The Cubs Manufacture a Tie against the Angels – Cubs 3, Angels 3

Spring Game Thirty-Two – Cubs 3, Angels 3 – 10 innings
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For the second time this spring, the Cubs did not win or lose a Cactus League game. The Cubs and Angels played to a 3-3 tie after the Cubs scored two runs without a run scoring hit in the sixth.

Paul Maholm put together another good start and made just one mistake in his 4 2/3 innings of work. Albert Pujols gave the Angels a 2-0 lead in the opening inning when he launched Maholm’s first pitch over the wall in left center. Maholm surrendered only one other hit after the first inning and issued just one walk to go along with six strikeouts.

The Cubs’ pen was solid in relief of Paul Maholm. Kerry Wood retired the only batter he faced while Carlos Marmol, Rafael Dolis and James Russell each tossed a perfect inning on Saturday afternoon. After a rough sixth inning, Rodrigo Lopez stayed in the mix for a bullpen job with two adequate innings.

Dale Sveum’s offense was pretty much non-existent for the second day in a row. The Cubs manufactured two runs in the sixth inning after Tony Campana led off with a bunt single, stole second, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a fielder’s choice.

Blake DeWitt recorded the Cubs’ lone RBI in the sixth and the Cubs other two runs scored on an error in the fifth and a double steal in the sixth.

The Cubs tied the game in the sixth on a double steal. With Reed Johnson on third and Joe Mather at the plate, Steve Clevenger broke for second on a delayed steal. Johnson took off for home soon after and scored after the Angels’ catcher, Bobby Wilson, committed to throwing out Clevenger. The Cubs’ backup catcher got himself caught in a rundown and Johnson scampered home with the tying run.

Steve Clevenger (1-for-4) had a good day behind the plate. Clevenger started the game and played all 10 innings and threw out two runners attempting to steal second base (one in the sixth and one in the seventh).

Paul Maholm’s afternoon began by giving up a bomb to a familiar face. Paul Maholm retired Erick Aybar on a grounder to short for the first out. Howie Kendrick ripped a 1-1 pitch into right center for a double …

Albert Pujols stepped to the dish and crushed Maholm’s first pitch. The ball ended up well over the wall in left center … and just like that the Angels took a 2-0 lead. For the record, Albert Pujols hit for a robust .564/.609/.897/1.506 line against Paul Maholm with seven doubles and two home runs during their time together in the NL Central.

To Maholm’s credit he did not allow Pujols’ blast to bother him and struck out Torii Hunter swinging on a nice curveball. Vernon Wells hit a weak fly to Mather in right for the third out in the first.

David DeJesus’ spring struggles continued Saturday afternoon. David DeJesus tapped back to Garrett Richards to begin the inning. Darwin Barney put together a long at bat that resulted in a fly out to right center on a 3-2 pitch. Ian Stewart ripped a single into center and stole second with Baker at the plate. Jeff Baker grounded out to third to end the inning.

Mark Trumbo reached on an error by Maholm to start the second. Maholm fielded the tapper to the third base side and airmailed his throw to first … in all likelihood, if a first baseman and not Blake DeWitt was at first, Maholm’s throw would have been fine. Chris Iannetta grounded out to first on a 3-2 pitch. DeWitt misplayed the ball and instead of a possible double play (again that a first baseman could have made), DeWitt settled for an out at first. Peter Bourjos hit a 2-2 pitch to short. Barney fielded the one-hop liner and threw to third as Trumbo broke from second. Jeff Baker eventually tagged him out on a poorly executed run down (6-5-4). Maholm fell behind Garrett Richards 3-0 before striking out the Angels’ pitcher looking to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing against Garrett Richards in the second.

Paul Maholm was very sharp in the third. Maholm retired the Angels in order, including Albert Pujols.

The Cubs went down in order for the second straight inning in the third.

Paul Maholm struck out Torii Hunter (swinging) and Vernon Wells (swinging) to start the fourth. Mark Trumbo worked the count to 3-2 before Maholm walked him with two outs. Maholm was not happy after issuing the two-out free pass. Iannetta popped out to shallow right (Mather) on the first pitch to end the fourth.

Darwin Barney (tap back to mound) and Ian Stewart (ground out to first) went down quickly to start the fourth. Albert Pujols forgot how many outs there were after he fielded the ball and stepped on first to retire Stewart. Pujols started jogging toward the dugout with his head down.

