Lots of Offense (and Bad Pitching) in Peoria – Cubs 12, Mariners 7

Spring Game Nineteen – Cubs 12, Mariners 7
WP – Jay Jackson (1-0) LP – Shawn Kelley (0-1) Save – None

wflag.jpgThe Cubs and Mariners hit the ball all over Peoria Sports Complex on Monday afternoon. The two teams scored a combined 19 runs on 30 hits with 14 of those runs scoring in the first three innings.

The Cubs jumped on Mariners’ starter, Jason Vargas, and knocked him out in the first inning. The Cubs scored seven runs in the first on eight hits and sent 12 to the plate. With that kind of run support, the thought was Travis Wood would relax and finally put together a good spring outing … but the exact opposite happened.

Travis Wood ended up leaving in the third inning without recording an out. Wood gave up seven runs on seven hits with two walks, two strikeouts, a wild pitch and an error in two-plus innings. Three of the seven hits Wood surrendered left the park … and Wood pretty much punched his ticket to Iowa to begin the season.

Jay Jackson tossed four innings of shutout ball with a strikeout, a hit batsman and a walk while James Russell put together his best outing of the spring. Russell surrendered just one hit with no walks over two shutout innings. Trever Miller closed out the game without allowing any runs but he could not throw strikes and issued two walks.

The offense woke up from and pounded out 18 hits and walked twice. David DeJesus (2-for-3 with two RBI, a walk, a RBI and a run scored) had a good day at the dish and drove in the go ahead run in the sixth. Darwin Barney (2-for-2 with a double, a RBI and a run scored) returned to the lineup and ran his spring hitting streak to eight games.

Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a double, a run scored and a RBI), Joe Mather (1-for-3 with a run scored and two RBI) and Welington Castillo (2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored) had big contributions in the spring ‘W‘.

The Cubs began the next to last full week in the Cactus League, for the most part, on a positive note. After dropping seven of eight, outside of Travis Wood’s performance, the Cubs played better ball on Monday afternoon.

David DeJesus started what ended up being a 50-minute first inning with a 4-pitch walk. Darwin Barney made his return to the lineup and singled to right on a 1-2 pitch. With the first inning single on Monday, Barney has hit safely in all eight Cactus League games he has played in this spring.

Starlin Castro ripped a 1-2 pitch off the wall in left for a double. DeJesus scored and Barney stopped at third. Alfonso Soriano (played the entire game) gave himself up again and hit a sac fly to right center. Barney tagged and scored … and Castro advanced to third on the play.

Jeff Baker followed with a single to center on a 2-0 pitch. Castro scored … 3-0 Cubs.

Marlon Byrd, who left his jersey in Mesa and was wearing no. 11 on Monday, struck out swinging for the second out.

Reed Johnson advanced Baker to third with a hustle double to right center. Joe Mather singled to right (2-0 pitch), Baker and Johnson scored … 5-0 Cubs. Welington Castillo followed with a single to left. Mather held at second and scored on a single to right center off the bat of DeJesus (1-2 pitch). With runners on first and second with two down, Darwin Barney blooped a 0-1 pitch down the left field line for a double. Castillo scored and Eric Wedge went to his pen with his team down by seven.

Shawn Camp replaced Vargas with runners on second and third with two outs … and struck out Castro to end the inning.

The Cubs scored seven runs on eight hits and a walk in the top of the first.

Travis Wood took the hill and retired Chone Figgins on a flyout to center. Wood jumped ahead of Dustin Ackley before walking him on a 3-2 pitch. Wood then started falling behind just about every hitter.

Ichiro hit a 2-0 pitch over the wall in right … 7-2 Cubs. Justin Smoak followed Ichiro’s homer with a single to center on the first pitch. Jesus Montero flied out to right on a 2-1 pitch for the second out.

Travis Wood fell behind Kyle Seager 2-1 then lost his concentration before a 3-2 pitch to Seager. With two outs, Joe Mather backed up and was not holding Smoak on first. Wood threw over anyway … and Smoak advanced to second on the error (both physical and mental). Wood struck out Seager swinging … but the writing was on the wall that he was going to have a short day.

Other than a two-out bloop single to center by Marlon Byrd, the Cubs did nothing against Shawn Camp in the second.

Wood started the second throwing strikes. Miguel Olivo flied out to center and Michael Saunders struck out swinging (foul tip). Wood jumped ahead of Brendan Ryan before giving up a double to right on a 1-2 pitch. Chone Figgins followed with a triple over Byrd’s head in center. Ryan scored easily, 7-3 Cubs.

