Cubs Lose a Pair of One-Run Games to the Reds – Cubs 6 Reds 7, Cubs 8 Reds 9

Spring Training Game Fifteen – Cubs (ss) 6 Reds (ss) 7
WP – Jordan Smith (2-0, BS 2) LP – Todd Wellemeyer (1-2, BS 1) Save – Logan Ondrusek (1)

Spring Training Game Sixteen – Cubs (ss) 8 Reds (ss) 9
WP – Scott Carroll (1-0) LP – Robert Coello (0-1, BS 1) Save – None

Mike Quade celebrated his 54th birthday with two losses to the Cincinnati Reds. Q’s split-squad crews were in both games but in the end they came up short, twice, against the reigning NL Central Champs.

Carlos Silva put together his best outing of the spring but was rocked in Mesa. Silva gave up four runs on five hits (four for extra bases) with a pair of strikeouts in five innings of work. The Reds hit two homers, a double and a triple off Silva and the one single (Edgar Renteria) drove in the Reds’ second run of the game.

Todd Wellemeyer replaced Silva and did not fare too much better. Wellemeyer struggled with his command and gave up three runs, two earned, on four hits with three walks and a strikeout in two innings.

Bobby Scales and Fernando Perez led the Cubs offense in Mesa. Scales (3-for-5 with a double, two RBI, two runs scored) and Perez (1-for-4 with three RBI) drove in five of the Cubs’ six runs.

The Cubs had plenty of chances in Mesa. They put at least two on with less than two outs in the first five innings but managed only three hits with runners in scoring position. The Cubs left 10 on base and finished the game 3-for-15 with RISP in a one-run loss.

Mike Quade led the team in Vegas and was able to witness Robert Coello’s blown save in the ninth. The Cubs took an 8-7 lead into the final inning. A group of the Reds’ top prospects strung together four straight hits off Coello with the game winner coming off the bat of Kris Negron … a one-out bases loaded single to center.

Starlin Castro collected his first multi-homer game and drove in four runs with a pair of two-run homers.

Scott Moore, who is fighting for a roster spot, continued his hot spring. Moore hit two home runs, both solo shots.

Tyler Colvin had a huge day at the plate as well. Colvin hit (4-for-5 with a RBI) much better than he ran the bases.

The Cubs continued making blunders in the field Saturday afternoon. Each squad was handed an error but both had trouble throwing the ball and turning double plays. The spring version of the 2011 Chicago Cubs simply cannot catch and throw a baseball.

Q’s crew showed more improvement as they slipped to 0-3 on the spring against the Reds. But they have a lot of work to do before every at bat and every pitch counts …

Spring Training Game Fifteen – Cubs (ss) 6 Reds (ss) 7 – in Mesa

Carlos Silva is pitching for a spot in the Cubs rotation … and once again he hurt his stock Saturday afternoon.

Silva retired the Reds in order to start the game. Silva threw only nine pitches, six for strikes. Jonny Gomes just missed a homer in the second as Silva once again retired the Reds in order. Silva threw only 11 pitches, eight for strikes, and had good location the first two innings of the game.

Chris Heisey gave the Reds a 1-0 lead in the third. Heisey launched Silva’s second pitch over the wall in left … and hit the HoHoKam scoreboard. Ramon Hernandez doubled to left center with one out and scored on a single to center off the bat of Edgar Renteria. Brandon Phillips hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

The Cubs offense kept putting runners on in the third … and kept leaving them on base. For the third inning in a row, the Cubs put two on with less than two outs and failed to score. Carlos Pena struck out swinging for the second time with two on in the third. Pena followed up his best game of the spring with one of his worst (0-for-4 with two strikeouts and six left on base).

Carlos Silva retired the Reds in order in the fourth on eight pitches, six for strikes. And the offense finally pushed a run across in the bottom of the inning.

Bobby Scales singled to start the inning. James Adduci walked and Silva sacrificed them to second and third. Fernando Perez grounded out to short, Scales scored … 2-1 Reds.

Jeremy Hermida gave the Reds a 3-1 lead with a homer of Silva to start the fifth. Yonder Alonso tripled to right center with one out and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Ramon Hernandez. The Reds took a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the fifth.

