Cubs Post Second Win of the Spring – Cubs 9 Padres 4

Spring Training Game Seven – Cubs 9 Padres 4
WP – Randy Wells (1-0) LP – Matt LeBlanc (0-1) Save – None

wflag.jpg Q’s crew won for the second time this spring behind solid pitching efforts from Andrew Cashner and Randy Wells. The Cubs completed a rough first week of games on a positive note.

Andrew Cashner struggled with his command but gave up only one run on three hits in two innings of work. Cashner walked a pair of batters and struck out one in his first start of the spring.

Randy Wells picked up where he left off against the Brewers. Wells tossed three excellent innings and allowed only one unearned run on three hits with a walk and three strikeouts.

The Cubs offense took advantage of the Padres’ command issues and poor defense. Marlon Byrd (2-for-2 with two doubles, a walk and three runs scored), Aramis Ramirez (1-for-1 with a walk, a RBI and a run scored), Kosuke Fukudome (2-for-3 with a run scored and a stolen base) and Alfonso Soriano (1-for-3 with two RBI) led Q’s offense early in the game. Bobby Scales drove in the Cubs last three runs with a bases loaded walk in the sixth and a two-run homer in the eighth.

The Cubs took a four-run lead late into the game for the third day in a row and the pen was able to preserve the win Saturday. Jay Jackson gave up two runs on three hits with a walk in two innings but Scott Maine and Robert Coello did not allow a run over the last two innings to close out the win.

Aramis Ramirez committed the Cubs’ 16th error of the spring in the third that led to the Padres second run of the game.

The Cubs showed improvement for the third day in a row. While it is a meaningless victory, a win is still a win …

Andrew Cashner labored through the first inning. Will Venable led off the game with a ground-rule double to left, the ball hit on the track down the left field line and ended up in the stands. Kevin Frandsen followed with a sacrifice bunt back to Cashner.

With Venable at third, Cashner walked Ryan Ludwick on four pitches. Brad Hawpe singled to center on the first pitch of the at bat. Venable scored … 1-0.

Cashner really struggled with his command after the Hawpe single. Cashner walked Chase Headley on five pitches to load the bases. With one out and the bags full, Cashner fell behind Nick Hundley 2-0 before getting him to pop out to Starlin Castro in short center. Cashner then induced a grounder to short off the bat of Everth Cabrera to end the inning.

Cashner threw 24 pitches in the first, 10 for strikes, and allowed his only run of the afternoon.

The Cubs tied the game in the home half of the first. Marlon Byrd reached on a two-out hustle double down the right field line. Aramis Ramirez stepped in and delivered a single to left on a 0-1 pitch. Byrd scored … game tied at one.

Andrew Cashner gave up a single to Matt LeBlanc in the second …but that was it. Cashner retired three of the four batters he faced on 20 pitches, 13 for strikes.

Randy Wells replaced Cashner in the third and surrendered an unearned run. The Padres took a 2-1 lead after the Cubs committed their 16th error of the spring (in just seven games).

Chase Headley doubled to left with two outs. After a 2-2 pitch to Nick Hundley, Headley broke for third on a delayed steal. Koyie Hill threw to third but the ball went off of Aramis Ramirez’s glove. Headley scored … 2-1.

Wells ended up walking Hundley but retired Cabrera on a groundout to second to end the inning.

The Cubs took the lead in the bottom of third after three straight hits and a walk.

Kosuke Fukudome singled to center on a 2-1 pitch. With Castro at the plate, LeBlanc picked off Kosuke … 1-3-6. Castro ended up hitting a single into left. Marlon Byrd knocked his second double into left and the Cubs had runners on second and third with one out.

Aramis Ramirez walked to load the bases but Carlos Pena struck out swinging.

Alfonso Soriano stepped in and singled to left center on a 1-2 pitch. Castro and Byrd scored … 3-2 Cubs. Jeff Baker singled to right and plated Ramirez with the Cubs’ fourth run. After a pitching change, Koyie Hill flied out to center to end the inning.

Randy Wells gave up a leadoff single to Luis Durango to start the fourth. Wells settled in and did not allow another hit or baserunner in the fourth. Wells threw 11 pitches, nine for strikes.

The Cubs tacked on to the 4-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth.

