A Goose Egg in Glendale – Cubs 0, Dodgers 5

Spring Game Eight – Cubs 0, Dodgers 5
WP – Ted Lilly (1-1) LP – Matt Garza (1-1) Save – None

Matt Garza had a bad outing Sunday in Glendale … and the Cubs’ offense stayed behind in Mesa. After a very good first inning, Garza was knocked out of the game with one out in the second after he gave up a pair of hits, plunked his second batter of the spring, issued back-to-back walked with the bases loaded and gave up a two-run single to Tony Gwynn, Jr.

Matt Garza chalked up Sunday as a bad day and said he would be ready for his next outing.

Jeff Beliveau rebounded from his first two spring outings with an impressive performance against the Dodgers. Beliveau struck out the side in the fifth on 12 pitches and ended up tossing two innings of shutout ball. Beliveau did not allow a hit and struck out five of the seven batters he faced … the only runner reached on a throwing error.

The Cubs were shutout for the first time this spring and managed only one hit through five innings. The offense finished the game with five hits (one for extra bases), five walks and left nine on base after going 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

Brett Jackson, Blake DeWitt, Welington Castillo, Anthony Rizzo and Edgar Gonzalez collected the Cubs only base knocks Sunday.

After David DeJesus fouled out to third (1-1 pitch) to start the game, Ted Lilly jumped ahead of Jeff Baker 0-2. Baker ended up walking. Starlin Castro put together a long at bat against Lilly that resulted in a ground out to short (3-2 pitch). Baker was running and advanced to second on the play. Blake DeWitt grounded out to first for the third out.

Matt Garza mowed down the Dodgers in order in the first … and was very sharp.

The Cubs did nothing against Ted Lilly in the second.

Matt Garza labored through a long second inning and could not complete the inning. Garza appeared to struggle with himself and his command.

Jerry Sands led off the second with a single to right center (3-2 pitch). Garza then plunked Juan Uribe, the second time this spring Garza has hit a batter. Garza re-focused and jumped ahead of Trent Oeltjen 0-2. The Dodgers’ right fielder blooped Garza’s next pitch into shallow left.

With the bases loaded and no outs, Garza struck out Tim Federowicz looking (2-2 pitch). After the strikeout, Garza lost his command and issued back-to-back walks.

Garza walked Justin Sellers on a 3-2 pitch to force in Sands with the first run of the game. Garza was visibly upset after his 3-2 pitch missed low. Matt Angle looked at two straight out of the zone. Chris Bosio made a trip to the mound and talked things over with Garza … but it did not work. Garza issued a four-pitch walk to Angle that forced in the Dodgers’ second run.

Tony Gwynn, Jr. ripped a 0-1 pitch into left. Oeltjen and Sellers scored, 4-0 Dodgers.

Dale Sveum decided he’d seen enough at that point and went to his pen for lefty Chris Rusin.

Mark Ellis stepped in and the Dodgers tried a double steal on Rusin’s first pitch. Oeltjen broke too soon. Rusin stepped off and the Cubs eventually tagged Oeltjen for the second out. The Cubs looked better in the rundown than in years past but were still not efficient. Gwynn, Jr. advanced to second during the rundown but Ellis grounded out to Castro to end the inning.

Anthony Rizzo led off the third with a nice at bat against Lilly that ended up with a hard single to center. Dave Sappelt hit for Rusin and grounded out to short on a 3-2 pitch. Sellers tried to force Rizzo at second but Rizzo slid in safe after running with the pitch.

Lilly hit David DeJesus but Jeff Baker popped up a 1-1 pitch to Loney in foul ground and Castro grounded out to third (1-2 pitch) to end the inning.

After two and a half, the Cubs had left three on base and trailed 4-0.

Andy Sonnanstine made his second appearance of the spring and faced the minimum in the bottom of the third. Loney led off with a single to right (3-2 pitch) but Sands hit into a 6-4-3 double play and Uribe struck out swinging (3-2 pitch).

The Cubs had a chance to make the exhibition game interesting in the fourth after Matt Guerrier issued back-to-back walks to DeWitt and Byrd to begin the inning. With Reed Johnson at the plate, Guerrier picked off DeWitt from second for the first out. Johnson ended up walking and the Cubs had runners on first and second (again).

Welington Castillo struck out swinging and Rizzo popped out (shortstop) to end the inning. Five left on base for the Cubs after four innings.

Ryan Searle (call-up from minor league camp) made the trip from Mesa to Glendale with the big league team Sunday. Searle allowed a run in the fourth after the Dodgers took advantage of the Cubs’ defense.

Trent Oeltjen led off the inning with a hustle-double to center against his fellow countryman (Searle and Oeltjen are both from Australia). Oeltjen hit what appeared to be a routine single but he hustled out of the box as Byrd took his time getting to the ball. Oeltjen slid in safe ahead of Byrd’s throw.

Federowicz flied out to center and Sellers walked. With runners on first and second with one down, Angle singled to left (2-0 pitch) off Castro’s glove. Oeltjen scored, 5-0 Dodgers. Searle ended his day by inducing a 4-6-3 double play off Gwynn, Jr.’s bat.

The Cubs did nothing against Todd Coffey in the fifth.

Jeff Beliveau made his third appearance of the spring in the bottom of the fifth. After two not-so-good outings, Beliveau dominated in the fifth inning of Sunday’s exhibition. Beliveau struck out the side on 12 pitches.

The Cubs managed their second hit of the game in the sixth against Mike MacDougal, a one-out single by Blake DeWitt but Byrd grounded out to third and Johnson grounded out to second to end the inning.

