The Cubs Spring Training Report – Padres Power Past Cubs

Game Seven: Cubs 8 – Padres 13
Plus Team USA loses to Team Canada, 8 to 6….and News from Mesa

The Padres beat the Cubs today at HoHoKam 13-8. The Cubs offense pounded out 15 hits but it was the defense and pitching that led the Cubs to defeat. David Aardsma took the loss but the entire pitching staff could not hold the Padres offense at bay. The Padres scored 5 runs in the last two innings, including a grand slam in the 9th by Josh Barfield, son of Jesse Barfield, off of Michael Wuertz. The Cubs made 3 errors on Wednesday; two by John Mabry and one by Ronny Cedeno. Matt Murton hit his first home run of the spring.

More on the game, the WBC and News from Mesa

Glendon Rusch continued his troublesome spring by allowing 5 runs (3 earned) on 5 hits in 3 innings, including a home run off the bat of Doug Mirabelli….the second in 5 innings of work this spring. Rusch has to bounce back in his next start in order to cement his spot in the starting rotation to either Wood or Miller return. Both Angel Guzman and Rich Hill have looked better to this point of Spring Training.

Randy Wells, Carman Pignatiello and David Aardsma all allowed at least one earned run on Wednesday and John Koronka threw one inning of scoreless ball out of the pen. All four of these pitchers will start the season in either West Tenn or Iowa and is a little less concerning. The three walks and three hits, including the grand slam, off of Michael Wuertz is cause for concern. Wuertz was one of the few bright spots from last season and the Cubs could use a proven and reliable arm in the bullpen this season. Wuertz would give Dusty Baker a better option than Roberto Novoa.

Juan Pierre added 2 hits and an RBI, but was caught stealing for the second time this spring. Neifi went 2 for 3 including 2 runs scored while Ronny Cedeno went 0 for 2. The Cubs did rally in the middle innings, scoring 6 runs and tied the game at 8 in the 7th inning….which let Glendon Rusch off of the hook.

Here is the box score and photos from Yahoo Sports.

Thursday – The Colorado Rockies in Tucson

Jerome Williams vs. Jason Jennings

Jerome Williams pitched well in his first outing of the spring last Saturday against the Giants. Williams needs the Cubs defense not to give any extra outs in order for him to be successful. The Cubs defense needs to improve…. they have committed too many errors over the last few days. Ronny Cedeno needs to relax and play the way he is capable of playing.

The Cubs in the WBC

Holden Kushner called it “The Greatest Victory in Canadian Baseball History”. Team Canada beat Team USA 8 to 6 on Wednesday afternoon. Derrek Lee continued to be a bright spot. Lee went 1 for 4 with an RBI single. Michael Barrett did not play on Wednesday. A win by Team Mexico on Wednesday night could spell an end to Team USA according to reports on XM Radio. Not making round two of the tournament by the country that created baseball could be very embarrassing for Bud Selig and Buck Martinez. Next up for Team USA, South Africa on Friday at 2:00pm C.S.T.

Team Venezuela beat Team Italy 6 to 0 on Wednesday, neither Henry Blanco nor Carlos Zambrano participated.

News from Mesa

According to a report on Cubs.com, Kerry Wood returned to Mesa on Wednesday and was able to resume his rehab program. While standing he threw the ball around ninety times.

Mark Prior is still scheduled to throw to hitters on Thursday. Prior is scheduled to throw around thirty pitches and if everything goes well he could throw a simulated game in a couple of days. According to Cubs.com Prior is scheduled to start the second game of the regular season and could pitch in a Spring Training game next week.

Aramis Ramirez did participate in infield practice on Wednesday and is still listed as day to day. Jerry Hairston did not play on Wednesday and is not expected to make the trip to Tucson on Thursday. There was not an updated timetable released on Wednesday concerning his return.

According to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times on Wednesday, Jim Hendry has not received any calls about trading Todd Walker and Hendry is willing to listen to trade offers for Scott Williamson.

Well that’s the news….and I’m sticking to it!!

Quote of the Day

"The more reasons you have for achieving your goal, the more determined you will become." - Brian Tracy

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