Spring Training Game Seven – Cubs 9 A’s 8
WP – Clay Rapada (1-1) LP – Dallas Braden (0-1) Save – Bobby Howry (1)
The Cubs’ offense pounded out 18 hits while the pitching staff walked 10 Oakland A’s on the afternoon. Alfonso Soriano led off the game with his first home run as a Cub and they scored 4 runs in the first inning. Aramis Ramirez tripled and both Matt Murton and Michael Barrett doubled as a part of the huge first inning. Jacque Jones continued his hot spring, gong 3-4 with 3 RBI’s on the day. Carlos Zambrano pitched 3 innings and allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, struck out 3 and walked 3. As mentioned the pitching staff allowed 10 walks that included 2 with the bases loaded and both Scott Eyre and Roberto Novoa were very ineffective on the mound.
Zambrano could not find the strike zone, as all of the pitchers on the day struggled with the exception of Jeff Samardzija. Zambrano gave up a double to Jason Kendall and hit Antonio Perez. Scott Eyre relived Zambrano in the 4th and could not make it out of the inning. Eyre gave up 2 runs on 3 hits, walked 3 and struck out 2 in just 2/3 of an inning. Randy Wells finished the 4th inning and retired the only batter he faced. Jeff Samardzija pitched the 5th and 6th innings and gave up a run on 2 hits while striking out 1. Samardzija was one of only three Cubs’ pitchers on the day not to walk a batter (Wells and Rapada). The two hits he gave up were both doubles (Antonio Perez and Ryan Goleski).
Roberto Novoa made his spring debut on Wednesday and in just a third of an inning he gave up 3 runs on 1 hit and walked 2. Novoa faced just 4 batters before Piniella pulled him. Clay Rapada finished the inning and allowed 2 of the runs Novoa was charged with to score. Will Ohman walked 2 in his inning of relief but did not allow a hit or a run. Bobby Howry pitched the 9th and if not for a perfect throw from Buck Coats in left, the game might have ended in a tie for the second time in less than a week.
Ryan Theriot started the game at shortstop and was 0-2 on the day with a walk. The projected Opening Day lineup for the Cubs had a breakout day….16 total hits. Soriano (2-4, 2 runs, a RBI and a home run), Murton (2-4, a double and 2 runs), Lee (3-4 with a RBI and a run), Ramirez (3-4, a RBI and a run), Jones (3-4 with a run and 3 RBI’s….all against left handed pitching), Barrett (2-4 with 2 RBI’s) and DeRosa (1-2). Felix Pie was 1-1 with an RBI and is hitting .429 this spring. His RBI in the 7th inning gave the Cubs the lead. The Cubs did walk 5 times on the day as well.
The Cubs travel to Peoria on Thursday and will face Greg Maddux and the Padres. Wade Miller is scheduled to start for the Cubs and Kerry Wood is scheduled to pitch in his second game of the spring.