Dale Sveum began making changes in the bottom of the sixth. Matt Szczur (CF), Brett Jackson (LF), James Adduci (RF), Josh Vitters (3B), Bobby Scales (SS) and Adrian Cardenas (2B) took over for the starters.

Jeff Beliveau started the sixth and if not for a throwing error by Bobby Scales he would have retired the Dodgers in order. Beliveau retired Uribe on a grounder to third and struck out Oeltjen swinging. Federowicz hit a routine grounder to Scales at short. Scaled airmailed his throw that allowed the inning to continue. Beliveau struck out Sellers swinging to end the inning.

Welington Castillo led off the seventh with a bloop single to center off John Grabow. Blake Lalli hit for Rizzo and lined out to short. Edgar Gonzalez hit for Beliveau and ripped a double into the right field corner. The Cubs would have scored if anyone else was running the bases.

With runners on second and third with one down, Josh Vitters struck out swinging and Matt Szczur popped out to right to end the inning.

Trever Miller and Steve Clevenger entered the game in the bottom of the seventh … and Miller retired the Dodgers in order.

Brett Jackson led off the eighth with a solid single to right. Bobby Scales followed with a weak chopper to short. Jackson made a hard, clean slide at second to keep the Dodgers from turning a double play. Adrian Cardenas flied out to center and James Adduci grounded out to first to end the inning.

After seven and a half, the Cubs had left nine on base.

Andrew McKirahan, a call-up from minor league camp for the day, faced the minimum in the eighth.

Steve Clevenger worked a walk to start the ninth but was doubled off when he misread a fly ball to left off the bat of Blake Lalli. Amezaga grounded out to first to end the game.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

The Cubs return to Mesa to face the Reds on Monday afternoon. Paul Maholm is scheduled to face Bronson Arroyo in his spring debut.

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Quote of the Day

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

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  • Anthony

    Anyone been at Fitch who has any minor league stuff?

  • paulcatanese

    Good report on a sloppy effort Neil. How you make it look good is an art form.

  • cubs1967

    spring training is all about experimentation…….both hitters and pitchers try new things; with the goal if they succeed to use them during the regular season; BUT any team with blake dewitt as the clean-up hitter against a left handed starter DESERVES to be shut-out.

    what is the point of dewitt hitting clean-up; ever. quade was ripped for batting him 3rd; so 4th is……….WORSE!

    ST or not………..there is no reason for it.

    • cubtex

      I don’t think Sveum would ever bat DeWitt 4th in a regular season game….if it happens, I will be right there with you!

    • paulcatanese

      Agree, when I saw the starting lineup, I thought Q had slipped back into town for the starters.
      It would have to be because of ST only or they have a lock on a spot for the year as backups.

    • Tony_Hall

      I guess his 600+ batting avg has changed your mind on him…me neither.  

      It’s ST, lineups really don’t matter.

  • Tony_Hall

    So much for wondering if we had any LH relief pitchers.

    Beliveau looked good…impressive even.

    Rusin and T Miller both looked good.

    From the right sideSonnanstine looked ok.  and Garza is just getting his work in, he didn’t look all that good last spring either.

    The play of the game was BJAX taking out the guy at 2nd, so nice to see hard nosed baseball.  I can’t wait until he is playing everyday.

    And not that he had much of a chance of making the team, but Bobby Scales flat footed, waiting on it to come to him grounder that he then air-mailed over Rizzo, pretty much ended his chances.  

    • cubtex

      Beliveau was very impressive. He is the one lefty who has hit and miss stuff against both lefties and righties.

    • paulcatanese

      I know it’s ST, but it may be just me as I think Rizzo has looked better than LaHair up to now. Seems Lahair is having a hard time getting untracked here. They are both hitting squat to this date, but feel Rizzo has the edge.

      • Tony_Hall

        So far you are correct.  But I am totally on board with Rizzo going to AAA this year and seeing where we are at in June/July with him.

        Lahair has been off to a slow start, but, he will still be the starter on Opening Day.

        Rizzo is hitting 308 (4-13)

      • cubtex

        I know most people are happy LaHair is getting a shot….but I think he will struggle and with the added pressure of batting him 4th???? I don’t have alot of confidence in him and a pitcher would be nuts to give Castro anything to hit with LaHair hitting behind him.

        • paulcatanese

          I like LaHair, and wish him well, but I also like Campana. If these guys can’t cut it, I’ll be disappointed but thats baseball, and so far, both are not getting it done.
          What I noticed today was the left-handed pitching against the Cubs, I think they will see a lot of that this summer, It seems tougher on the Cubs.

        • daverj

          Also, whether he’s deemed to struggle or not depends on expectations.  If a fan thinks LaHair will hit .270 with 25 HR in 2012, then a .230 start in April with 2 HR would be struggling.  If a fan thinks LaHair will hit .250 with 15 HR, then that start wouldn’t be too fair off pace.

          If fans end up disappointed with LaHair, I think it will more likely be the result of people have unrealistic expectations for LaHair than of LaHair failing to deliver based on his skill level.

          • paulcatanese

            Agree, I have not placed any expectations on him though, just hope he succeeds. He does have a lot of pressure with Rizzo on his heels.

          • Texcubnut

            I have no expectations either, Paul. But I would love to see Lahair have a monster year and Rizzo have a monster year and reverse things, thereby putting the pressure on the Cubs and what to do with the Lahair/Rizzo situation. A nice but tough situation to be in.

    • paulcatanese

      Especially when he makes that play in front of his manager, the ex-shortstop. And agree, I don’t think he has much chance to make the team either.
      BJax did look good on that play, and there are a lot of noise being made by a lot of “second” stringers that will make a difficult choice for the final roster, as it should be.
      Byrd lost some stock today when he allowed the runner to get to second on a routine ground ball, he never dreamed the runner would try.