Good Things Come in Threes – Cubs 3 Giants 2

Spring Training Game Three – Cubs 3 Giants 2
WP – Todd Wellemeyer (1-0) LP – Madison Bumgarner (0-1, BS 1) Save – Esmailin Caridad (1)

wflag.jpgThe Cubs put one in the win column … on the third game, behind a three-run inning, against Madison Bumgarner in his third inning of work and Esmailin Caridad saved the exhibition game, Caridad wears number 33. The big negative from Tuesday also involved the number three, the Cubs “defense” committed three more errors.

Both managers ran out a majority of their regulars Tuesday afternoon, which is a rarity early in the spring. Tim Lincecum dominated the Cubs in his three innings of work, while Ryan Dempster did more than just get his work in.

Ryan Dempster made his first appearance of the spring. Dempster worked three innings, the first Cubs’ pitcher to go three innings. Dempster threw the ball well and even worked around the lack of defense behind him. Dempster retired the Giants in order in the first on just seven pitches, six for strikes, but ran into problems in the second after falling behind to Pablo Sandoval.

Dempster threw 19 pitches in the second, 12 for strikes, and gave up a run on two hits. Dempster pitched around the Cubs’ eighth error of the spring in the third and did not give up any runs. Dempster threw 15 pitches in the third, nine for strikes. Dempster’s final line from Tuesday: one run on two hits with a walk and three strikeouts on 41 pitches, 27 for strikes.

The Cubs bullpen put together a solid afternoon in Scottsdale. Todd Wellemeyer picked up the spring win after throwing two innings of shutout ball. Casey Coleman, Jeff Stevens and Scott Maine did their jobs … with mixed results. And Esmailin Caridad survived his command issues, along with a great catch by Jim Adduci in right, to pick up the save.

The Cubs offense was overmatched by Tim Lincecum for the first three innings. The Cubs managed only one baserunner of Lincecum. Starlin Castro reached on a throwing error by Miguel Tejada but was picked off first by Buster Posey.

The Cubs first hit came in the fourth and they finally got on the scoreboard in the sixth. Kosuke Fukudome (1-for-3 with a run scored) and Starlin Castro (2-for-3 with a run scored) set the table for Marlon Byrd (2-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored) and Aramis Ramirez (1-for-3 with a double and two RBI).

Byrd drove in Fukudome with a single to left center to tie the game … and Ramirez gave the Cubs a 3-1 lead with a double down the left field line. Byrd slid in safe ahead of a relay throw by Mike Fontenot. Mike Quade was the first to greet Castro and Byrd after they scored.

Mike Quade must figure out a way to improve his defense. The Cubs committed three more errors Tuesday (one each by Blake DeWitt, Starlin Castro and Bobby Scales). In three games, the Cubs have been credited with nine errors, but they have misplayed more balls than the nine errors they’ve been given.

Tuesday was a good day for the Cubs, after all a win is a win, no matter if it counts or not. But they have to start making the routine plays in the field.

With the pitching match-up of Ryan Dempster and Tim Lincecum, it figured to be a short day at the ballpark and neither one of the Opening Day starters disappointed.

Starlin Castro was the first baserunner of the game. Castro put together a solid at bat and reached on a throwing error by Miguel Tejada. Marlon Byrd stepped in and struck out swinging on a 1-2 pitch. Buster Posey saw Castro leaning toward second and threw a strike to Aubrey Huff to end the inning.

Posey threw down earlier Byrd’s at bat and just missed picking off Castro.

As Bobby Dernier made his way back to the dugout he just shook his head, presumably about Castro’s gaffe.

Buster Posey lead off the second with a hard single to left on a 2-1 pitch. Dempster struck out Cody Ross on three pitches and retired Pat Burrell on a ground out to first. Posey advanced to second on the play.

Pablo Sandoval, who has lost a significant amount of weight, launched a 2-0 offering from Dempster into left center. Posey scored … 1-0 Giants.

Dempster appeared to get out of the inning when Aaron Rowand hit a weak grounder to Castro at short. Castro fielded the ball cleanly but then paused and thought about it before throwing the ball. Castro’s throw was high and it pulled Bryan LaHair off the bag.

With Tim Lincecum at the plate, Rowand stole second on 0-1 offering. Soto’s throw was on the mark, just a little late. Dempster struck out Lincecum looking to end the inning … but the Cubs’ defense cost Dempster five pitches.