Jeff Baker reached on a swinging bunt up the third base line. Richards fielded the ball, threw into the runner and hit Baker on the wrist. The ball got past Pujols and Baker ended up at second on the infield single and error. DeWitt grounded out to short (3-2 pitch) for the last out in the fourth.

The Angels’ fifth started with a double into the left field corner off the bat of Peter Bourjos. Maholm fell behind Richards 2-0 but the Angels’ pitcher was not going to swing his bat. Maholm struck out Richards looking on another 3-2 offering. Aybar popped a 2-2 pitch into right center. Mather made a good running catch and threw toward third to keep Bourjos from rounding third.

Dale Sveum went to his pen and brought in Kerry Wood to face Howie Kendrick. Wood retired Kendrick on a grounder to short (three pitches) to end the inning.

The Cubs finally got on the board in the fifth thanks to a two-out hustle double by Joe Mather. After Reed Johnson and Steve Clevenger went down quickly to begin the inning, Joe Mather ripped a 0-1 pitch past the inexperienced Mark Trumbo at third. Mather hustled out of the box, Dave McKay sent him to second and Mather slid in head first at second.

Alfredo Amezaga hit for Wood and ripped the first pitch he saw toward second. Kendrick played the ball off to his side, the ball went into right and Mather scored from second. David DeJesus singled to right, Amezaga ended up at third with two down. Darwin Barney flied out to right to end the fifth.

At the end of five, the Angels had a 2-1 lead.

Rodrigo Lopez started the sixth with Tony Campana taking over in center and Alfredo Amezaga replacing Stewart at third. Lopez benefited by the fact Garrett Richards was told not to swing the bat.

Lopez walked Albert Pujols on a 3-2 pitch to start the sixth. Ryan Langerhans ran for Pujols and was thrown out by Steve Clevenger trying to steal second. Torii Hunter reached on a Darwin Barney error (backed up and let the ball play him on a chopper). Roberto Lopez ran for Hunter and advanced to second when Vernon Wells lined a single into left. Ryan Mount ran for Wells.

Mark Trumbo ripped a 1-0 pitch into left for a double. Lopez scored (3-1, Angels) and Mount held at third with one out. Rodrigo Lopez walked Iannetta to load the bases with one out. Lopez struck out Bourjos swinging on a 2-2 pitch and struck out Richards looking to end the inning … in three at bats Saturday afternoon, Garrett Richards never took the bat off his shoulder.

Tony Campana reached on a bunt single to start the home half of the sixth. Wes Darvill, up from minor league camp for the day, stood in and Campana stole second. Darvill grounded out to second, Campana advanced to third on the productive out and scored on a grounder to second (with the infield in) off the bat of Blake DeWitt … 3-2, Angels.

Reed Johnson worked a two out walk in the sixth and advanced to third on a single to left by Steve Clevenger. With Joe Mather at the plate, Clevenger broke for second on a delayed steal. Clevenger was the decoy as Reed Johnson broke for the plate. Clevenger got caught in a run down and Johnson scored before Clevenger was tagged out. The Cubs stole a run and tied the game at three.

After laboring through the sixth inning, Rodrigo Lopez faced the minimum in the seventh. Lopez gave up a leadoff single to Alexi Amarista. Amarista broke for second on a 0-1 pitch to Jorge Cantu, Clevenger threw him out … the second runner cut down by Clevenger on Saturday afternoon. Cantu popped out to right and Langerhans struck out swinging to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing against LaTroy Hawkins in the bottom of the seventh.

Carlos Marmol retired the side in order in the eighth.

Kevin Jepsen took the hill for the Angels in the eighth and other than a two-out single by Wes Darvill, after a long at bat, the Cubs did nothing against the Angels’ right-hander.

Rafael Dolis was very sharp in the ninth … and sat down the Angels in order, with a strikeout.

The Cubs did nothing in the ninth against David Carpenter … and the game went into the tenth tied at three.

James Russell struck out two of the three batters he faced in the tenth. And after a perfect inning by Russell, the game went to the bottom of the tenth tied at three.

After Alfredo Amezaga fouled out to first and Matt Szczur grounded out to short to start the tenth, Darwin Barney doubled to left past the defensively challenged Jorge Cantu. With the winning run on second, Tony Campana popped up the first pitch from Loek Van Mil into left … game over.

