Wednesday, March 31, 2010

One More at Hoho


One of the Cubs few bright spots today, Soto to Lee picks Evans off first
BOS Photo by John Antonoff

The Cubs lost a pair of games today, with the Jr. Varsity losing to the Brewers in Maryvale and the A squad unable to do anything against Jered Weaver and the Angels at Hohokam losing 11-0. I said Jr. Varsity because only one Cubs projected opening day starter played against the Brewers (Fukudome) while the rest of the opening day lineup started in Mesa.

Jered Weaver was on his game and only allowed an Xavier Nady single while striking out 9 Cubs over 5 innings. Four other Angels pitchers tossed an inning each, allowing only 1 hit.

Carlos Zambrano started and Lou was only looking for Z to go three or four innings today. He pitched 4 innings allowing 4 runs. Angels catcher Mike Napoli crushed a 2 run shot in the first that nearly left the the stadium into the North side parking lot. Sean Marshall followed Z with a perfect inning and then Jeff Samardzija gave up a couple runs in the 6th on a Peter Bourjos 2 run HR. James Russell who had not given up a run this spring finally surrendered one in the 7th. Justin Berg and Esmailin Caridad each allowed 2 runs in an inning apiece but Caridad's were unearned courtesy of a Darwin Barney error.

So what do today's two Cubs split-squad games tell us about the upcoming season? Not much really but I do know that each time a young Cubs reliever (Berg, Caridad, Samardzija, or Russell) enters a game early this season it will be a big question mark as to how they perform. Between the 4 relievers they have a total of 76 MLB innings pitched, 30 of those from Samardzija.

Derrek Lee was having some fun today tuning up his infield skills taking grounders at shortstop during bp. The Cubs attendance at Hohokam today was the second lowest home game of the entire spring at 7,707. However that was still better than 7 of the 8 Grapefruit League games today, beaten by the Yankee's/Twins.

The Cubs will play the final home game of the 2010 Cactus League season at Hohokam tomorrow against the Colorado Rockies, weather permitting...60 percent chance of rain with temps expected in the high 50's. A stark contrast from today's breezy and warm 82 degrees.

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