Friday, March 13, 2009

Let's play Two

The Cubs played two games today with one split squad losing in Tempe to the Angels 8-2, and the other winning at Hohokam 8-1 over the Seattle Mariners. In Tempe 8,876 showed up to see the Cubs and Angels, while 10,910 made it to Hohokam to enjoy the Cubs victory.

I'll talk about the game I witnessed at Hohokam where Sean Marshall once again looked very strong in his bid to lock up the 5th starter spot. The tall southpaw went 4 and a third innings giving up 1 run on 4 hits, and that run may not have scored if not for his own error. Marshall snared an attempted bunt in mid-air then rushed his throw in trying to double up on Prentice Redman at 1st, Sean's errant throw allowed Redman to reach 3rd base. Marshall left the game at that point to a strong ovation from the Hohokam crowd.

Two of the Cubs smaller guys did the biggest damage today, Sam Fuld and Andres Blanco both went yard in almost the exact same spot down the right field line. Both Fuld and Blanco had two hits a piece. Richie Robnett drove in two runs in the 8th as Mariner's left fielder Daniel Carroll and shortstop Daniel Noriega collided knocking the ball out of Carrol's glove. Reed Johnson, Mike Fontenot, and Koyie Hill all chipped in with RBI singles.

Scary moment as A-Ram swung all the way around on a strike and hit Mariner's catcher Jeff Clement in the head with his bat, it's a good thing catchers wear helmets. Clement shook it off and stayed in the game. This was one of those games spring training is known for, at one point Seattle had two #57's playing in the game at the same time, and Tyson Gillies who was listed in the starting lineup as #24 came to bat wearing jersey #96. Luckily I had the heads up from Cubs media relations man Jason Carr on that one. By the end of the game, the Cubs were fielding a lineup that included Jim Adduci, Nate Spears, Darwin Barney and newly acquired Esteban German.

We've had mostly seasonal average temperatures so far this spring, with highs in the mid 70's. Next week is spring break for many of the Arizona public schools, and it looks like things will be heating up weather wise, with high 80's expected by Tuesday.

No more split squads for the Cubs this spring and that's a good thing, as they're starting to cut the roster down. I'm posting a photo I took from yesterday's game of teammates Carlos Zambrano and Kosuke Fukudome playing against each other. Tomorrow it will be a full house at Hohokam as the Cubs will host the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim...still can't get used to that name. Talk to you after the game.

Z vs Dome at Hoho


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