Z Cubs Lose Another Exhibition Game – Cubs 7 Rangers 8

Spring Training Game Five – Cubs 7 Rangers (ss) 8
WP – Cody Eppley (1-1) LP – Thomas Diamond (0-1) Save – Ben Snyder (1)

Q’s crew lost for the fourth time in the first five Spring Training games despite a four-run fourth inning. Carlos Zambrano started the game and gave up a pair of hits, walked two and hit a batter in three innings. Zambrano struggled a little with his command but did not allow any runs in his second outing. Zambrano complained of arm fatigue after the game but said that is typical this early in the spring. Zambrano and the Cubs are not concerned.

The Cubs defense committed another error, their 15th of the spring, and it cost the team two unearned runs in the loss. The Cubs were also unable to turn a double play in the third due to a bad throw by Blake DeWitt.

The Cubs pen could not hold the lead and gave up seven runs over the last four innings.

Carlos Marmol was sharp and sat down all three batters he faced in the seventh. Marmol struck out one and did not walk a batter.

Quade’s other relievers vying for a spot in the pen did not help their cause. Rafael Dolis was credited with four runs, two earned, on two hits with two walks in a third of an inning. The big hit off of Dolis was a three-run bomb by Mitch Moreland. Esmailin Caridad could not hold the one-run lead he was given and allowed an inherited run to score.

Thomas Diamond (two runs on two hits with a walk and a strikeout) was credited with the loss. Marcos Mateo pitched the ninth and gave up a run on two hits.

Braden Looper made his spring debut. After a shaky fourth, Looper settled down and pitched scoreless fifth. The Rangers did not hit a ball out of the infield against Looper in the fifth.

The Cubs scored two in the bottom of the ninth to make the final score 8-7. Marquez Smith (1-for-3 with a double and a run scored) doubled with two outs and scored on a single by Scott Moore. After Moore stole second, Matt Camp drove him in for the Cubs’ seventh run. With the tying run on first, Koyie Hill flied out to center to end the game.

The Cubs offense woke up Thursday and so did the defense … the pitching staff, well that’s for another day.

The players the Cubs figure to start the season with had a better day … Blake DeWitt (2-for-3 with a run scored and a RBI), Tyler Colvin (1-for-3), Aramis Ramirez (1-for-2 with a RBI), Carlos Pena (0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored), Alfonso Soriano (1-for-3 with a run scored), Geovany Soto (2-for-3 with a run scored) and Augie Ojeda (1-for-2 with a double, a run scored and two RBI).

Carlos Zambrano pitched from behind for a majority of his three innings … and dodged two deep fly balls off the bat of Josh Hamilton.

Zambrano gave up a two-out single to Michael Young in the first but got out of the inning after Josh Hamilton flied out to deep left center. Zambrano threw13 pitches in the first, seven for strikes.

The Cubs got on the board in the first against Derek Holland. Blake DeWitt doubled down the right field line to start the inning. DeWitt advanced to third on a wild pitch with Marlon Byrd at the plate. Byrd lined out to third for the second out.

Aramis Ramirez delivered a two-out single into center that plated DeWitt … 1-0 Cubs.

Zambrano held the 1-0 lead despite issuing a leadoff walk to Mitch Moreland in the second. Former Cubs farmhand, Doug Deeds hit into a 3-6-1 double play. Zambrano threw 13 pitches in the second, seven for strikes.

The Rangers had plenty of opportunities against Z in the third … but came away empty. Zambrano hit Elvis Andrus with one out and the Cubs defense was unable to double up Esteban German after he hit a routine grounder to Ojeda at short. DeWitt’s throw to first was off the mark. Zambrano walked Michael Young on four pitches. With runners on first and second and two outs, Josh Hamilton stepped to the plate.

Hamilton drove a 1-1 pitch to the wall in right. Tyler Colvin went all the way back and caught the ball just before it left the park. Hamilton just missed it …

The Rangers tied the game in the fourth against Braden Looper. Mitch Moreland and Doug Deeds singled to start the inning. With runners on first and third, Matt Treanor flied out to deep left center. Brett Jackson made a running catch but Moreland tagged and scored the tying run. Endy Chavez grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.