Kosuke Fukudome singled to right with two outs … the Cubs ninth hit of the game at the time. Starlin Castro struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch. Kosuke was running, stole second and advanced to third when the ball ended up in center.

Marlon Byrd walked. Aramis Ramirez worked the count to 3-2 before getting hit to load the bases. Simon Castro uncorked a wild pitch with Pena at the plate. Kosuke scored … 5-2 and both Byrd and Ramirez advanced ninety feet. Carlos Pena walked to load the bases.

Bud Black went to his pen again, this time for Anthony Bass. Alfonso Soriano hit a grounder to third that Headley bobbled. Byrd scored … 6-2. With the bases loaded, Jeff Baker grounded out to short to end the inning.

Randy Wells completed his day after allowing a two-out single by Headley in the fifth. Wells threw 13 pitches in the fifth, nine for strikes.

Jay Jackson replaced Wells in the sixth. For the first time this spring, Jackson struggled with his command. Jackson gave up a walk and a single but no runs. Jackson threw 23 pitches in the fifth, 12 for strikes.

The Cubs seventh run came in the sixth against Aaron Poreda. The former Southsider walked the bases loaded (Augie Ojeda, Reed Johnson and Josh Vitters) before retiring Bryan LaHair and Luis Montanez on pop outs. Bobby Scales walked to force in Ojeda … 7-2 Cubs.

Jay Jackson gave up two solo home runs in the seventh and all three outs were on fly balls. Jackson threw 12 pitches, seven for strikes, and surrendered his first runs of the spring.

Scott Maine completed the Cubs’ first perfect inning of the game in the eighth. Maine sat down the back of the Padres’ roster in order on 16 pitches, eight for strikes.

Bobby Scales made it 9-4 in the bottom of the eighth with his first dinger of the spring. Bryan LaHair led off the frame with a double and scored on the one-out shot to left by Scales.

Robert Coello retired three of the four Padres he faced in the ninth. Coello issued a walk but no hits in his inning of work. Coello threw 13 pitches, eight for strikes.

Box Score from MLB.com

The Cubs play the first of four split squad games on Sunday. Ryan Dempster will lead the Cubs against the Dodgers at HoHoKam while Todd Wellemeyer will face the Reds in Goodyear. WGN Radio and TV will broadcast the game from HoHoKam.

Quote of the Day

"A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course of victory." - Arthur Golden
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  • Patrick_Schaefer

    I really don’t understand why Scales is in Camp instead of a guy like LeMahieu he can play 3 IF spots and it would be great to see what he can do.

    • Ripsnorter1

      If I were Q, Scales makes the team as a reserve INF-OF-PH. The guy had produce offensively, and his glove ain’t any worse than Jeff Baker’s garbage.

    • Tony_Hall

      I agree LeMahieu should be in camp, but I would get rid of Augie before Scales.

  • cubtex

    I guess the Jay Jackson to the rotation talk can quiet down now a little.

    • Tony_Hall

      I really don’t think anyone was seriously considering Jay Jackson for a spot, in this years rotation.

  • Ripsnorter1

    I hold these truths to be self-evident:

    #1 Andrew Cashner needs AAA to work on some pitches. He ain’t ready with his control, so he cannot be effective. And as a starter, he hasn’t three pitches he can get over consistently. He needs work in the minors. So forgetaboutit when it comes to being the #5 starter–as much as Q is trying to hand it to him.

    #2 Jeff Baker ought to be cut, and BOBBY SCALES should be the reserve 2B & 3B, 1B and LF and RF. Man, he is no worse with the glove, and he can take a walk, and he can hit some. So goodbye, Jeff Baker–don’t let the door hit you in the rearend as you leave.

    #3 Wells is the #4 starter. He knows how to pitch, and if the Cubs could score a few runs, he’ll bag you 15 wins this season.

    #4 Koyie Hill needs to be cut NOW. Man, is he awful!

    #5 Pena–Mr. .196–don’t expect any improvement over those numbers last year. He’s got a HUGE–and I mean, HHHUUUUUUUUUUGGGEEE–hole in his swing, almost as large as Prince Fielder’s gut. When he comes up with men on, its an automatic strikeout. He looks awful.

