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.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"Failure seldom stops you. What stops you is the fear of failure." – W.J. Slim

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  • gary3411

    Most concerning statistic of the Spring so far IMO:

    Starlin Castro 0 walks in 40 PA. Was really hoping he would work hard on that part of his game this spring, guess not.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      Startling catch Gary.  Very appreciated…

      Honestly though, and I’m responding with rose colored lenses, maybe his head is still on his “off season troubles.”  I’ve been through stuff 10% of what he’s been accused of and if it’s untrue (for that matter, even if it’s true, but I can’t speak for that) the awkwardness that prevails still costs me a great deal of paranoia and 5 lbs at any given time!  21-22 years old. Tough age… 

    • Tony_Hall

      That is hard to believe, that those 2 wouldn’t have been trying to work the counts better in ST, with the new regime in place. Castro will hit enough to be able to not worry about it (not saying I would like to see 30-40 walks a year out of him) but Barney has to walk to stay a regular player, as he won’t hit enough or for enough power to off-set not getting the free ones.

      Thanks for pointing out.

  • gary3411

    Darwin Barney also 0 walks, disappointing.

  • Tony_Hall

    In case anyway hasn’t noticed, Travis Wood has had a bad spring. Now the naysayers will say I told you so, as if 1/2 of one spring training is the end all of players, but this is why they stockpiled SP’s this off-season, so that they wouldn’t be dependent on just 5.  He will go down to the minors and work on his control (let’s sure hope so).  

    But honestly, who thought they would have a competition for the rotation, in which 6 guys are true options half way through ST.  I didn’t.  I assumed that the 5th spot would be picking from guys and trying to find the one that would do the least harm, every 5 days…didn’t you.

    I floated the idea of a 6 man rotation, and I’m not sold on it and definitely not in April, but it could work in theory, as unless someone is traded they will have 6 guys that need to get their work in and stay stretched out.  

    I will just assume Volstad is the 5th and Wells is the long man.  During April,Wells should get 3-4 games where he can pitch extended innings. It’s not uncommon for SP’s to go 4 and 5 innings early in the year.  So why not have Wells ready to go and have him pitch 3 or 4 innings.  That would keep him stretched out and ready to go, if an injury, trade, or poor performance required the 6th starter to go.  All of these things will happen, and when they do, the Cubs are prepared to have a capable SP ready to go, unlike last year.  

    • ChadAudio

      Interesting thought about the 6 man rotation.  Is Wells out of minor league options?  I sort of feel Lopez would be a more ideal long man in the pen, and T. Wood and Coleman will be the 6th and 7th rotation slots in the minors… but I think we may have to have Wells on the 25man roster… not sure though.  If we have to have Wells on the 25, then yes, he can be the long man and Lopez can be another “veteren arm out of the pen”.

      • Tony_Hall

        Basically, yes Wells is out of options.  It is more complicated then that, but if they try to send him down, he will be picked up by another team.

  • Tony_Hall

    Another, opposite look at walks this spring. (Small sample size, I know)

    Dejesus  233 AVG (not good)  361 OBP (good)
    BJAX  292 AVG (above his projections) 414 OBP (very good)
    Stewart 333 AVG (get a good look, it won’t stay this high) 412 OBP
    Sappelt 211 AVG (bad)  348 OBP (not bad)
    Vitters 190 (horrible) 292 OBP (not good, but 100 pt spread it surprising to see for him)

    Bottom line, the Cubs have never liked having walks that clog the basepaths (How can you not laugh at Dusty’s thoughts?), but that is going to be the new way at Clark and Addison.

  • Tony_Hall

    I like Clevenger.  I hope that he can make it to the majors and stick around for awhile.  And I think Castillo/Clevenger would look good as our 2 catchers on the 25 man roster, once Soto is traded.


  • Tony_Hall

    Greg was never going to be the pitching coach and Mike never bowed out of the running.  I wanted Mike Maddux to be the manager, and wasn’t sold on Sveum.  I was wrong and that Jed and Theo got this one right (of course they had the advantage of actually interviewing the candidates…)  Scouts around the Cactus league are very impressed with Sveum and his staff.


    • cubs1967

      the sun-times article says greg was going to be the pitching coach from an interview done in vegas when texas played the cubs.
      can’s say the sun-times is right anymore than saying the tribune is wrong………….

      travis wood (i told you so) has a 3 touchdown plus field goal ERA……not so sure Bosio is any good. he’s had 4 weeks of work with wood and he gets worse each start out so 2 things; he’s hurt (hello jed??…….) or bosio isn’t any good. OR wood sucks….none of the 3 are good answers.

      • Tony_Hall

        Glad to know, you know, you are a naysayer…

        How about Greg himself 

        “I’m not ready to go all in yet,” Greg Maddux said. “Definitely (the Cubs’ job) would’ve been a good opportunity, but where his family life was at the time, it didn’t make sense for him.”

        But maybe we should even believe his own words.