Lee and Ramirez Power Cubs Past Angels

Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez each had three hits and two RBI, leading the Cubs to an 8-7 victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Tempe's Diablo Stadium today. box score I wasn't at the game, so you'll have to check with those who heard the game on the radio or who saw it for the exact particulars. I do know that Jason Marquis was the starting pitcher for the Cubs, and he went 4.1 IP, giving up seven hits, four runs (all earned), two walks, and two HR, plus two K. Just like in his last start, Marquis apparently pitched fairly well, but was victimized by the Gopher Ball. Three of the runs he allowed scored as the result of home runs (a solo HR by Vladimir Guerrero with two outs in the 1st, and a two-run shot by Garrett Anderson in the 4th). But Marquis did finish with an 8/3 GB/FB, so apparently his sinker was working most of the time. I was at the minor camp at Fitch Park today, and watched the AAA and AA games. There were no players from the big league camp there today, and there was also no sign of the four who got sent down by the Cubs earlier today (Felix Pie, Les Walrond, Tomas Perez, and Koyie Hill). However, I would expect them to be with the Iowa club by tomorrow. In today's AAA game at Fitch Field #3, the Iowa Cubs dropped a 5-2 decision to the Sacramento River Cats (OAK). LHP B. J. Mathes (who was a rotation starter at AA West Tenn last year) got the start for Iowa, and retired the first nine batters he faced and looked very good in the process. However, he ran into all kinds of trouble in the 4th, and was removed with only one out in the 5th (4.1 IP) after allowing four hits, three runs (earned), and one walk, with three K. Cory Bailey, Bobby Brownlie, and Hector Almonte finished up, and Almonte (a refugee from the Mexican League) was actually somewhat awful (2.0 IP, two H, two runs, two walks, and a HR). Bobby Brownlie looked OK, though (1.2 IP, one hit, a K, 3/1 GB/FB). On offense, Iowa got a solo HR and a double from 3B Scott Moore (and he was also thrown out at the plate on a line single to the outfield by Mike Fontenot), a single and a double (and run scored) from 1B Micah Hoffpauir (with his stroke and power and hustling attitude, if they can get him some PT in LF at Iowa this season, I can envision Hoffpauir as a future MLB-caliber 1B-LF-LHPH bench guy), and a double from 2B Eric Patterson (who also bobbled one ball at second-base, but it was ruled a hit). Casey McGehee was the starting catcher, and he handled himself pretty well behind the plate for a guy who is learning the nuances of a new position, although the River Cats were two-for-two against him in SB attempts. With Pie, T. Perez, and K. Hill expected to arrive at the minor league camp (probably) tomorrow, erstwhile Iowa Cubs like outfielders Josh Kroeger (ex-AZ OF who has had a nice ST) and Val Pascucci (ex-MON and Japanese league RF who hasn't), IF-OF Gary Cates (the #1 utility guy at AA West Tenn last year), and catcher Tony Richie (the back-up catcher at AA West Tenn last year) are probably "on the bubble," with their best hope an assignment to AA, although a release is also a possibility. It's also possible that Mike Fontenot will get traded sometime prior to Opening Day, maybe to another organization's AAA club where he can play 2B every day (Eric Patterson has sewn-up that gig at Iowa), although Fontenot did play SS today, and I guess he possibly could remain with the Iowa Cubs if he can beat-out Carlos Rojas for the starting SS job or Tomas Perez for the infield utility job. The problem is, he's not exactly built to play SS, and he isn't really versatile or athletic enough to play multiple positions, either. He's basically a second-baseman. Period. In the AA game on Fitch Park Field #2, the Tennessee Smokies beat the Midland RockHounds 9-2. RHP Justin Berg (the guy the Cubs got from NYY for Matt Lawton a couple of years ago, and a rotation starter at Daytona last year) pitched VERY well, struggling a little bit in the first inning, but then settling down and dealing the rest of the way. For the day, Berg went 5.0 IP, allowing only three hits, one run (earned), a walk, and four K. He also got a ton of ground balls in his last three innings, as the Cubs (as an organization) seem to be encouraging pitchers to "pound the strike zone" with two-seamers. LHP Jerry Blevins worked two innings (no runs, three hits, a couple of Ks), as did RHP John Webb (one run, two doubles, a walk, and a WP). The Smokies were really cookin' at bat today, putting up a "six spot" in the bottom of the first, capped by a bases-loaded RBI triple by SS Joe Simokaitis. Other Smokies who had days of note at the plate include catcher Jake Fox (RBI double), RF Matt Ciaramella (three singles and an RBI), 1B Brian Dopirak (RBI single), DH Issmael Salas (RBI single), and rookie CF Edgar Herrera (signed out of the Dominican Republic just last August), who had a single and two RBI--and constantly missed the cut-off man or threw to the wrong base--while spending the day with the AA team. For anyone planning to attend the Cubs minor league ST games tomorrow, the AAA/AA road games at the Angels Diablo Complex and the A+/A home games at Fitch Park will start an hour earlier than usual (high noon). And Manny Trillo might want to get himself a plane ticket to Mesa, because Carlos Zambrano will be pitching in a minor league ST game at Fitch Park versus either the Giants' AAA team (Fresno Grizzlies) or AA team (Connnecticut Defenders on Wednesday (so that Mark Prior can start the Cubs MLB ST game versus COL at HoHoKam). The Chicago Cubs return to HoHoKam Park tomorrow, where they will face the Kansas City Royals (who will be making their one and only visit to Mesa this year). Rich Hill is supposed to be the starter for the Cubs. FWIW, Hill has yet to allow a walk this ST in 10.0 IP.
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Comments

Marquis pitched better than his line would indicate. 2 of the runs could have been unearned.