The Cubs played to a tie for the second time in this spring.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

The Cubs make the short trip to Tempe on Sunday to face Albert Pujols and the Angels once again. Chris Rusin is scheduled to face Jered Weaver.

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Quote of the Day

"Baseball, just a game as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes." - Ernie Harwell
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  • wrigleylover

    Garrett Richards never took his bat off his shoulders….a worthless hitting pitcher.  The Cubs have Samardzija and Volstad who can hit well to help themselves and the team.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Volstad: .133 career hitter.
      Samardzija: .143 career hitter in 128 games, but just 18 PA.

      NL needs the DH.

      • cubtex

        But Shark runs great pass routes:)

      • Theox0031

        yea so we can have 4 hour boring games like the american league and keep old guys around who shouldn’t even be in the major leagues

      • Tony_Hall

        I have converted on this topic over the last few years and now agree with you.  But mainly because I am confident that the players association and the AL will never drop the DH.  The NL is at a disadvantage in FA, and how they construct their teams, by not having the DH.  

        Both leagues should have the same rule, if they compete against each other.

        • Theboardrider

          That I agree with.  AL should drop it!

          • Tony_Hall

            I agree with you, but since it will never happen, the NL needs to stop putting itself at a disadvantage.

      • Theboardrider

        NOOOOOOO!!!!!!  Managing the pitcher hitting in the lineup is part of baseball strategy.  Rip you should be ashamed of yourself for such blasphemy ;)

        Call me traditional but I just think it’s part of the game.  Sure a DH is more exciting in most cases but to me, much like in the AL pitchers ERA’s are higher than they would be in the NL; in the NL managers are more seasoned because they must negotiate the pitchers battting.  An AL east pitcher will be more successful in the NL central but I believe an NL central manager may be more successful in the AL east. 

        • Ripsnorter1

          You are right. It is more fun to have runners on 2nd and 3rd with two outs in the second inning, and the pitcher, who hits .091,  coming up. It’s a thrill!

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

            Not more fun. It’s just baseball…

  • Ripsnorter1

    I thought Wells was going to start on Sunday. Getting shipped out changed things, I guess.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Yes, they announced shortly after Wells was demoted that Rusin would start Sunday in Tempe. Garza is pitching in a minor league game.

      As for the final two Cactus League games, Jay Jackson (Monday) and Travis Wood (Tuesday) will start. Samardzija and Volstad will make their final tuneups in minor league games.

  • Anonymous47701

    possible batting cage solution:

    Temporarily Move the Weight Room and Media Dungeon into the space where to old front office once stood.

  • cubtex

    Nice to see Marmol pitch 2 nice back to back outings. Maybe getting that little injury is making him slow things down.

  • Ripsnorter1

    So Pujols is a lifetime .564 hitter vs Maholm. 

    WOW!
    .897 slugging lifetime, too. WOW!

    Maholm should never throw him a strike. NEVER. 

    • John_CC

       How many PAs is that?  That is an amazing stat. As much as I hate the cliche, that is “owning” a pitcher.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

         39 at bats, I have the full line in the recap

    • Tony_Hall

      Yes he should, in a spring training game…

  • Tony_Hall

    Rule 5 info on this years players for all teams.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/03/update-on-this-years-rule-5-draft-picks.html 

    Article on Flaherty  

    http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2012-03-26/sports/bal-the-orioles-moveheavy-monday-what-is-means-20120326_1_minor-league-camp-zach-britton-orioles-manager-buck-showalter

    Flaherty looks to have the last roster spot for the Orioles, but B Roberts was DL’s, so will he hold it all year, depends on his play.

    And Marwin Gonzalez needs a DL stint for Jed Lowrie to make the Astros.  

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120331&content_id=27789446&notebook_id=27789000&vkey=notebook_hou&c_id=hou&partnerId=rss_hou

    • Ripsnorter1

      The Cards took Erik Kaomatsu, age 24, from the Nats. He has never played as much as 1 inning of MLB. Here’s his stats in AA last year:

      572 PA…7 HR…48 RBI…277 BA…21 SB…9 CS. Excellent BB/K stats….64/66
      He’s Brett Jackson with less power and fewer SO. Had a HUGE OBP of .393 in Milwaukee’s AA club. 

      But rule V picks often get ruined in the shuffling around…..