Game Thirty-Two – Cubs 3 Diamondbacks 5
WP – Juan Gutierrez (1-0, BS 1) LP – Mitch Atkins (1-1) Save – Chad Qualls (1)
No one can project how Tyler Colvin will perform once the season begins there are too many variables. But one thing is certain it has been fun watching Tyler Colvin play baseball this spring.
Colvin continued his unbelievable spring on Friday night. He entered the game in the fifth inning for Alfonso Soriano in left. Colvin ended up playing all three outfield spots and made plays in center and in right.
At the plate, Colvin hit a triple over Chris Young’s head in center on a 3-1 pitch in the sixth … only the second hit for the Cubs off of Rodrigo Lopez. Colvin then drove in Mike Fontenot with a double to left in the eighth and scored the tying run on Jeff Baker’s single to center.
The Cubs regulars did a lot of swinging and missing against Rodrigo Lopez. Marlon Byrd managed the only hit off of Lopez until Colvin’s triple. The crafty-righty kept the Cubs off-balance all evening and allowed only three base runners in 6 2/3 innings. Lopez issued only one free pass and struck out four.
Kosuke Fukudome broke up the D’Backs shutout in the eighth with his first longball of the spring.
Ryan Dempster pitched better than his line indicates. He made only two mistakes in his final outing of the spring. Dempster issued a walk to Adam LaRoche with one out in the fourth. Mark Reynolds followed and ripped a 2-2 offering from Dempster over the wall in left. All three hits allowed by Dempster on Friday night came on two-strike pitches.
Sean Marshall did his usually solid work out of the pen. A “boring” two innings pitched with a walk and a hit allowed.
After the Cubs scored three runs in the top of the eighth to tie the game, Mitch Atkins issued a two-out walk to Jeff Bailey … after being ahead in the count, 0-2. Ryan Roberts followed with a two-run shot to left that broke the 3-3 tie.
With the loss, the Cubs spring record slipped to 17-12-3 … only one practice game left for the Chicago Cubs. Ryan Dempster found a rhythm early and did a good job of mixing his pitches on Friday night. As has become the norm for Dempster, it was walk that was his undoing. While some pitchers have the ability to work around free passes, Dempster’s seem to always come back and haunt him … and Friday night was more of the same.
The first two hits Dempster surrendered were to Justin Upton (a double in the first) and Chris Young (a single in the center). Dempster retired the D’Backs in order in the third.
After striking out Justin Upton to start the fourth, Dempster got ahead of Adam LaRoche 1-2 before losing him and issuing his only walk of the game. Mark Reynolds then launched a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left.
The Diamondbacks manufactured a run in the seventh off of James Russell. Russell walked Miguel Montero. John Hester ran for Montero and advanced to second on a ball in the dirt … ruled a passed ball.
Chris Young flied out to Colvin in deep center. Hester advanced to third and scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Kelly Johnson. Jeff Baker tried to throw home. He got himself into position but his throw was short and well off line.
After Kosuke Fukudome broke up the shutout with his first longball of the spring. Mike Fontenot hit a double off the wall in center. Koyie Hill advanced Fontenot to third with a ground out to second … a productive out. Colvin then ripped a double down the third base line on a 2-2 pitch. Fontenot scored the Cubs’ second run.
Jeff Baker plated Colvin with a single to center and tied the game at three. James Adduci flied out to left and Starlin Castro tapped back to the mound to end the inning.
Xavier Nady started the game in right … and finished at first base.
The exhibition season concludes on Saturday for the Chicago Cubs. Randy Wells, and a lineup full of minor leaguers, will face minor league call-up Barry Enright.