    #6 Aram needs to be a DH now. His glove–I should say, his lack of a glove–is pathetic! He’s awful in the field. I thought last year was bad, but he has fallen down over last year.

    #7 670theScore was talking about how Carlos Silva doesn’t have a single friend in the clubhouse–even before the Carlos Zambrano imitation the other day. Wow! The ghost of Milton Bradley still haunts us.

    • Tony_Hall

      1) Rip – I think for the long term success of Cashner, you are right, he needs to go to AAA, and start, in a controlled environment.

      2) Can I have a 3rd option?

      3) Wells will never win 15 games in a season! 12 would be really good for him.

      4) Please cut Hill!

      5) What would have been the harm, in having Colvin play 1B this year? There is no way he will have a lower average than Pena.

      6) I really don’t see the Cubs bringing back Aram after this year, so if the Cubs are out of it in June/July, ARam should be finding himself in a new home by the trade deadline.

      7) Not really surprising, since everyone in the clubhouse has followed him at least once in the buffet line.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Scales can hit .280, walk a ton–go look at his totals last year, and see how he’s doing it again this ST–his OBP is terrific. And as a PH, sub, he’s better than Baker, and …
        NO, you cannot have another choice!

        LOL

        • Tony_Hall

          I want more choices, this bench is not a major league bench, on a competitive team.

          Hill – cut
          Baker – cut
          Ojeda – cut
          Perez/Johnson – cut

          The only bench spot that is productive is the platoon of Fukudome/Colvin.

          The other 4 spots should be
          1) Mad Max/Castillo
          2) Barney
          3) Scales,
          4) A BAT!!!!

          I do like the versatility that Scales brings, and his unselfishness. He is the type of “veteran” (can I really call him that) you want on the team. Happy to be there, knows he won’t be a starter, unless of an injury.

          I want more choices for this whole team.

      • Ripsnorter1

        So who do you see as the #5 starter?

        Silva has the inside track if he can be just awful. If he is horrifying, well, to the bullpen he goes. Cashner to AAA, and I’m looking for Maine to make the team. Russell? I doubt it. Samardzija? HEAVEN FORBID IT!

        Okay, now we are back to reality—drum roll, please–
        either Todd Wellemeyer (whom I think will get the job) or Brandon Looper (again, HEAVEN FORBID IT, PLEASE!).

        I think Silva’s mouth (verbally and caloric intake) will wind up cutting his own throat. Jim Clueless will give him every chance plus ten more, but he’ll hang himself when all is said and done.

        So get over it. Todd Wellemeyer will win the job!

        • Tony_Hall

          Wells is in, baring any all nighter prior to his starts :)

          The last rotation spot, I believe even more so than before ST, is buffet line Silva. If they wanted an excuse to get rid of him, they missed it. So, that tells me, they will do whatever it takes, not to waste, already spent payroll dollars. Wellemeyer and Looper cost them nothing, they will not beat out Silva.

          Cashner will end up in the bullpen, which I think is a short sighted move, as it puts Cashner in the pen for the year, unless of course they send him to the minors at some point to stretch him out. With a young guy, I really don’t want to see the back and forth happen. I think Cashner should start all year, and start the year in Iowa, to control his pitch count and innings. Russell should do the same. Coleman deserves a spot, but I don’t believe has a chance.

          Rotation
          1 Dempster
          2 Zambrano
          3 Garza
          4 Wells
          5 Silva

          Bullpen
          Marmol
          Marshall
          Wood
          Grabow
          Samardzija
          Maine

          I am not sure on the last spot, I like Cabrera, but don’t think he has a shot of ST, Mateo is the only other young guy, at this point I think has a shot, Guzman needs to go to Iowa, no matter what. Otherwise I think one of Wellemeyer or Looper will take the last spot.

          Just in case we want to mortgage more of the future, we can make a trade for James Shields. The Rays didn’t get everyone they wanted out of our system, and may want to stockpile more arms.

          http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/03/is-james-shields-the-next-rays-starter-to-go.html#

          The Rays know not to spend money on arms, and to keep a steady flow of young arms, that are inexpensive, and let other teams pay them at some point. Keep the difference makers, which I believe they will do with Price.

      • Denio

        Tony… I don’t see ARam being traded because there is a club option of $16 million that becomes guaranteed if he is traded.

