An Unannounced Split Squad

Spring Training Game Three – Cubs 2 Angels 6
WP – Jered Weaver (1-0) LP – Jason Marquis (0-1)

As far as the game itself, it was over before it started. The Angels trotted out their All-Star lineup while Lou Piniella’s crew featured a starting nine that could have taken the field last season in Iowa, with the exception of Jason Marquis and Alex Cintron. Kerry Wood and Bobby Howry both pitched for the first time this spring with similar results. Wood allowed 3 runs on 4 hits in an inning of work while Howry surrendered a run on 2 hits in the 5th inning. Wood gave up Torii Hunter’s first home run as an Angel that accounted for all three of the runs he allowed. Geoff Jones, Carmen Pignatiello, Tim Lahey and Ed Campusano all added an inning of relief, threw the ball well and did not allow any runs.

Jake Fox hit his first home run of the spring. His 2-run homer in the 6th broke up the shutout. Matt Murton was 3-for-3 and hit the ball very hard all afternoon. Eric Patterson was 1-for-2 with a run scored after taking over for Mike Fontenot in the 6th inning.

Lou Piniella’s starting lineup on Saturday:

  1. Felix Pie – CF
  2. Mike Fontenot – 2B
  3. Jake Fox – DH
  4. Micah Hoffpauir – 1B
  5. Matt Murton – LF
  6. Geovany Soto – C
  7. Alex Cintron – 3B
  8. Ronny Cedeno – SS
  9. Sam Fuld – RF

Kosuke Fukudome, Alfonso Soriano, Derrek Lee, Ryan Theriot and Aramis Ramirez did not make the short trip with the team from Mesa to Tempe.

Geovany Soto threw out Chone Figgins in the 1st inning on a perfect throw. It was great to see a Cubs’ catcher throw out one of the better leadoff men in the league. Soto also caught Figgins in a run down in the 4th inning with Gary Matthews, Jr. at the plate. Howie Kendrick did steal a base off Soto in the 2nd inning, the throw was to the 3rd base side of 2nd base.

If Soto can hit consistently at the big league level, Lou Piniella might end up having one of the best catchers in the National League.

Jason Marquis struggled with his command on Saturday, especially in the 2nd inning. The only run he allowed was after a leadoff walk to Garrett Anderson. Marquis kept the ball down, but like most pitchers, extra pitches and walks typically lead to runs. Jon Lieber’s outing on Monday will determine which of the three pitchers have the advantage for the last two spots after the first 5 games of the spring. Sean Marshall has yet to throw this spring and reports have indicated he is in the running as well.

Geoff Jones threw the ball well. Nothing spectacular, just effective relief work….and the same can be said for both Tim Lahey and Ed Campusano. Carmen Pignatiello, however, stuck out from the other two southpaws. Lahey recorded all three of his outs on grounders to short and 3rd….thanks to a good play by Bobby Scales, but he kept the ball down.

Kerry Wood’s line does not read the way one would like. A good word to describe Wood’s outing would be okay…. He gave up a bloop single, got the ground ball he needed but Mike Fontenot could not turn the double play. Wood was aided by a good play on a pop-up by the Angels dugout. Micah Hoffpauir went to the top of the steps and reached in. But a hard single by Vladimir Guerrero, Hunter’s home run and Casey Kotchman’s double cannot sit to well with ‘K‘. Extra chances and extra pitches always make for a long inning.

Koyie Hill, Bobby Scales, Luis Figueroa, Andres Torres and Josh Kroeger all saw action on Saturday.

The game was insignificant but a few of the performances could have been a little better, or a lot better in some cases….but it is only the first week of the exhibition season.

The Cubs will face the Giants for the third time in the first four Cactus League games on Sunday. Ted Lilly is scheduled to start the game against Matt Cain. Look for Kosuke Fukudome, Derrek Lee, Ryan Theriot and Alfonso Soriano to be back in the lineup.

Kerry Wood Takes a
Moment for the CCO

Click Here for a Photo Gallery from Game Three of the Cubs’ 2008 Cactus League Schedule

Quote of the Day

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." - Albert Einstein