Game Twenty – Cubs 2 Indians 9
WP – Fausto Carmona (2-0) LP – Jeff Samardzija (0-2) Save – None
Fausto Carmona dominated the Cubs offense on Monday afternoon at HoHoKam Park. Carmona threw six shutout innings and allowed only two hits … and one Cub to reach base. Alfonso Soriano accounted for the only two hits off of Carmona, a single in the second and a double in the fifth.
The Cubs did not tally their third hit until the eighth inning and three of their six hits on the afternoon came in the ninth inning. Micah Hoffpauir broke up the shutout with a two-out, two-run single to right.
While Carmona was busy retiring one Cub after the other, the Cubs’ pitching staff struggled against an Indians lineup without Grady Sizemore, Travis Haffner and Shin-Soo Choo.
Jeff Samardzija threw the ball better than in his last big league start against the Brewers … but allowed two runs on four hits in four innings. The Cubs’ defense did not help him out. Samardzija allowed single runs in the second and third and walked two while striking out four. Two of the Tribe’s four hits off of ‘The Shark‘ were doubles.
John Grabow allowed two unearned runs in 2/3 of an inning. Jeff Baker’s error on a ball hit by Matt LaPorta led to the long inning. Grabow surrendered three straight hits before he was lifted for Jeff Stevens.
Monday’s performance by Mike Parisi likely punched his ticket back to the Cardinals’ organization. Parisi struggled with his command in the eighth and loaded the bases on a hit and a pair of walks without recording an out. Parisi uncorked a wild pitch that allowed a run to score then he hit a batter to reload the bases.
Justin Berg allowed three inherited runners to score in relief of Mike Parisi.
With the loss, the Cubs slipped to 11-8-1 on the spring … It is only Spring Training, wins and losses do not matter. With that said, Major League pitchers should be able to throw strikes and retire batters … especially players with 80-something and 90-something on their backs.
Alfonso Soriano getting hits off a pitcher of the caliber of Fausto Carmona was a good sight to see with Opening Day just 13 days away.
On a final note, one of Jim Hendry’s all-time favorite players had a good afternoon at HoHoKam Park. Austin Kearns was 2-for-2 with a double, two runs scored and a walk.
Ryan Dempster will face Luke Hochevar and the Royals in Surprise on Tuesday.