Thursday, March 24, 2005

No Kerry, but Cubs Swing Plenty of Wood

I arrived at HoHoKam Park this morning only to find out today's starting pitcher, Kerry Wood, had been scratched. Apparently, he had a battle with the mattress, and the mattress won. Wood woke up this morning with tightness in his lower back, and since he hadn't pitched since March 9th, Dusty decided to err on the side of caution. Woody's going to need to some live game pitching before the end of spring training if he's going to start the regular season home opener.
On the plus side, Mark Prior had a good bullpen session today and looks like he's really coming around.

Throwing out a ceremonial first pitch today was ex Cubs pitcher Les Lancaster, (see pic below) who is now the manager of the Mesa Miners team of the new independent Golden Baseball League. One of the investors in the League is Chicago baseball fan, Pat Sajak. The Miners will play their home games at HoHoKam Park starting May 26th.

Starting in place of Wood was Glendon Rusch, trying to lower his spring training 13.09 ERA. He sure as heck did that, by throwing 5 innings of shut out ball, allowing only 4 hits with 4 K's. The Cubs 11 hits and 5 runs were more than enough to take care of the Oakland A's 5 - 2. Michael Barrett, a long HR. Nomar, Corey Patterson, and Jason Dubois each had 2 hits!

Because of Joe Borowski's injury, the Cubs are going to need LaTroy Hawkins as a closer, at least early on. LaTroy came in for the 9th, gave up a hit, but he ended the game and earned the save by striking out A's pinch hitter Charles Thomas.

Unusual weather for Mesa this time of year, mostly sunny but a cool 55 degrees at first pitch. Compared to the midwest, nobody's complaining, as evidenced by the sell-out crowd of 12,718.

Cubs wives held their annual charity food drive and auction, and raised over $15,000 for Mesa's Paz de Cristo community center. The big prize of the auction was a signed Greg Maddux jersey, which fetched $2,750.

Sold out game tomorrow at HoHoKam, as the Cubs take on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Orange County of Close to Disneyland of Southern California of We're still looking for big money to buy more Names for our Name.
Talk to you after tomorrow's game.

Les throws out today's first pitch


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