Spring Training Game Twenty-Eight – Cubs (ss) 4, Dodgers 5
WP – Stephen Fife (2-0) LP – Scott Feldman (0-3) Save – Sean White (1)
The Cubs and Dodgers squared off for the fourth and final time this spring on Thursday afternoon … and the Cubs could not dodge another spring loss to Los Angeles. The Cubs finished with a 1-3 record against the Dodgers in the Cactus League.
The two teams made the trip from the valley to Tucson to play in the annual Christina-Taylor Green charity game, proceeds from Thursday’s exhibition went to the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Foundation.
Scott Feldman had another rough day on the mound. For the first time this spring, Feldman did not walk or hit any batters, but he continued pitching from behind in the count. Feldman gave up four runs on seven hits with no walks and five strikeouts over five innings, with three of the runs coming on one swing in the fourth inning. Alex Castellanos launched a 3-1 pitch over the wall in right and turned a 2-1 Dodger deficit into a 4-2 Dodger lead.
Feldman was charged with a single run in the third after Anthony Rizzo misplayed a ball into a hit. The best thing about Feldman’s outing was that he did not walk any one, but he reportedly lived up in the zone again. Couple that with falling behind batters in the regular season and it could spell a long day for the bullpen when Feldman is scheduled to pitch.
Hisanori Takahashi and Michael Bowden combined on a scoreless sixth inning while Jaye Chapman struggled with his command in the seventh. Welington Castillo picked up his pitcher with a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out after Chapman issued a leadoff walk. Jensen Lewis allowed an unearned run on a hit and a walk in the ninth.
The Cubs offense pounded out 10 hits (and two walks) but struggled once again with runners on base and in scoring position … 3-for-11 with RISP and six left on base.
Starlin Castro had an excellent day at the plate. Castro went 2-for-4 and hit home run in the third inning on a 3-2 pitch. Castro also swiped a bag, and was selectively aggressive in his four plate appearances. Anthony Rizzo went 2-for-4 on the afternoon while Brian Bogusevic (2-for-4) continued making his case to break camp with the team.
Brent Lillibridge (2-for-3 with a double, a RBI, a walk and a run scored) stayed hot in the Cactus League while playing a very good third base. Scott Feldman (1-for-2 with a RBI) singled in a run in the fifth.
The Cubs have hit 38 homers this spring, second in the majors behind only the Seattle Mariners.
Just one more hit … and the Cubs would have not only helped out a great cause but could have picked up a win.
The Cubs got on the board in the second inning following a leadoff single from Scott Hairston. Dave Sappelt hit a tapper back to the mound but Stephen Fife threw the ball into centerfield. Hairston held at second with no outs. Welington Castillo grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, Hairston advanced to third with two outs. Brent Lillibridge stepped in and smacked a ball back up the middle, that Nick Punto stopped but decided to eat and let the run score. Fife caught Brian Bogusevic looking to end the inning.
Feldman retired the Dodgers in order in the first and sat down Andre Ethier on a grounder to second (2-0 pitch) to begin his second inning of work. A.J. Ellis followed a smacked a 3-1 pitch into left for a single. Feldman struck out Juan Uribe and Alex Castellanos swinging to end the inning.
Starlin Castro made it 2-0 with a homer off Fife in the third (3-2 pitch).
Angelo Songco led off the Dodgers’ third with a double off the top of the wall in right center. Feldman jumped ahead of Songco, 1-2, before he just missed a homer on a 2-2 pitch from Feldman. Punto fouled out to Lillibridge at third for the first out. Feldman then retired Skip Schumaker for the second out. Mark Ellis stepped in … and Feldman fell behind. A passed ball allowed Songco to advance to third. Mark Ellis then ripped a 3-2 pitch into left, just like that 2-1 Cubs. Matt Kemp popped a 2-0 pitch into center for the third out.
After the Cubs went quickly in the top of the fourth, Andre Ethier reach on a single to right in the home half. A.J. Ellis followed with a single to right and the Dodgers had runners on first and second with no outs. Feldman struck out Juan Uribe swinging for the first out.
Alex Castellanos then drove a 3-1 pitch over the wall in right … and just like that, the Cubs trailed 4-3. Feldman retired Songco and Punto to end the inning.
Brent Lillibridge led off the fifth with a double to left center. Brian Bogusevic followed with a single to left. Lillibridge held at third with no outs. Scott Feldman stepped in and on a 1-1 pitch he squared to bunt. Feldman pulled the bat back and punched a single into left. Lillibridge scored, 4-3 Dodgers. Darwin Barney popped out to second and Starlin Castro lined into a 4-3 double play to end the inning.
The spring game remained 4-3 until the eighth when the Dodgers added an insurance run.
Jensen Lewis struck out Elian Herrera to start the inning. Omar Luna followed with a grounder to short. Arismendy Alcantara, up for the day from minor league camp, fielded the ball but made a low throw to first. Justin Bour caught it, then dropped it and was charged with an error. Lewis then walked Matt Angle and the Dodgers had runners on first and second with one out. Matt Wallach flied out to right. Luna tagged and advanced to third … then scored on an infield single to the hole at short. Lillibridge made a diving stop, lost his glove in the process, but his throw to second was late and Luna scored. Lewis caught Castellanos looking (2-2 pitch) to end the inning.
The Cubs attempted a comeback in the ninth against Sean White. Welington Castillo and Brent Lillibridge walked to start the inning. Bogusevic advanced both runners ninety feet with a grounder to first. Johermyn Chavez grounded out to first. Castillo scored and Lillibridge advanced to third with two down. With the tying run just ninety feet away, Justin Bour, who was also up for the day from minor league camp, grounded out to first to end the game.
Jeff Samardzija and the other half of the Cubs’ roster takes on Jon Garland and the Mariners in Peoria on Thursday night (9:05pm CDT).
The Cubs make the trip to Maryvale to take on the Brewers on Friday afternoon. Carlos Villanueva is scheduled to face Yovani Gallardo.