Dontrelle Willis took the hill in the fifth and walked Marlon Byrd to start the inning. Aramis Ramirez singled to left … and for the fifth straight inning, the Cubs put two runners on base.

Following a Carlos Pena pop out, Geovany Soto walked to load the bases.

Bobby Scales delivered a single to center. Byrd and Ramirez scored. On the play, Willis slipped on a bat and twisted his ankle. Jordan Smith replaced Willis with runners on first and second with one out and the Reds up 4-3.

James Adduci reached on an infield hit to second to load the bases. Kyler Burke hit for Silva and stuck out but Fernando Perez blooped a single into left that gave the Cubs a 5-4 lead. Soto and Scales scored on the play.

Darwin Barney followed with a single to left that plated Adduci and gave the Cubs a 6-4 lead.

Todd Wellemeyer replaced Silva and struggled with his command. James Adduci robbed Phillips of a home run to right. But Jay Bruce and Scott Rolen singled and Bruce scored on a double off the wall in center by Jonny Gomes. Wellemeyer walked Hermida to load the bases.

With one out and the bags juiced, Wellemeyer walked Chris Heisey to force in the tying run. Wellemeyer struck out Alonso and retired Hernandez on a fly out to right to end the inning.

Wellemeyer’s control problems continued in the seventh. He walked Paul Janish to start the inning. Miguel Rojas sacrificed him to second and Janish advanced to third on a ground out to short.

Miguel Cairo hit a grounder to Ramirez at third but Pena was unable to pull Aramis’ low throw out of the dirt. Janish scored on Ramirez’s error … 7-6 Reds.

The Cubs offense was ineffective over the last three innings.

Trey McNutt made his second appearance of the spring. McNutt retired the Reds in order in the eighth, his only inning of work. McNutt allowed a hit but struck out a batter. Keith Moreland said McNutt’s fastball was the best he’d seen all afternoon.

The Cubs called several of their prospects up from Fitch Park. Marwin Gonzalez, Jae-Hoon Ha, Evan Crawford, Matt Cerda, Kyler Burke, Rebel Ridling and D.J. LeMahieu saw action at HoHoKam on Saturday afternoon.

With the way the Cubs defense has cost the team to this point in the spring, it is only fitting that the winning run scored on an error.

Box Score from MLB.com

Spring Training Game Sixteen – Cubs (ss) 8 Reds (ss) 9 – in Las Vegas

The game in Las Vegas started on a very positive note. Q’s crew was the visiting team Saturday afternoon and jumped out to an early lead.

With Mike Leake on the hill, Kosuke Fukudome walked and scored on the first of two two-run homers by Starlin Castro.

Tyler Colvin followed Castro with the first of his four singles on the afternoon. Alfonso Soriano hit into a 6-4-3 double play ahead of Scott Moore’s first longball of the afternoon.

Moore, who can play all four infield positions (started Saturday’s game at first and finished at second) stepped in a launched an opposite field homer over the wall in left that gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead. Jeff Baker grounded out to short to end the inning.

James Russell made his first start of the spring and struggled with his location. Russell had trouble hitting his spots all afternoon.

Drew Stubbs grounded out to short to start the first. Zack Cozart blooped a single into left on a 3-1 pitch. Russell quickly got ahead of Joey Votto 0-2 before Votto worked the count full. Votto walked and advanced to second on Juan Francisco’s RBI single to right. Cozart scored … 3-1 Cubs.

Fred Lewis hit into a 5-4 force and Ryan Hanigan struck out to end the inning.

Russell threw 21 pitches in the first, 11 for strikes.

Todd Frazier reached on a throwing error by Jeff Baker (third base) to start the second. Dave Sappelt followed with a single to left on a 2-2 pitch. Chris Valaika then hit a tailor made double play ball to Jeff Baker. Baker threw to second but Blake DeWitt could not turn it … it appeared DeWitt could not get the ball out of his glove. The Cubs gave the Reds yet another out.

