Game Twelve – Cubs 0 Brewers 2
WP – Jeff Suppan (1-0) LP – Carlos Zambrano (0-1) Save – Chase Wright (1)
The Cubs losing streak in Cactus League play reached five on Saturday afternoon after being shutout by the Brewers. The Cubs put a runner on base in every inning but the eighth. The Cubs worked the count well against Brewers pitching. However, Brad Snyder recorded the only walk of the afternoon in the ninth with two outs.
Carlos Zambrano gave up two runs on four hits in three innings of work with five strikeouts. One of the four hits came courtesy of a misplayed ball in left by Alfonso Soriano. Both Brewers runs came in the second on an infield hit by Mike Lamb and a throwing error by Zambrano.
The Cubs pen did another good job on Saturday and kept the Brewers off the board. Angel Guzman was very impressive in relief of Zambrano. Guzman retired the Brewers in order on 10 pitches, seven for strikes.
Jason Waddell continued to make noise with a scoreless fifth inning that included two strikeouts. Rule 5 pick David Patton notched two perfect innings. Patton struck out three of the six batters he faced.
The Cubs offense, especially Alfonso Soriano, must start swinging the bat better in the coming week. Aramis Ramirez had a nice line drive single to left in the sixth but other than that the bats look slow after the first 12 games of the schedule…. Carlos Zambrano, Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez recorded three of the Cubs seven hits with Reed Johnson, Darwin Barney, So Taguchi and Mark Johnson accounting for the other four. The Cubs look flat and slow at the plate but with Lou Piniella’s comments on Friday, they should start stepping it up soon.
Carlos Zambrano at times was sharp on Saturday afternoon. He did look like he was getting ready to blow right after he threw the ball down the first base line. Zambrano kept it together and the five strikeouts in three innings was impressive.
The other promising pitching performance belonged to Angel Guzman. The former top pitching prospect is out of options and reportedly must make the team…he is not guaranteed a spot. Guzman threw a perfect inning and mixed his pitches well with good command.
Sean Marshall is slated to start on Sunday against the Rangers at HoHoKam Park. Derrek Lee is expected in the starting lineup against Matt Harrison.