Prior Struggles, Wood Dazzles….Cubs Win

Spring Training Game Five – Cubs 6 Mariners 5
WP – Kerry Wood (1-0) LP – J.J. Putz (0-1) Save – Rocky Cherry (1)

wflag.jpg Mark Prior made his first start of the spring and his first since August of 2006 and lasted just 1 1/3 innings while allowing 3 runs on 4 hits while walking 2. Prior threw 41 pitches after being given a 40-pitch count maximum for his outing. While Prior’s outing was not what the Cubs would have wanted, the fact he made a start in spring training (he had only started 1 other game in the last 3 springs) has to be a positive and Prior must build from this start. On the positive end of the win, Kerry Wood was dominant and threw 12 pitches, 8 for strikes and retired, in order, all three Mariners he faced….Adrian Beltre, Jose Guillen and Richie Sexson.

Mark Prior and Kerry Wood made the headlines but Ted Lilly quietly made his Cub debut and pitched 2 scoreless innings and allowed just 1 hit. Neal Cotts had a better outing….he worked 2 innings and gave up a run on 3 hits. The pitching staff also had a better day, they threw strikes and walked just 3. The three walks might be more than Piniella wants from his staff but they have to start somewhere, right?

Felix Pie had a big day and if his offense could come around, his defense is already there. Pie went 3-5 in the leadoff spot and scored 2 runs. Angel Pagan added a hit, Matt Murton had a RBI and another walk (his OBP is looking very good thus far) and Michael Barrett added 2 more hits. Mike Kinkade, who is battling for a roster spot, had a 2 hit, 3 RBI day that included a 2-run homer in the 4th.

Mark Prior did give up 3 doubles and his velocity was in the mid-80’s, with the highest being around 87 MPH. Prior’s outing might have been disappointing but the next couple of days will tell the full story….as long as Prior can pitch in games, he should get better.

Kerry Wood on the other hand threw the ball hard, in fact in the mid-90’s with one gun registering 95 MPH. Like Prior, the next few days will be very important to Wood. In order to be a successful reliever he has to be able to pitch more than once a week.

Box Score from MLB.com

Jason Marquis is scheduled to make his second start of the spring on Tuesday against the Brewers at HoHoKam.

Report from the Associated Press
Report from Cubs.com on Wood and Prior

Quote of the Day

"You try to get that game out of your mind, but it never leaves you." - Cool Papa Bell
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