Dempster put together his best inning in third. Freddy Sanchez reached on an error by Blake DeWitt to start the inning. Sanchez hit a routine grounder to DeWitt that he just booted. Dempster then walked Miguel Tejada on four pitches … Dempster appeared to be pitching around him.

With runners on first and second with no outs, Aubrey Huff hit a grounder to LaHair at first. LaHair picked the ball cleanly, threw to second to get Tejada but Huff beat out the return throw. Dempster jammed Posey and got him to tap the ball back to the mound. Sanchez was caught off third and Dempster threw a strike to Aramis Ramirez for the second out of the inning.

Dempster struck out Cody Ross looking on four pitches to end the inning … and his outing.

Starlin Castro broke up the Giants no-hit bid with a one-out an infield single off Madison Bumgarner’s foot in the fourth. Marlon Byrd then blooped a single into left. Down by a run with two on and one-out, Aramis Ramirez and Geovany Soto struck out to end the inning … Ramirez swinging and Soto looking.

The Cubs offense really looked over matched through the first five innings. Aramis Ramirez and Bryan LaHair made the only solid contact against Lincecum and Bumgarner until the sixth.

Todd Wellemeyer did a good job against his former team. Wellemeyer threw strikes and took advantage of the aggressive Giants’ offense. Wellemeyer allowed only one hit (a double high off the batter’s eye in center by Pablo Sandoval) and struck out two in two innings. Wellemeyer threw 12 pitches (eight for strikes) in the fourth and 16 (10 for strikes) in the fifth.

Kosuke Fukudome led off the sixth with a single to left. Starlin Castro then ripped a single past a diving Mike Fontenot at short on a 1-0 offering. Marlon Byrd tied the game with a single to left center on a 1-1 pitch … and chased Madison Bumgarner from the game.

Dan Runzler came in and got ahead of Aramis Ramirez before the Cubs’ third baseman ripped a double down the left field line on a 1-2 pitch.

Geovany Soto lined out to second and after a wild pitch advanced Ramirez to third, DeWitt grounded out weakly to first. Reed Johnson flied out to deep right to end the inning.

After five and a half, 3-1 Cubs.

Casey Coleman kept the score 3-1 after throwing a scoreless sixth. Coleman walked Posey to start the inning but did not allow the leadoff walk to score. Coleman threw 18 pitches, nine for strikes, in his inning of work.

Jeff Stevens kept the Giants off the board in the seventh. Stevens struggled with his command and threw 16 pitches, nine for strikes. To Stevens credit, when he missed he was missing down.

The Giants second and final run came in the eighth off of Scott Maine.

The southpaw struggled with commanding his off-speed stuff. Maine was able to throw strikes with his fastball and was throwing gas. Maine labored through a 25-pitch inning, 13 for strikes.

Maine hit Travis Ishikawa to start the inning then gave up a single to Freddy Sanchez. After a trip from Mark Riggins, Maine struck out Terry Evans but gave up a RBI single to Thomas Neal that cut the Cubs lead to 3-2. Ryan Rohlinger fouled out to Max Ramirez.

Maine walked Juan Perez to load the bases. Down by one facing a pitcher with command issues, Brad Eldred lined out to left on the first pitch of the at bat to end the inning.

Esmailin Caridad took the hill in the ninth and like the pitchers before him, he struggled with throwing strikes. Caridad threw a total of 15 pitches, seven for strikes and put two on, thanks to an error by Bobby Scales, before inducing a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Travis Ishikawa.

With the tying run on third and two out, the Giants’ top prospect, Brandon Belt stepped in and worked the count to 2-2. Belt then launched Caridad’s next offering into deep right. James Adduci made an excellent running catch going toward the wall to end the game.

Tuesday was another sloppy game, the Chicago Cubs have a lot of work to do before Opening Day on April 1.

Box Score from

The Cubs travel to Maryvale to face the Brewers Wednesday afternoon. Carlos Silva is scheduled to start the game and James Russell is also on the schedule for the fourth game of the spring.

Quote of the Day

"Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure." - Joe Maddon
  • xaxinho

    Considering that Quade knew that the players needed defense training, these 3 errors are a work in progress, and we should not expect any results yet.

  • Jim_Tinley_Park

    Nice work Neil.