        • Tony_Hall

          Don’t think that will stop a team that has WS aspirations. Imagine ARod went down, Youkilis or AGon was lost for the year, etc. There are teams, that would take him on, even knowing that it triggers a 2012 option. They could always trade ARam and eat part of the money.

          Also, ARam may be willing to waive the option, so that he may become a FA after this season. There are many possiblities.

    • paulcatanese

      Reply to Rip and Tony. Both of you are right and I must say,most of us have been doubting the Pena move all along and it probably will be true all year. All I have to say about the other guy is again, Hi Ho Silva,,,,,, Away.

      • Ripsnorter1

        You speak the truth, Kemo Sabe.

    • paulcatanese

      Rip,agree 100% 2-7. On Hill,I cannot in ANY sense figure why he is on this team. Aram,he has no glove,Quade should have cut all of his fingers by now, and he will end up swinging the bat with one hand. I don’t buy him playing deeper at third to offset his lack of range, hes almost deeper than Castro on the left side. Look for Castro to be cutting off grounders in front of Rami. If they bunt him he gets no-one,if he somehow dives for a ball and gets it,he gets no-one, he drops pop-ups,he gets no-one,they throw over there,he drops it,he gets no-one. He is a one type of a guy,no-one.

  • paulcatanese

    Neil,I appreciate your coverage of the games. It takes the place of being there.I would actually rather read about the game from youre view tha watching it,gives me time to go over everything again and again. I can see where I will be looking the rest of the year.

  • Ripken Boy

    I think we should sign Julio Lugo to a minor league contract and get rid of Augie Ojeda. Augie is a doggie!!!!!!!!!

    • Ripsnorter1

      Ain’t that the truth.

    • Tony_Hall

      I am all for moving out Ojeda, not sure Lugo is a good fit on the field or in the clubhouse. We have to show our young guys, that they can progress through the system. Barney has done all he can do in the minors and his next step is on the 25 man roster. Anything short of that is not good for our sytem. Patrick has shown the repercussions of putting Barney in Iowa to growth of many players. It would be like known of them advanced for all of their work last year.

  • Cheryl

    Scales should make the team. But Quale needs to take a long look at Aram. He is just not the player he used to be. Wells is kind of surprising me. He looks a lot better than I thought he would be. As for Cashner, I agree he should be sent down for more seasoning. I’m now more interested in Coleman.

    • Ripsnorter1

      And we haven’t seen much of Coleman yet, have we? I loved his work last year. But I fear the Cubs’ management has no confidence in him, and that he’ll be back in AAA when ST is over. I hope I’m wrong and he wins the #5 starter’s job, but knowing Jim Clueless like I do, I doubt it.

      • Tony_Hall

        After how Coleman finished the year, he should have a job to lose. But that is not how it works at Clark and Addison.

    • Tony_Hall

      What are you suggesting Q can do?

      He can’t cut him – above his pay grade.
      He can’t bench him – he doesn’t have the authority.
      He can’t move him in the lineup – Aram says he is batting 4th,

      What can Q do with ARam? Play him everyday (except when he wants to lounge in the clubhouse all day) and bat him 4th. That is all Q has the authority to do.

      • paulcatanese

        Amen

  • Tony_Hall

    I know it is early but you have to like this –

    “Soriano watch: Alfonso Soriano is hitting .467 this spring and said he feels better than he ever has in his five springs with the Cubs.

    “This year I don’t have to worry about getting healthy,” he said. “Last year I played the whole year and nothing happened. This year I just come in working on my defense and offense. I don’t have to worry about my body anymore”

    From the Trib – http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-0306-bits-cubs-spring-training20110305,0,4754004.story

    If somehow, Soriano, can be productive again, it may create an opening to trade him to the AL, where he can finish his career, in a better situation.

    • GaryLeeT

      “If somehow, Soriano, can be productive again, it may create an opening to trade him to the AL, where he can finish his career, in a better situation.”

      The votive candle is lit and prayers are being said.

    • paulcatanese

      Over his career Soriono has had some bright moments,maybe this year could be one of them. He lacks on defense,but his bat,if he’s hot could be of great value this year. I hope so. Out of the group of Rami, Silva,if it’s to be I like Fuko and Sori out of the four,consider them the best of the bad.