Game Thirty-One: Cubs 4 Padres 8
Friday night in Sin City was a busy one for the Cubs. The Cubs traded John Koronka to the Texas Rangers, along with a player to be named later, for Freddie Bynum. Bynum was traded to the A’s earlier in the day. The Cubs announced Todd Walker will be the Opening Day starter and the 25-man roster was finalized (scroll down for details) and this was all before Sean Marshall took the mound.
Sean Marshall picked up in Vegas where he left off in Arizona….for the first two batters he faced. After getting the count to 0-2 on Brian Giles….Sean Marshall showed he is human after all…. Marshall threw a great curve ball to Dave Roberts to start the game off with a strikeout and then he left a fastball over the middle of the plate and Giles got the inning started. Marshall then walked Doug Mirabelli and gave up a two out double to Adrian Gonzalez….Giles scored….1-0….first run given up by Marshall in the spring. Vinny Castilla then promptly hit a 3-run homer to straight away center….4-0….all with 2 outs. Marshall had a 1-2-3 2nd inning….all ground ball outs. And in the 3rd is was Doug Mirabelli time….he hit a towering home run off of Marshall that still has not landed. Marshall pitched 4 2/3 innings, gave up 6 runs (all earned) on 7 hits, walked 2, struck out 3 and gave up 3 home runs. All of the base runners the Padres had against Marshall were with 2 outs. Marshall was on WGN from the dugout after he left the game and is attitude was positive….next Sunday we get to see what this kid is made of.
The rest of the pitching on Friday night in Vegas was decent. Michael Wuertz continued his rough spring by allowing 2 runs on 2 hits in a 1/3 of an inning of work. Wuertz said earlier in the week he was having problems with his mechanics….did he fix them? Will Ohman looked good on the 2 batters he struck out and horrible on the 2 he walked. Scott Williamson gave up a couple of hits….but he looked like his back is O.K. and Ryan Dempster finished up the game getting 3 ground outs to Jerry Hairston….he did walk one on 4 pitches.
The offense looked good at times, but the most impressive was Juan Pierre. Pierre played his best game of the spring. Although the box score shows 1 for 3…..he played a lot better. Pierre got a 2 out walk in the top of the 3rd and stole second. After that the San Diego pitcher, Chris Young, walked the next two Cubs he faced….Todd Walker and Derrek Lee. Can we say the Juan Pierre factor? Aramis popped up to end the inning. In the top of the 5th Ronny Cedeno led off the inning with a single and moved to 2nd on a fielder’s choice on a bunt by Sean Marshall, the ball got away from Mark Bellhorn and Cedeno took 3rd. Pierre then singled home Cedeno, Walker hit behind the runners and advanced Marshall and Pierre and Derrek Lee singled them home. The Cubs actually manufactured 3 runs….
The fourth Cubs run came in the top of the 9th, Michael Restovich singled with 2 outs and Buck Coats doubled him home.
Here is the box score from Cubs.com
Saturday – The Big League Weekend – Game Two, The San Diego Padres, 2:05pm C.S.T. – XM Channel 189, WGN TV
Greg Maddux vs. Dewon Brazelton
This is it….the last game of the 2006 Cactus League. The Cubs head to Cincinnati to start the season on Monday. With the 25-man roster set….the Cubs just need to have fun and get ready for the season.
The Cubs will work out on Sunday at 2:00pm C.S.T. at Great American Ball Park to prepare for the season opener.
I will be in Cincinnati on Monday for Opening Day and don’t forget the CCO goes live on Monday….are you ready to talk?