Cubs Serve One Up on a Silva Platter – Cubs 3 White Sox 15

Game Three – Cubs 3 White Sox (ss) 15
WP – Daniel Hudson (1-0) LP – Carlos Silva (0-1) Save – None

Lou Piniella’s crew dropped their first game of the spring on Saturday afternoon after a horrible start by Carlos Silva. Silva dug a hole for his new team and the White Sox kept tacking on throughout the game.

Carlos Quentin hit two of the Sox five home runs in the first two innings, both off Silva. Cubs pitching allowed 18 hits and the Sox scored seven of the 15 runs in the final two innings off of non-roster invitee Jeff Kennard and John Grabow.

Carlos Marmol settled down after a rocky start and put together a perfect inning in his first outing of the spring. Marmol struck out a pair on 13 pitches, 10 for strikes.

James Russell took over for Marmol in the fourth. Russell threw the ball extremely well, hit his spots and struck out two with a walk in two innings of work. Alfonso Soriano’s error allowed an unearned run to score while Russell was on the mound.

The Cubs offense was pretty quiet in the third game of the spring. They managed only three runs, all in the third inning, off of White Sox starter Daniel Hudson … for the game, the Cubs scattered only six hits.

With the bases loaded, Kosuke Fukudome drove in a pair with a single to right. The Cubs other run came courtesy of a Derrek Lee sacrifice fly.

Two of the concerns at the beginning of camp were pitching and defense … and the Cubs showed why on Saturday afternoon.

A couple of the pitchers that figure to be in the Cubs plans for the season did not start their spring out on a positive note.

Before the Cubs swung a bat on Saturday afternoon, they found themselves in a big hole. Carlos Silva began the day with a couple of nice fastballs to Omar Vizquel, but with no movement. Silva retired Vizquel on a weak fly to center.

Jordan Danks ripped Silva’s first pitch into right center. Marlon Byrd cut the ball off and held him to a single … but it did not matter. Carlos Quentin followed and launched a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left.

Andruw Jones reached on an infield single to the hole at short. Ryan Theriot could not get enough on the throw … and threw wide of the bag. After Jones stole second (the Sox second stolen base of the inning), Mark Kotsay lined a double off the wall in left center. Jones scored, 3-0 White Sox.

Silva struck out the last two batters he faced to end the inning. He threw 27 pitches in the first inning, 17 for strikes.

After Daniel Hudson faced the minimum in the bottom half, the White Sox lit up Silva again in the second.

Tyler Flowers led off the inning with a single to center. Brent Lillibridge reached on a bunt single up the third base line. After Alfonso Soriano’s diving catch in left took a single away from Omar Vizquel, Jordan Danks grounded out to a diving Bobby Scales at second … both runners advanced on a ball hit into the hole.

Carlos Quentin stepped in and launched his second homer of the day off Carlos Silva. A three-run shot down the left field line on Silva’s first offering.

Silva threw 16 pitches in the second, 11 for strikes. Silva allowed a grand total of six runs on seven hits in two innings with a pair of strikeouts on 43 pitches, 28 for strikes.

After Carlos Marmol breezed through the third (13 pitches, 10 for strikes), James Russell took over and put together two solid innings of work.

Russell threw 15 pitches in the fourth, 13 for strikes and faced the minimum. After he walked Tyler Flowers, Russell threw strikes and kept the ball down … inducing a 5-4-3 double play.

In the fifth, Russell threw 21 pitches, 15 for strikes and gave up a pair of hits and an unearned run. Russell struck out Jordan Danks and blew one past Carlos Quentin to end his at bat. Andrew Jones reached on a two-out single to center then scored on Alfonso Soriano’s fielding error in left. Mark Kotsay ended up at third but was stranded when Mark Teahen grounded out to second base to end the inning.

Andrew Cashner relieved Russell in the sixth and struggled with his command. He walked a pair before settling down. Cashner threw 26 pitches in the sixth, 11 for strikes and allowed a run on Jayson Nix’s single to right center.

Cashner threw the ball a lot better in the seventh. He allowed a bloop single to right but did not allow another run and threw only 10 pitches, seven for strikes.

The White Sox beat up on non-roster invitee Jeff Kennard. The reliever (that does not figure into the Cubs’ plans for the season) allowed four runs on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 2/3 of an inning. Mitch Atkins replaced Kennard and struck out Dayan Viciedo swinging to end the inning.

John Grabow made his spring debut in the ninth … at least he got his work in. Grabow allowed three runs on three hits (a three-run shot by Brent Lillibridge) with a strikeout in his inning of work. Grabow threw from behind in the count to five of the six batters he faced. He threw a total of 20 pitches, 12 for strikes.

Spring Training wins and losses are irrelevant … but solid performances out of players the Cubs are depending on for the season is always good to see.

Box Score from MLB.com

Weather permitting, the Cubs will play two games on Sunday. One against the White Sox in Glendale and the other against the Dodgers at HoHoKam Park. Jake Peavy is scheduled to face Jeff Samardzija at Camelback Ranch while Tom Gorzelanny will make his debut against the Dodgers in Mesa.

Quote of the Day

"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else." - Charles Dickens
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