Wood’s first pitch to Dustin Ackley got past Castillo and Figgins scored the Mariners’ fourth run on a wild pitch. Wood ended up walking Ackley on four pitches but retired Ichiro on a fly out to center (1-0 pitch) to end the inning.

After two, the Cubs had a 7-4 lead.

The Cubs did nothing against Shawn Camp in the third.

Justin Smoak singled to left on Wood’s first pitch of the third. Jesus Montero stepped in and launched a 3-1 pitch over the wall in right center. Before Dale Sveum could lift Wood, Kyle Seager hit a homer over the wall in center. With the game ties at seven, Sveum decided he’d seen enough.

Jay Jackson replaced Wood and retired Olivo (flyout to deep center) and Saunders (groundout to second) for two quick outs. Brendan Ryan singled to center but Chone Figgins popped out to short for the third out.

After three, the game was tied at seven.

Shawn Kelley took over for Shawn Camp in the fourth … and retired the Cubs in order.

Other than a four-pitch walk with two outs to Justin Smoak, the Mariners did nothing against Jay Jackson in the fourth.

The Cubs went down in order again in the fifth. At that point, the Cubs had managed only one hit since the seven-run, eight-hit first inning.

Kyle Seager led off the fifth with a single to right. Jay Jackson then plunked Olivo on a 1-0 pitch. Jackson jumped out ahead of Michael Saunders. After Saunders swung and missed at a 1-1 offering, Welington Castillo threw a strike to Starlin Castro … and picked off Seager from second for the first out. Saunders looked at ball two before hitting into a 4-6-3 inning ending double play. Castillo changed the inning with one play.

The Cubs took the lead for good in the sixth after Welington Castillo reached on a wind- blown double to left. David DeJesus singled up the middle off of Ackley’s glove and drove in Castillo with the go ahead run. Alfredo Amezaga followed with a single to right and the Cubs had runners on first and third with one out … but Starlin Castro hit a liner to second, Ackley snagged the liner and threw to first to complete the double play.

Dale Sveum made a host of changes in the sixth. Brett Jackson (CF), James Adduci (RF), Blake DeWitt (3B), Alfredo Amezaga (SS), Edgar Gonzalez (2B), Blake Lalli (1B) and Steve Clevenger (C) replaced the starters with only Alfonso Soriano (LF) left in the game.

Jay Jackson stayed in and struck out Ryan swinging for the first out. Chone Figgins single to right but Steve Clevenger threw him out trying to steal second. Ackley ended up singling to right with two down. Ichiro popped out to short for the third out.

The Cubs did nothing against new Mariners’ pitcher, Steve Delabar, in the seventh.

James Russell made his way in from the pen in the seventh. Justin Smoak greeted Russell with a single to left on a 0-2 pitch. Jesus Montero popped out to a sliding Brett Jackson in shallow center for the first out. Russell struck out Liddi swinging and retired Miguel Olivo on a pop out to short.

The Cubs tacked on in the eighth after Adrian Cardenas hit for Reed Johnson and walked on four pitches. Blake Lalli followed with a double to center. With runners on second and third with no outs, Delabar uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Cardenas to score the Cubs’ ninth run. Steve Clevenger ended up grounding out to second (2-0 pitch). James Adduci plated Lalli with a single to center past the drawn in infield. Adduci swiped second with Amezaga at the plate and scored on Amezaga’s single to right. A wild pitch advanced Amezaga to second. Edgar Gonzalez blooped a single into left. Amezaga held at third with two down. Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging (1-2 pitch) for the second out.

Eric Wedge brought in lefty Charlie Furbush to face Blake DeWitt with runners on first and third with two outs, DeWitt flied out to right to end the inning.

James Russell sat down Seattle in order in the bottom of the eighth.

The Cubs scored their 12th and final run of the game in the ninth. After Brett Jackson struck out swinging and Cardenas grounded out to second, Blake Lalli reached on a single to right. Steve Clevenger doubled to left and Lilli scored … but Clevenger was caught in a rundown between second and third. Clevenger was tagged out (7-6-3-5-4) to end the inning.

Trever Miller was not good in the ninth. After Ackley flied out to center, Miller issued back-to-back walks to Ichiro and Smoak … Montero hit into a 4-3 double play. Exhibition game over.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Tuesday is the Cubs fourth split squad day of the spring. Half of the roster will host the Texas Rangers and the other half will make the short trip to Phoenix to play the A’s.

Ryan Dempster will square off against Neftali Feliz at HoHoKam while Rodrigo Lopez and Brandon McCarthy will start the game in Phoenix.

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Quote of the Day

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