Mark Prior threw four solid innings at Peoria in his best outing of the Spring, and Jeff Samardzija threw four shutout innings in a minor league game at Fitch Park today, before the next round of thunderstorms crashed through the Valley of the Sun.
Making his first appearance in a big league ST game in almost two weeks, Prior gave up four hits and one run (earned), one walk, and two strikeouts in four innings (2/8 GB/FB). Rich Hill, who was scheduled to pitch the last four or five innings at Peoria in relief of Prior, was only able to throw one inning (one hit, two K) before a downpour ended the game after five innings, with the Padres on top 1-0.
The Cubs could do absolutely nothing with Greg Maddux (five innings, three hits, no runs, no walks, no strikeouts), getting only three hits against their ex-teammate, the loudest of which was a double by Derrek Lee. Ryan Theriot was 1-2 (single) with a SB. Mark Prior had the other hit.
Meanwhile Jeff Samardzija threw four innings (44 pitches) for the Daytona Cubs against the Stockton Ports (OAK A+) at Fitch Park (minor league camp) in Mesa, as the D-Cubs defeated the Ports 2-0. The Shark gave up six hits (three infield singles, two ground singles to the outfield, and one broken bat bloop) in his four innings of work, as he pounded the strike zone with sinkers and sliders (no walks, one K, 9/2 GB/FB, with three GIDP) that kept the young A's off balance and constantly chopping balls into the ground. After throwing 22 pitches in his first inning of work (two infield hits, K, FO, and GO), Samardzija threw only 22 pitches over his last three innings, and he got about 95% ground balls. He is definitely wise beyond his years.
Bob Howry, Cliff Floyd, and Henry Blanco did not make the trip to Peoria, and instead stayed in Mesa and played in the Daytona game at Fitch. Howry threw one inning (25 pitches), giving up a ground single and a walk, with one K. Floyd was 2-2 with a line single off the third-baseman's glove, and an RBI double off the top of the high Fitch Park outfield fence in right-center. Floyd seems to run OK once he gets a head of steam going, but it's painful to watch him limp and wince when he's walking. He is NOT 100%, that's for dang sure.
Blanco was 1-4 with a line single two left, plus two infield ground outs and a fly out to LF, and Tyler Colvin was 1-2 with a ground single to CF.
With the need to get his pitchers work, Lou Piniella may have several of his hurlers throw in minor league games at Fitch Park over the next couple of days.