Thursday, April 01, 2010

Shuttin' Down the Rocks

Soriano goes yard in Cubs win
BOS Photos by John Antonoff

The Cubs closed out their home portion of the 2010 spring schedule with a 2-0 shutout of the Colorado Rockies. The 2 runs came courtesy of an Alfonso Soriano homer in the 6th.

That's all the Cubs would need as they got solid pitching again from Carlos Silva who tossed 5 innings allowing 6 hits with 1 K. Silva wasn't spectacular but pounded the strike zone, he generally doesn't compound his problems with walks and he didn't issue a free pass today.
Carlos Marmol looked like the closer the Cubs hope to see this year, pitching a good inning in the 6th striking out tough hitters Todd Helton and Troy Tulowitzki. The rest of the Cubs pitchers held Colorado in check.

The Cubs didn't do alot of hitting today but Alfonso Soriano was hot going 3-for-3, including the decisive homerun. Cubs fans know how streaky Soriano is at the plate, when he's hot he can hit almost anything, when he's not he can look hapless.

Earlier in the week the weather was predicted to be fairly ugly with rain today and tomorrow, along with cool temperatures. April brought a beauty today and that's no foolin. The crazy spring weather saw 65 degrees at the start of today's game in Mesa and 83 degrees in Chicago at the same time. This season we had an unusually high number of rainouts in the Cactus League with 7, however the Grapefruit League easily trumped that with 19 games rained out. Can you imagine driving a couple hours one way only to be rained out?

We had 10,005 at Hohokam today, raising the Cubs home spring attendance to 152,493 for 14 games, or an average of 10,892 per game - that was actually more per game than last years average of 10,690 (19 games). The 2010 average per game was down from 2008, but near identical to the the 16 home games in 2007. Considering the weather, poor scheduling and economy the 2010 Cubs attendance numbers are very solid.

Our National Anthem today was performed by Malina Moye who did a Jimi Hendrix-esque electrified guitar version of the Star Spangled Banner...I could see some wincing from the old school crowd.

A foul ball took a one hop bounce into Len Kasper and Bob Brenly's booth, fortunately no announcers were harmed in the process. The Hohokams hold a 50/50 raffle during each game raising proceeds that are split between a lucky fan and United Way charities. They raised over $25,000 for the charity throughout the season.

As is the case in these games minor leaguers tend to get involved in the late innings and one of my new all-time favorite "Cubs-to-be" names entered the game at the end: Smaily Borges. That's a fun one to announce.

Frightening sight of the day, Aramis Ramirez getting hit by a pitch in the 4th inning, he should be fine but was taken out as a precaution. More frightening sight- right below me in the stands was a mom and her crying infant with his head shaved and a 3 to 4 inch high mohawk going down the middle, and the mother with about a 4 inch long St. Louis Cardinal logo tattooed on her neck- need I say more?

The Cubs have two more exhibition games here in AZ at Chase Field against the Diamondbacks on Friday and Saturday. I'm very excited about Opening Day in Atlanta on Monday! Be sure to check back here over the weekend or for sure on Monday morning as I will have my complete run-down of the Cubs roster including my thoughts on the upcoming season.

Hak-Ju Lee one of the Cubs rising minor leaguers


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