Nothing In Between

Spring Training Game Thirteen – Cubs 4 Brewers 6
WP – Dave Bush (1-0) LP – Rich Hill (0-1) Save – Brian Shouse (1)

The Cubs offense picked up where they left off on Sunday with an impressive 1st inning against Dave Bush….3 runs on 3 hits with a walk. Aramis Ramirez drove in pair with a double to right and Josh Kroeger followed with a run scoring single. After Kroeger’s single Dave Bush and Manny Parra retired the next 16 batters they faced until a 2-out double by Aramis Ramirez in the 6th inning. The Cubs added a run in the 9th after a leadoff double by Micah Hoffpauir but for the day they managed just 6 hits and a walk while striking out 7 times against Brewers pitching.

Rich Hill made his first start and third appearance of the spring. After allowing a couple of hits with in the 1st inning, the Brewers plated 4 runs in the 2nd and Hill was lifted after recording only 2 outs in the 3rd inning. Hill allowed 4 runs on 8 hits with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings. Mark DeRosa made his spring debut and was 0-for-3 in the loss.

Lou Piniella’s crew lost their second game of the spring to the Brewers and play them one more time in Arizona on March 27th before the games actually count. Ryan Theriot started the game with a single to left and Kosuke Fukudome followed with a walk. Theriot and Fukudome advanced to 2nd and 3rd on a ground out by Derrek Lee. Aramis Ramirez then doubled down the right field line, Theriot and Fukudome scored. Josh Kroeger singled to right to score Ramirez. Mark DeRosa grounded out in his first at bat of the spring and Henry Blanco lined out to 2nd to end the inning.

As mentioned after Kroeger’s single, the Cubs offense was non-existent. Dave Bush did not allow another hit in his 4 innings of work and struck out 4. Bush turned it over to the Brewers’ top pitching prospect, left hander Manny Parra.

Parra dominated the Cubs offense, allowed only 1 hit (a double by Aramis Ramirez), struck out 3 and did not allow a walk in 4 innings.

Micah Hoffpauir led off the 9th with a ringing double over Tony Gwynn, Jr.’s head in center off of Brian Shouse. Casey McGehee followed with a single to right but Josh Kroeger grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, Hoffpauir scored but Andres Blanco grounded out to short on the first pitch to end the game.

Rich Hill struggled with his command and the Brewers’ offense capitalized….even without Mike Cameron in the lineup. Hill left the ball up in his short outing as the Brewers continued their dominance of left handed pitching. Dave Bush even got into the act with a RBI single in the 4-run 2nd inning and was the last batter Hill faced in the 3rd….Bush walked to load the bases with 2 outs after being behind in the count 0-2 . Rich Hill just had a bad day, period.

Tim Lahey had his best outing of the spring. He relieved Hill with 2 outs in the 3rd and struck out Rickie Weeks with the bases loaded to end the inning. Lahey then pitched a perfect 4th inning.

Les Walrond and Shingo Takatsu followed Lahey. Walrond allowed a run on 3 hits with a walk and a strikeout in an inning. Takatsu walked one and struck out one in the 6th inning and did not allow a run. Both Walrond and Takatsu should be in the next round of cuts and reassignments.

Ed Campusano did not help his cause either and will probably start the season in Iowa. The southpaw gave up a run on 2 hits with a strikeout in an inning of work.

Kevin Hart picked up where he left off before Friday and retired all 3 batters he faced in the 8th….including Prince Fielder. Hart has separated himself from the crowd and it should be only a matter of time before Hart is given the roster spot he has earned.

Lou Piniella’s crew is 5-8 in the exhibition season with 19 left to play.

Box Score from Monday’s game

The Cubs return to HoHoKam on Tuesday to face the Oakland A’s for the third time in the last week. Carlos Zambrano is scheduled to make his 3rd start of the spring against southpaw Greg Smith.

News from Arizona

The weird injuries that have followed the Cubs this spring reached an even more bizarre level on Monday. Several reports from Mesa indicated Felix Pie will miss the next 3-5 days to undergo a procedure to correct testicular torsion.

The Cubs were hoping for Pie to have the outpatient procedure done closer to a scheduled off day next Monday according to the report on Cubs.com. But Pie “reported to the Cubs’ facility on Monday with considerable soreness. If not corrected, he could risk losing the testicle.

Sam Fuld will receive extra playing time while Pie recovers.

The Cubs optioned Adam Harben to Double-A on Monday according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.