FYI: TJ surgery for Edward Campusano.

The excuses for Marquis are already tiresome, and the season hasn't even started.

I just hope this hitting keeps up through April.

I believe the pitching staff will be carried by Z, Lilly, and Hill.

You can't win in it April, but you sure can lose it.

Jason Marquis is being counted upon heavily. Hopefully he can do a serviceable enough job in 2007.

Conspiracy theory alert--

2002 All-star Game due to drunk pitcher according to Andrew Jackso...I mean Peter Gammons.

http://www.seattlest.com/archives/2007/03/25/...

Was Farnsworth an All Star?

does anyone know why the poll on the si mlb website for the cubs does not include "the cub reporter" for best cub blog?

Because SI is the most irrelevant sports website.

CT Steve:
"The excuses for Marquis are already tiresome, and the season hasn’t even started."

Funny, I was thinking the same thing. Just like when people make excuses for him about being left in a couple games last year to help the pen. Unfortunately, I think there will be many more times for excuses this year with Marquis.

But one thing I am concerned about is the poor defense and so many unearned runs the Cubs have had this ST. I think pitchers are going to be put in bad situations this year with innings being extended and i just don't think we have anywhere good enough of a pitching staff to overcome that.

I'll be interested to see how the pitching lines change when we move north and the infields don't play so darned quick.

Seems like I've seen a lot of grounders that would have been awfully routine anywhere else squirt through because the infield is so hard.

Even more so than normal. They seem a lot harder and faster than i can recall in years past.

that's what she said

Hi-oooohhhh!

ok. cahd. for those of us who sometimes go to irrelevant websites, si's included, why would they exclude what is, at least for me, the best cub's site (the cub reporter)?

btw, the updated si baseball website is pretty good.

Ed McMahon references will probably be missed by most readers. I appreciated it though.

You are correct, sir!

Hey everyone, been away for awhile. Believe me, we've noticed the slight, and let them know we think they're mistaken.

Since all three of the Ed McMahon lines have been used up, I'll go with "Weird, Wild Stuff."

Carnac says, "Always a sign of spring"

Kerry Wood on the DL

she said that too

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...

Cedeno pretty much officially makes team.

Tigers only need to keep Campusano for 90 days on their active roster in 2008 now.

Henry,

I was bashing SI, sure. but by saying that, I was pointing out, 'who cares what the hell SI thinks' Why would they leave us off? Because they have bad taste.

Jacos you bastard! I read post #13 and was ready to type that!!! Well played sir, well played.

Hehe, I know some Futurama quoting when I see it.

I sure hope Fry's wing dang doodle is ok.

Anyways, I just noticed Wade Miller has 14 strikeouts this spring. That is kind of unusual for a guy not working with alot of velocity. Unless I missed his velocity was up? But that sure is a good sign he is missing bats like that, he might have some life still left in him.

433 and Jacos just made my day!

Baseballfan:

Marquis pitched better than his line would indicate. 2 of the runs could have been unearned.

Yeah, 2 or 3 of those runs were due to sloppy play by Theriot. It was good to see Piniella getting on him after that inning. I like Theriot and everything, but he's been around the game long enough to know to get the sure out in that situation. Fortunately, sloppy play by Theriot is the exception rather than the rule.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/...

Journalist professors everywhere should print this article out and use it as an example of irresponsible journalism.

Considering Wood already is pitching with a rotator-cuff tear discovered in the shoulder last August, he might be fortunate to return to the mound by June.

That's all well and good and it might even turn out to be true, but his bit of speculation there isn't based off any medical reports or even any insider info from a team doctor or anything. And $20 says someone throws this in the comments of some blog or writes a blog post saying that Wood will be out until June so says the Sun-Times, even though at this point they haven't even done an MRI and really have no idea when he'll be ready.

Meh....

Kerry Wood
Mark Prior
Ronald Reagan

Question: Name 3 people who are dead to me.

I hold in my hand the final envelope.

~HOOORAY!!~

May your sister have a triple date with OJ Simpson, Robert Blake and Phil Spector.

Z contract window closing-
6 Days

'Since May 22, 2002, when Prior was recalled from Triple-A Iowa, Prior and/or Wood have been on the DL 430 days out of a total 859 days. Both of them have been on the DL at the same time for 176 days, or 20.5 percent' ......from chicago.cubs.mlb.com

Kind of says it all, doesn't it?

...but Prior has great mechanics.

…but Prior has great mechanics.

-------------

So does Danica Patrick!

"Journalist professors everywhere should print this article out and use it as an example of irresponsible journalism."

Good for you Rob!

We had a long lecture on these issues in a Grad class I was taking. With fierce competition and the pressure to "be the first", things like the "no-source rule", and "throw it out there and see what happens", are becoming the rule of thumb for many "journalists".

Remember that band Mike & the Mechanics? They sang such gems as "All I Need Is a Miracle" and "Over My Shoulder." It seems like there should be a pretty good joke in there somewhere -- "Mark & His Mechanics" etc.

On a side note, how weird is it that there was a band called "Katrina & the Waves"? I wonder if people in New Orleans hate that band.

433 I noticed that too. It's a bit eerie.

Well, you could use the line from one of Mike and the Mechanic's songs for Prior: "taken in, taken in again..."

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