Spring Training Game Two – Cubs 3 Brewers (ss) 5
WP – Tim Dillard (1-0) LP – Andrew Cashner (0-1, BS 1) Save – Brian Garman (1)
Monday was a beautiful day at HoHoKam Park and Q’s crew responded with a better effort in front of a very small crowd of 5,405. The Cubs once again struggled with their defense and pitching plus on Monday they could not buy a hit with runners in scoring position. Again, wins and losses are not important in the spring but execution is and after the second game it is clear to see the Cubs have a lot of work to do.
Randy Wells had a good outing and threw the ball well. Wells kept the Brewers off the board but more importantly he hit his spots. The Cubs defense did not help Wells but unlike last year, Wells did not let the miscues impact his outing. Wells threw 26 pitches in his two innings of work, 16 went for strikes. Wells ended his day by striking out Caleb Gindl swinging on a nice changeup.
Andrew Cashner and Kerry Wood pitched better than their results. Cashner allowed two runs on three hits with a walk, a wild pitch and a wild pick off attempt in his two innings of work. After his outing Cashner said, “Today was fun. My stuff was good, it just didn’t go where I wanted.” The Brewers jumped on Cashner’s first pitch for a majority of his outing and Cashner did not miss his spots by much. Cashner threw 23 pitches in the third, 15 for strikes. Cashner settled down in the fourth and threw 19 pitches, 10 for strikes.
After receiving a standing ovation as he jogged in from the bullpen, Kerry Wood threw strikes and both of his strikeouts came on his breaking ball. The Brewers were very aggressive against Wood and jumped on the first pitch. Wood was tagged for two runs on three hits with two strikeouts and a wild pitch in an inning of work. Wood threw 19 pitches, 13 for strikes.
Of all the relievers Mike Quade used Monday, Jay Jackson was the most impressive. Jackson threw strikes (10 out of 13 pitches) and if not for Jeff Baker losing a pop up in the sun, he would have retired the Brewers in order. Jackson faced Triple-A hitters but showed an ability to throw strikes and appeared confident on the mound. The Cubs should use him against Major League hitters to see how he responds.
Chris Carpenter, John Gaub and Sean Marshall each threw an inning. Marshall sat down the backend of the Brewers’ roster in order thanks to a nice tumbling catch by Fernando Perez in right center.
Reed Johnson (2-for-3 with a run scored), Tyler Colvin (1-for-2 with a triple and a RBI), Alfonso Soriano (1-for-3 with a double and a run scored), Welington Castillo (2-for-2 with a run scored) and Scott Moore (2-for-3 with a RBI) led the Cubs offense. As a whole, the team struggled again with runners in scoring position, especially with two outs. The Cubs refuse to change their approach at the plate and they finished the game 2-for-15 with RISP. The Cubs left 12 on base and eight of them came with two outs. As for the exhibition game, the Cubs jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Reed Johnson put together a good at bat before reaching out and poking a single into center. Ryan Braun took extra bases away from Darwin Barney with a running catch toward the left field line. Tyler Colvin followed with a triple into the right field corner. Johnson scored. Alfonso Soriano flied out to Braun in left but the Brewers’ left fielder threw a strike to Wil Nieves to cut down Colvin at the plate.
The Brewers took the lead in the third off Andrew Cashner. Zelous Wheeler led off with a single to center on Cashner’s first offering. Carlos Gomez hit a grounder up the middle that Jeff Baker got to but he and Barney could not complete the double play.
Cashner paid a lot of attention to Gomez at first. Cashner’s second pickoff attempt short-hopped Carlos Pena and allowed Gomez to advance to second. Gomez stole third on a 1-1 pitch to Craig Counsell. Cashner then uncorked a wild pitch on a 2-1 pitch to Counsell that allowed Gomez to tie the game.
Ryan Braun reached on a double to left center and scored on a single to left by Mark Kotsay. Alfonso Soriano, who played a solid left field again Monday, made a strong, accurate throw to Koyie Hill but Braun just beat it and slid in safe. Kotsay advanced to second on the throw but Luis Cruz fouled out to Hill on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
The Brewers increased their lead to 4-1 in the sixth off of Kerry Wood.
Luis Cruz greeted Wood with a single to left on his first pitch. A wild pitch advanced Cruz to second with one out, then Wood struck out Anderson De La Rosa looking for the second out. Caleb Gindl tripled to right center and scored on a double to left center by Zelous Wheeler.
The Cubs got one of the runs back in the bottom of the sixth. Alfonso Soriano doubled off the top of the wall in left with two outs and scored on a single to center by Scott Moore on a 3-2 pitch. Matt Camp grounded out to short to end the inning.
The Brewers made it 5-2 in the top of the seventh off of John Gaub. Gaub struggled with his command and gave Welington Castillo a workout behind the plate. Gaub threw 20 pitches, 12 for strikes and missed his spots badly. The Brewers fifth run scored on the Cubs third wild pitch of the game.
Bobby Scales pinch hit for Gaub in the bottom of the seventh and “drove” in the Cubs third and final run with a bases loaded walk. Welington Castillo led off the inning with a single to left. Luis Montanez lined out to center but Fernando Perez singled to left (hitting left-handed). Augie Ojeda flied out to deep right, which allowed both runners to tag and advance ninety feet. Brad Snyder walked to load the bases ahead of Scales. Bryan LaHair struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
It was that kind of day for the Cubs offense.
Chris Carpenter made his first appearance of the spring in the eighth. Carpenter has a big arm but looked nervous Monday. Carpenter threw 24 pitches, 10 for strikes, and issued two walks in his inning of work. To his credit, Carpenter fielded his position very well and after a visit from Mark Riggins he settled down and got out of the inning without allowing a run.
Sean Marshall was Sean Marshall. The Cubs’ lefty put together a ho-hum 1-2-3 inning that was highlighted by a tumbling catch in right center by Fernando Perez. Marshall got his work in and looked sharp.
The Cubs have a lot of work to do on the “little things” before the final score of the games count.
Notes from Monday
- Greg Maddux was in uniform and on the field in pre-game warm-ups.
- Kerry Wood and Andrew Cashner appear inseparable.
- Cashner was working on different grips with Lester Strode while warming up in the bullpen.
- Tyler Colvin spent a lot of time working on his defense at first base. Colvin looked smooth handling tricky hops off a fungo bat.
- Speaking of fungo bats, Mike Quade carries a blue one with him wherever he goes.
- The Brewers put on the shift twice for Carlos Pena Monday … and he grounded out into the shift in both at bats.
- Sean Marshall and Chris Carpenter discussed pitching and how to setup hitters on one of the backfields after the game.
- There is a noticeable difference in Josh Vitters and Darwin Barney this spring. It appears their time at ‘Camp Colvin’ has paid off.
The Cubs travel to Scottsdale Tuesday to face the Giants. Ryan Dempster is scheduled to start and Casey Coleman is expected to get his first action of the spring.