Spring Training Game Thirty-Three – Cubs 3, Giants 9
WP – Ryan Vogelsong (1-1) LP – Travis Wood (3-1) Save – None
The dog days of Spring Training apparently hit Cubs’ camp on Monday. The Cubs played one of their worst Cactus League games in weeks in front of the third largest crowd in HoHoKam Park history (13,374) and lost their final exhibition of the spring against the Giants. The Cubs struggled in all facets of the game, and while wins and losses do not matter in Arizona, Monday was just one of those days for the Cubs.
Travis Wood struggled throughout his short four inning outing. Wood pitched from behind in the count and really labored on Monday. Wood escaped jams in the first two innings before giving up four runs over his last two innings of work. Wood was charged with four runs on seven hits with four walks, one strikeout and two wild pitches. While Wood was not sharp, his defense could not pick him up.
The Cubs were charged with two errors on Monday, both by Brent Lillibridge subbing at shortstop. But Dioner Navarro, Luis Valbuena and Nate Schierholtz all struggled in the field.
Blake Parker spent the day with the big league team and gave up a run on two hits with a strikeout in an inning of work. Cory Wade did not help his case to make the team out of camp. Wade gave up four runs, two earned, on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts in his two innings of work.
Two relievers that will be on the Cubs’ Opening Day roster had good outings on Monday.
Shawn Camp struck out all three batters he faced in the eighth, and Hector Rondon pitched a scoreless ninth with a strikeouts.
Cubs’ pitching allowed nine runs, seven earned, on 14 hits with five walks, eight strikeouts and two wild pitches.
The Castro-Rizzo-less Cubs’ offense struggled against Giants pitching. Ryan Vogelsong allowed just one run, and it was a gift, over the first five innings. David DeJesus (1-for-3 with a double and a RBI) was credited with a RBI double when Angel Pagan lost a ball in the sun. Dioner Navarro (2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI) cut the Giants’ lead to 5-3 in the sixth with his fourth home run of the spring.
Nate Schierholtz (1-for-4 with a double and a run scored) and Steve Clevenger (1-for-4) managed hits while Shawon Dunston Jr. (1-for-2) provided the feel good story of the day.
Shawon Dunston Jr. spent the day with the big league team and exchanged lineup cards at home plate with his father, Shawon Dunston, before the game.
There will be more days like this for the Cubs’ this year, hopefully there are fewer this season than there were a year ago.
Travis Wood pitched out of jams in the first two innings without allowing any runs. Wood retired the first two hitters in each of the first two frames before pitching his way into trouble. Wood gave up back-to-back two out hits to Arias (2-2 pitch) and Posey before walking Cole Gillespie to load the bases after being ahead in the count 1-2. Andres Torres popped out to Wood (2-1 pitch) to end the first inning.
In the second, Wood issued a two out walk to Ryan Vogelsong then gave up a bloop single to Pagan before catching Marco Scutaro looking at a 2-2 pitch to end the inning.
The Giants finally broke through in the third. Arias singled to center (1-2 pitch) to start the inning. Posey hit a 0-2 pitch to third. Valbuena did not field the ball cleanly and the Cubs could not turn two. With Posey at first and one down, Gillespie doubled to right center. Torres followed with a double to left (2-0 pitch). Posey and Gillespie scored, 2-0 Giants. Wood was charged with a wild pitch with Todd Linden at the plate that allowed Torres to advance to third. Linden hit a sac fly to center that plated Torres with the Giants’ third run. Nick Noonan popped out to Lillibridge to end the inning.
The Cubs got on the board in the third. Gonzalez reached on a one-out single to center. Wood bunted him to third. David DeJesus then hit a lazy fly ball into center that Pagan lost in the sun. Gonzalez scored on an Arizona-double. Lillibridge grounded out to second to end the inning.
The Giants got the run right back in the fourth. Wood issued his second walk of the game to Ryan Vogelsong … on four pitches. Wood had a habit a year ago walking the opposing pitcher, and he picked it back up on Monday. A wild pitch with Pagan at the dish allowed Vogelsong to move up 90 feet. Wood retired Pagan and Scutaro. Arias singled to center. Vogelsong held at third with two down then trotted home when Buster Posey hit a ground-rule double to right. Wood walked Gillespie again to load the bases but retired Andres Torres on a pop out to second (2-0 pitch) to end the inning … and his outing.
The Giants made it 5-1 in the fifth against Blake Parker. Parker served up a ground-rule double to Noonan on a 3-1 pitch then gave up a two-out single to Angel Pagan.
Cory Wade took over in the sixth. Wade gave up a single to Posey but that was all … and the Cubs tried to make a game of it in the bottom of the sixth.
Nate Schierholtz blooped a double down the left field line off Vogelsong with two down in the sixth. Dioner Navarro followed with his fourth homer of the spring. Luis Valbuena walked before Alberto Gonzalez popped out to second to end the inning.
The Giants put the exhibition game out of reach in the seventh … and Cory Wade likely punched his ticket to Iowa in the process.
Todd Linden led off the seventh with a single to right. Nick Noonan followed with a ground-rule double to left. With runners on second and third and no outs, Wade walked Francisco Peguero on a 3-1 pitch to load the bases. Pagan hit a grounder to second. Peguero was forced at second as Linden scored from third. With runners on first and third with one down, Joe Panik hit a grounder to Lillibridge at short. Lillibridge fielded the ball but threw it into right field. Noonan scored as Pagan and Panik advanced to second and third. Joaquin Arias then ripped a double off the wall in left. Pagan and Panik scored, 9-3 Giants. Posey tapped back to the mound and Wade caught Gillespie looking to end the inning.
Shawn Camp and Hector Rondon provided the highlights for the pitching staff in the eighth and ninth innings. Camp struck out the side in the eighth. Camp was the only Cubs’ pitcher on Monday to record a 1-2-3 inning.
The Cubs offense, outside of a single off the bat of Shawon Dunston Jr., was extremely quiet over the last two frames.
Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs host Johnny Cueto and the Reds under the lights on Tuesday night (9:05pm CDT).