Carlos Pena started the four-run fourth with a one-out walk. Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto reached on infield singles to load the bases. Augie Ojeda stepped in a doubled down the right field line. Pena and Soriano scored … 3-1 Cubs.

Braden Looper flied out to deep right, Soto tagged and scored … 4-1 Cubs.

With Ojeda at third, DeWitt blooped a single into center. Ojeda scored, 5-1 Cubs.

Following a Tyler Colvin single, Brett Jackson walked to load the bases but Marquez Smith struck out to end the inning.

The Cubs pounded out 14 hits and finished the day 6-for-14 with RISP (nine left on base).

Box Score from MLB.com

The Cubs will travel to Surprise Friday to face the Kansas City Royals. Matt Garza will make his second appearance, first start. Tyler Colvin is expected to get the start at first with Brett Jackson starting in center.

Quote of the Day

"There are only two seasons ... winter and baseball." - Bill Veeck

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  • jw

    Looks like they are trying out a lot of players. I think that is good. The record in spring training means nothing. Hearing about how each of the individual players are doing is what is important.

  • jw

    Great work as always Neil

  • Aaron

    I just wanted to comment briefly on an idea that was proposed a few months ago….and possibly more recently.

    Everyone knows by now that Michael Young wants out of Texas, and they are trying to make it happen. The Rockies were involved, but there really wasn’t a match.

    The Rockies don’t really have anyone with a bloated contract they could swap, except for possibly Todd Helton, and the Rangers aren’t taking him. Furthermore, the Rangers supposedly wanted a good prospect for paying some of Young’s contract.

    Here’s what I propose:

    Byrd, Silva, DeWitt, Carpenter, and Dolis=approx $15 million this year and $6.5 with Byrd next year

    for

    Young and Chris Davis=approx $16.5 million this year and Young is due $16 million/yr for 2012 and 2013.

    We have to include Carpenter to make it worth their while, but we solve a pitching problem for them, allowing them to keep Feliz in the closer’s role where he probably belongs…at least for another season, and we give them DeWitt for IF depth, and Byrd allows them to switch out Hamilton and Cruz from the DH spot to give their legs a rest and keep them fresh. Outside of Hamilton and Cruz, they have no true locks for their OF. Borbon, Beltre, and Murphy are battling for 2 spots, and there’s no clear cut starter among them.

    Sooooooooooo…that’s where a trade of either Byrd, or possibly even Fukudome (if they didn’t want to commit beyond a year for Byrd) would make sense for them.

    Dolis will never be given an opportunity to pitch for the Cubs. The Cubs would’ve already brought him up last year if he was in their plans. Secondly, Chris Carpenter will never be given a shot, because he’s just average as a starter, and despite having a 100 mph fastball out of the pen, he was just average in that role in the AZFL. Carpenter started off his pro career on the wrong foot in rookie ball with a poor showing in 11 games with a 4.64 ERA. But then, as a 23 year old, he dominated low-A and high-A, and got a 7 game promotion at the end of the year to AA where he proceeded to crap his pants with a 4.78 ERA. Last year he was above average in AA, but in his 3 game promotion to AAA, he crapped his pants again with a 5.40 ERA. If there was one major positive to look at with him, it’s that the most home runs he’s ever given up was last year (8)…the problem is, 3 of them were in his 3 starts at Iowa, which doesn’t really look good for him.

    I think that’s the best package the Rangers might get for Young. And if the Cubs really wanted to get ambitious, they could try including Fukudome if the Rangers won’t pick up some of Young’s salary in the future.

    But consider this from the Cubs perspective. Young averages about a .300 avg, .347 OBP, 20+hr, 80+RBI. But his most important value to the team is his versatility with the ability to play 2B, SS, and 3B equally as well, and his team-first attitude. With ARAM likely leaving after the season, either to pursue a bigger contract (if he tanks this year), or because the Cubs turn down his expensive option (highly likely), Young provides a stopgap at 3B until Vitters, Smith, or someone else is ready or acquired.

