Spring Training Game Twenty-Seven – Cubs 3 A’s 1
WP – Carlos Silva (1-2) LP – Gio Gonzalez (1-1) Save – Kerry Wood (1)
Nearly six weeks after pitchers and catchers reported to Fitch Park, Carlos Silva finally showed up to camp. Silva, by far, put together his best outing of the spring Wednesday against the Oakland A’s. After a rocky first inning, Silva settled down and dominated. Silva gave up only one run on three hits, without a walk, in six strong innings. Silva struck out three and threw 78 pitches, 51 for strikes. Silva retired 17 of the last 18 batters he faced … including the last 10 in a row.
The Cubs pitching and defense played a solid game in the low scoring contest. Casey Coleman and Marcos Mateo pitched scoreless frames and Kerry Wood recorded three groundball outs in the ninth to close out the win for Carlos Silva. Cubs’ pitching allowed only four hits without a walk in nine innings … they faced just three over the minimum.
Carlos Silva and the Cubs need the right-hander to step up Wednesday … and he did.
The offense struggled again Wednesday. Q’s crew managed only five hits and five walks. Geovany Soto (1-for-3 with a RBI), Alfonso Soriano (1-for-3 with two RBI) and Reed Johnson (2-for-4 with two runs scored) supplied the Cubs offense. Soriano gave the Cubs the lead in the first with a two-out RBI single … then “drove in” his second run of the game in the eighth after Brad Ziegler plunked him with the bases loaded.
The Cubs left seven on base and finished the afternoon 2-for-7 with RISP … all three runs scored with two outs.
The game started out with Carlos Silva giving up his 30th hit of the spring. Coco Crisp led off the game with a single to right. Silva struck out Ryan Sweeney looking but gave up a double to Josh Willingham. Crisp scored all the way from first … 1-0 A’s.
Silva retired Hideki Matsui (groundout) and Kurt Suzuki (strikeout) to end the first. Silva tossed 19 pitches in the first, 14 for strikes.
The Cubs tied and took the lead in the home half of the first.
Reed Johnson led off the inning with a single to right. Starlin Castro walked but Jeff Baker, hitting third, struck out swinging. After a fly out by Aramis Ramirez, Geovany Soto tied the game at one with a single to right. Castro held at second but scored the go ahead run on a single to center by Alfonso Soriano … 2-1 Cubs.
After a wild pitch advanced Soto and Soriano to second and third, Tyler Colvin struck out swinging to end the inning.
Carlos Silva went back to work in the second. Jeff Baker made a good play on a ball ticketed for center off the bat of Mark Ellis to start the inning. Silva retired the A’s in order for the first time in the second.
The A’s last hit off Silva came with two outs in the third. Ryan Sweeney singled to center on a 1-1 pitch … and that was it. Silva’s pitch count was a very respectable 41 after three (27 for strikes).
Silva went on cruise control after the third. He sat the A’s down in order in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Silva retired the last 10 and 17 of the last 18 he faced. Silva’s pitch-count after five was 65 (42 for strikes) and for the game, Silva threw 78 pitches, 51 for strikes.
The Cubs matched the A’s offensive output until the eighth inning.
Reed Johnson led off the eight with a bunt single. Matt Camp sacrificed him to second but the overly aggressive Blake DeWitt grounded out to second. Johnson advanced to third on the play.
Brad Ziegler intentionally walked Scott Moore (a rarity during a spring game) before unintentionally walking Welington Castillo to load the bases. Ziegler then hit Alfonso Soriano with his first pitch to force in Johnson with the Cubs’ third run.
With the bases loaded, Tyler Colvin struck out swinging to end the inning.
Kerry Wood picked up his first save of the spring with a 1-2-3 ninth.
Carlos Silva took care of business … maybe one of the many scouts in attendance liked what they saw as well.
Mike Quade finished his first spring as a big league manager with a 2-2 record against one of his former organizations.
The White Sox make the trip to HoHoKam Park for the second meeting of the spring with the Cubs … Matt Garza against Phil Humber with a 4:05pm CDT start time Thursday afternoon.