Russell struck out Stubbs but Cozart lined a double into left center on a 2-1 pitch. Frazier and Valaika scored … game tied at three. Russell then gave up a single to Joey Votto on a 1-2 pitch. Hill was set up inside and Russell left the ball out over the plate. Cozart scored and gave the Reds a 4-3 lead. Russell threw 26 pitches in the second, 16 for strikes.

Starlin Castro and Tyler Colvin reached on back-to-back one-out singles in the third. Alfonso Soriano hit a ball down the right field line that Frazier tracked down in foul ground. Castro and Colvin tagged and Colvin was thrown out at second to end the inning … the first of two baserunning mistakes for Colvin on Saturday.

Scott Moore led off the fourth and tied the game at four with his second homer of the game.

Carlos Marmol struggled for the first time this spring Saturday afternoon.

Marmol walked Sappelt to start the fourth then hit Valaika to put runners on first and second with no outs. Drew Stubbs struck out looking on a 1-2 pitch and Hill threw out Sappelt trying to steal third. Cozart blooped a single into right center. With runners on first and third with two out, Daniel Dorn hit for Joey Votto and doubled to right. Valaika scored … 5-4 Reds.

Marmol walked Juan Francisco to load the bases but struck out Fred Lewis swinging to end the inning.

Carlos Marmol’s line: one run on two hits, a hit by pitch, two walks and two strikeouts.

Starlin Castro gave the Cubs a 6-5 lead in the fifth. Castro launched a homer just to the left of straight away center off Matt Maloney.

Tyler Colvin followed with a single but was thrown out a second to end the inning. With Scott Moore at the plate, Maloney bounced a pitch and Colvin tried to advance on the ball in the dirt.

The Cubs took an 8-5 lead in the seventh following Koyie Hill’s first hit of the spring, a double down the left field line. Brett Jackson reached on an infield single. Hill advanced to third and scored on a single to right by Colvin. With Brett Jackson on third, Luis Montanez hit a sac fly to left … 8-5 Cubs.

Casey Coleman ran into trouble in the bottom of the seventh. Coleman put together two solid innings leading up to the seventh. Dorn hit a homer to right that cut the Cubs lead to 8-6. Following back-to-back two out singles, Chris McMurray drove in the Reds’ seventh run with a single to right center.

Casey Coleman turned in a decent four-inning outing. He allowed two runs on five hits with a walk.

Robert Coello took over in the ninth with the Cubs up by one. Coello struggled with his location and it cost the Cubs a win in the exhibition season.

After winning back-to-back one-run games, the Cubs lost a pair on the same day and slipped to 6-10 in the Cactus League

Box Score from MLB.com

The Cubs have another split squad day Sunday. Half of Q’s crew will remain in Las Vegas to face the Dodgers. Carlos Zambrano will get the start against Los Angeles while the other half of the roster will play the Diamondbacks in Scottsdale. Braden Looper is slated to begin the game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

Quote of the Day

"Our lives improve only when we take chances and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves." - W Anderson.
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  • Ripsnorter1

    Last year, Cubs eschewed Johnny Gomes for $1 million, and he drives in 86 RBI for the Reds. This year, the Cubs eschewed Lastings Milledge, and he is going to make the ChiSox roster. You watch: he’ll get 300+ AB.

    Zonk Moreland said that Koyie Hill was a lock to be the backup catcher.
    He also stated that Marshall, Russell and Grabow are also a lock to make the roster out of ST.

    Carlos Pena, unable to get the bat around on an inside fastball anymore, has backed off the plate 3″ or so, said Zonk. Steve Phillips had previously stated he had a hole in his swing the size of Prince Fielder’s gut. The Jar-Man suggested that Pena get off of the plate because he could not handle anything middle of the plate in. Pena responded with 0-4 with 2 K. Mr. .196 will be lucky to hit .196 this year.

    • Tony_Hall

      Our imports from the Rays, look to be struggling in Arizona…not good

  • Ripsnorter1

    Blake DeWitt is not hitting at all this ST.
    Carlos Pena ain’t hittin’ a lick, either.

    Do not get too excited over Soriano. He always hits in the Spring, because that’s mostly what pitchers are throwing in ST.

    • Tony_Hall

      Great point! Soriano can hit fastballs all day long, but start mixing in the breaking pitches…