    Davis also provides depth at 3B and 1B, and he’s still just 25 years old this year. What the hell is the point of having the best and highest paid hitting coach in the game if you don’t use him on some of these young players that need to prove themselves?!?!?

    Check out this team if that trade goes down…
    C-Soto
    1B-Pena
    2B-Young
    SS-Castro
    3B-ARAM
    LF-Soriano
    CF-B Jackson
    RF-Colvin

    bench-Castillo/Ramirez (hoping the Cubs FINALLY come to senses and cut Hill), Barney, Fukudome (if not in the deal), Davis, Snyder/Perez/LaHair

    lineup becomes….
    Jackson-CF
    Castro-SS
    Colvin-RF
    ARAM-3B
    Pena-1B
    Soriano-LF
    Young-2B
    Soto-C

    • Agustin_Rexach

      This makes 100% sense for the Cubs but 0% sense for the Rangers. The Rangers have clearly said that they are willing to trade Young but the trade has to make them a better team. I would
      absolutely want Young and Davis but you are proposing that they take our crap and we take their goods. Carpenter-Davis could be a wash, then what? Young is an elite player…Dolis,Byrd-Fuku? No way. Throw in Jackson and maybe they’ll look into it… And I’m not suggesting they should trade Jackson.

      • Denio

        I like Arron’s idea… I think the $32 million Young is owed for 2012 and 2013 is a big incentive for the Rangers to consider this… As far as taking our crap.. I don’t consider Byrd and DeWitt as really that bad… good back ups off the bench at worst. The pitcher are to balance the contracts for this year… No way would I throw in Jackson in the deal.. Young is too old and I don’t care how elite of a player he is.. If they want to work out a Soriano / Young swap Then I am all for that…

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R65T7II7FYX7HGQW2XLHDDWJRQ Agustin

          Work out a Soriano / Young Swap…seriously?
          If we give them Soriano and we eat his full contract the Rangers still would not take him.

      • Aaron

        For the reasons Denio stated, it’s a VERY good deal for the Rangers. They need the OF depth, as Borbon and Beltre are unproven, so they basically have Murphy, Hamilton, and Cruz. They need a guy like Byrd that can play all 3 positions in a pinch, so it makes a TON of sense. I believe the Rangers were the team that inquired in the offseason about trading for Byrd anyway, so you know they have a little interest. How much? Who really knows….If you were just looking to do a straight up trade without including Davis, then you’d trade Byrd, Silva, and Dolis, and hope they bite. The fact is, they already like Byrd, and wanted Dolis in the trade, along with Chirinos, for Chris Davis and O’Day. The Cubs wouldn’t do it, because Hendry actually figured out why they wanted Chirinos in the first place….to satisfy the Rays’ demand for him in a Garza deal. Even though I hate the Garza deal, I’d be even more pissed if another team did that to us, and I’d loathe Hendry even more for it.

        At any rate, the most likely players to go in any trade are: DeWitt, Baker, Fukudome, Byrd, Silva, Wells, Carpenter, Coleman, and Flaherty….at least in my opinion. The Cubs could always swap Carpenter and Jackson….it depends. Jackson got in their doghouse more than a year ago when he was demoted at the end of the season for conduct detrimental to the team or whatever.

        With LeMahieu, LePage, Lake, and others coming up, it appears Flaherty, who is 24, and was demoted last year from AA to high-A is running out of favor….so, it’s quite possible they’d include him.

        But all of this is hypothetical anyways. I do think a deal like this makes sense for both the Cubs and Rangers, as the Cubs have a glaring weakness at 2B this year and need run production which he provides, and the Rangers need to get rid of him because not only does he not want to be there, but they also want his salary off their books.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R65T7II7FYX7HGQW2XLHDDWJRQ Agustin

          No way it is a good deal for the rangers, you guys are dreaming.