up one run over nine innings in nine Cactus League outings with the Royals. In his first appearance this year Sunday with the Cubs, it was a different story as he was charged with three runs on three hits and one walk over one-third of an inning. The new Cubs closer wasn't concerned.

"I don't know what my Spring Training has been like as far as numbers," Davis said Monday. "Whatever happens here, I guess doesn't really matter."

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MESA, Ariz. -- Last spring, Wade Davis gave up one run over nine innings in nine Cactus League outings with the Royals. In his first appearance this year Sunday with the Cubs, it was a different story as he was charged with three runs on three hits and one walk over one-third of an inning. The new Cubs closer wasn't concerned.

"I don't know what my Spring Training has been like as far as numbers," Davis said Monday. "Whatever happens here, I guess doesn't really matter."

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The Cubs will wipe the slate clean when the regular season begins April 2 against the Cardinals. For now, Davis is still learning his new teammates' names. On Sunday, he got the inaugural jitters out of the way.

"It's definitely different that first time [pitching]," Davis said. "It feels like you haven't done it forever. You're not sure how the hitters are going to react."

He entered in the third and walked Carlos Gomez, then gave up single to Shin-Soo Choo, an RBI single to Nomar Mazara, and an RBI single to Mike Napoli. Davis struck out Rougned Odor, and manager Joe Maddon quickly trotted to the mound to pull the right-hander after 19 pitches.

"I expected to finish the inning," Davis said. "I didn't realize I had a pitch count. It's the first time out -- it's all good."

Maddon, who managed Davis with Tampa Bay from 2009-12, liked what he saw.

"I'm not used to seeing him throwing that hard that soon, if that makes sense, so that was good," Maddon said. "I'm used to seeing him throw 86, 87, 88 [mph] the first time he pitches. He's at 92, 94, and I think he hit 95."

Even though Davis expected to finish the inning, Maddon said the pitcher was smiling when he went to take him out.

"That's what I'm looking for," Maddon said.

Davis may not care about the numbers, but he does like Spring Training.

"You need to be in games because eventually you have to turn that light switch on at some point in Spring Training to make sure you're not just doing it Opening Day," Davis said. "You also have to make sure you're not overdoing it."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

Chicago Cubs, Wade Davis