Winning …and Losing in the Desert – Cubs (ss) 8 Mariners (ss) 1 – Cubs (ss) 2 Angels 8

Game Seventeen – Cubs (ss) 8 Mariners (ss) 1
WP – Sean Marshall (2-0) LP – Gaby Hernandez (0-1) Save – None

Game Eighteen – Cubs (ss) 2 Angels 8
WP – Dustin Moseley (1-0) LP – Chad Gaudin (2-1) Save – None

The Cubs split a pair of games in the Cactus League on Friday. Sean Marshall and a majority of the Cubs regulars took care of business against a split squad of Mariners at HoHoKam Park. Marshall was sharp once again and allowed a run on three hits with a walk, his first of the spring, to go along with three strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.

wflag.jpgSam Fuld and Andres Blanco went deep and Mike Fontenot drove in the Cubs first run with a 2-out single in the first inning. Newly signed Esteban German made his Cub debut and was 0-for-2 with a strikeout and left five on base.

Chad Gaudin struggled with his command early in Tempe then did not get any help in the second inning by home plate umpire Kerwin Danley. Gaudin gave up six runs in the second inning with the big hit coming off the bat of Kendry Morales. Gaudin walked Howie Kendrick prior to Morales’ grand slam…his first home run of the spring.

Gaudin’s line for the afternoon did not help his cause and probably ended his pursuit of the fifth spot in the rotation. He gave up six runs (five with two outs) on five hits with four walks and no strikeouts while surrendering his third home run of the spring. The Cubs defense did not help Gaudin and he was replaced by Justin Berg after just 1 2/3 innings.

Larry Rothschild did not like the way Kerwin Danley was calling balls and strikes…Rothschild was ejected for arguing in the third inning.

The Cubs lone runs in Tempe came on a 2-out double by Bobby Scales. Erick Aybar lost the ball in the sun that allowed Milton Bradley and Doug Deeds to score.

Cubs versus Mariners

Sean Marshall threw the ball well once again on Friday. His line looks dominant but he threw from behind in the count more on Friday afternoon than he has this spring. Marshall put together his longest outing (4 1/3 innings) and it was his error (a wild pickoff attempt) that led to the Mariners’ only run.

Luis Vizcaino replaced Marshall with one out and allowed the inherited runner to score. Vizcaino started two of three batters he faced off with 2-0 counts. Vizcaino has to throw strikes and so far this spring he has not proved he can on a consistent basis.

Sam Fuld led the Cubs offense on Friday afternoon in Mesa. Fuld walked and scored the Cubs first run, hit his second home run of the spring (Derrek Lee where are you?) and finished the afternoon 2-for-4 with two runs scored, a stolen base, a walk and two RBI.

With Fuld on first and one out, Derrek Lee flied out to deep left for the second out in the first inning. Fuld stole second with Aramis Ramirez at the plate. Ramirez put together a great at bat and eventually worked a walk.

Mike Fontenot worked the count to 3-2 before singling to center. Fuld scored and Ramirez advanced to second. With Reed Johnson at the plate, Hernandez uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Ramirez to score.

Sam Fuld gave his team a 3-0 lead in the third. Fuld led off the inning with his second of the spring to right. Andres Blanco hit his first homer of the spring with two outs in the fourth.

James Adduci walked and scored the Cubs fifth run in the sixth. Reed Johnson hit a chopper over the third baseman’s head after Mark Lowe’s second wild pitch of the inning allowed Adduci to advance to third.

After Lou Piniella emptied his bench, the players fighting for jobs tacked on three in the eighth. James Adduci led off the inning with an infield single, advanced to second on a wild pitch. Nate Spears advanced him to third with an infield single.

Tyler Walker then hit Jason Dubois to load the bases.

Koyie Hill drove in the Cubs’ sixth run with a single to right. With the bases loaded and no outs, Darwin Barney looked at strike three. Esteban German struck out swinging by Richie Robnett blooped a single into left that went off the shortstop’s glove…Spears and Dubois scored.

Box Score from MLB.com

Cubs versus Angels

Alan Trammell was the Cubs’ manager in Tempe against the Angels. Trammell ran out a lineup that consisted of Joey Gathright, Ryan Theriot, Milton Bradley, Micah Hoffpauir and a bunch of players fighting for jobs…and minor league assignments.

The lone offensive highlight came after the misplayed ball by Erick Aybar that allowed both of the Cubs’ runs to score.

Chad Gaudin was not sharp in the first inning and was a victim of bad defense and an inconsistent strike zone. As bad as the Angels’ announcers are, they even admitted several of the pitches Gaudin threw were borderline balls. Gaudin could not record the final out of the inning after the Cubs failed to turn an inning ending double play. Of the six runs charged to Gaudin, five came with two outs, four on one swing of the bat.

Kerwin Danley’s strike zone was so bad that Larry Rothschild was ejected from a Spring Training game for arguing balls and strikes.

Box Score from MLB.com

The Cubs will host the Angels and Joe Saunders on Saturday with Aaron Heilman getting the start. Carlos Marmol is expected to pitch along with Kevin Gregg, Angel Guzman, Randy Wells, Neal Cotts and Mike Stanton.

WGN TV and WGN Radio will carry the game.

Quote of the Day

"You are never as good as the adulations or as bad as the criticism, so don't get caught up on either one."
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