Cubs Bats Blast Rockies 9-8

Alfonso Soriano drove in two runs and reached base four times on two singles and two wallks, Milton Bradley had three hits including a double and a solo home run, and Geovany Soto drove in two runs with a double and a sacrifice fly, leading the Cubs to a hard-fought 9-8 victory over the Colorado Rockies this afternoon in front of a record Ho Ho Kam Park crowd of 13,298.

box score

The Cubs got off to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st inning against Rockies starter LHP Greg Smith  Alfonso Soriano led off with a single down the LF line, but was thrown out 7-4 trying to stretch the hit into a double. (Although he wasn't limping, Soriano seemed to be kind of jogging throughout the game). Ryan Theriot then doubled down the LF line, and Derrek Lee busted his bat while hitting a flare into short RF,scoring The Riot from second. Milton Bradley then fisted a bloop single into right-center, sending D-Lee from 1st to 3rd, and Aramis Ramirez lofted an F-8 SF to medium-deep CF to score Lee. 

Meanwhile, RHP Chad Gaudin got the start for the Cubs and labored through his two innings (54 pitches - 30 strikes), especially the 2nd, when he needed 37 pitches to get out of the inning. The Rockies got a runner as far as 2nd base in the top of the 1st but did not score, but they plated two runs (one earned) in the top of the 2nd.

With one out, Dan Ortmeier walked and advanced to second on a stolen base (bad throw by Soto, but Ortmeier held 2nd as the throw skipped into CF). Clint Barmes then ripped a single to CF to score Ortmeier, and  stole 2nd (the third SB of the game off Gaudin-Soto). Christian Colonel struck out swinging, but Rockies pitcher Greg Smith reached base and Barmes moved up to 3rd when Cubs 2B Aaron Miles bobbled Smith's easy roller that should have ended the inning. Ryan Spliborghs followed with a line-drive RBI single, tying the score at 2-2.

Neal Cotts and Kevin Gregg split the 3rd inning for the Cubs in what appreared to be a pre-arranged assignment (both had pitched partial innings yesterday in Phoenix), with Cotts retiring his two hitters on just eight pitches (left-handed hitting Seth Smith on a 3-U ground out and RH hitter Matt Murton on a routine F-9 fly ball), and then Gregg got his man (Chris Iannetta) on a fly out to CF on just four pitches.  

The Cubs took the lead in the bottom of the 3rd inning, scoring two more runs off Greg Smith. Milton Bradley (batting right-handed versus LHP Smith) yanked a solo HR over the LF fence with one out, and then with two outs, Reed Johnson reached base on an error (Rockies SS Omar Quintanilla booted an easy grounder hit right at him), and scored on an RBI double lined into the LF corner by Geovany Soto. Aaron Miles walked putting runners on 1st & 2nd with two outs, but PH Esteban German was called out on strikes, ending Smith's day after three innings of work.

Rookie RHP Randy Wells worked the next two innings for the Cubs (27 pitches - 15 strikes), and got five ground outs and a strikeout (Murton - swinging). He did allow a run, however, on a one-out RBI double by Colonel following a walk to Barmes in the 4th. 

Rockies closer Manuel Corpas walked three Cubs in a row to start the bottom of the 4th, but (unfortunately) Soriano was thrown out trying to steal on a 3-1 pitch to Theriot (second time Soriano has done that in the last week) before Theriot and D-Lee walked. But Bradley flied out to deep CF for the second out of the inning (although Theriot was too far down toward 3rd base to be able to tag up at 2nd), and then Aramis Ramirez struck out swinging to get Corpas off the hook. 

The Cubs did score three runs in the bottom of the 5th off veteran LHRP Alan Embree, however. Reed Johnson and Geovany Soto walked to lead-off the inning (the 4th and 5th Cub walks in just over an inning), and PH So Taguchi lined an RBI single to left-center to score Johnson and send Soto to second. German popped up to short left, keeping the runners at 1st and 2nd, but Soriano picked-up his reammate, ripping a double to left to score Soto and Taguchi and give the Cubs a 7-3 lead. Embree does not appear to have much left.

Jeff Samardzija pitched the top of the 6th, and had a poor outing (21 pitches - 14 strikes, 0/3 GO/FO), allowing two runs on three hits and a walk, with no strikeouts. He left almost all of his pitches up in the strike zone and the results actually could have been worse, but fortunately the outs were all "at 'em" balls.

The Cubs regained their four-run lead in the bottom of the 6th, scoring two runs off RHRP Ryan Speier. Milton Bradley smoked a double into the left-center alley, and after PR Joey Gathright advanced to third on a ground out, Reed Johnson ripped a triple into the right-center alley to score Gathright, and then Johnson scored easily on a Geovany Soto F-9 SF to deep right.

Mike Stanton made what will probably (hopefully) be his last appearance as a Cub, struggling through a 28-pitch 7th inning while trying to protect a four-run Cub lead. Dexter Fowler reached base to lead off the inning when Stanton was late covering 1st base (too bad, too, because Micah Hoffpauir made a fine stop), and then Fowler stole second. Chris Iannetta then bounced a single past SS Andres Blanco to score Fowler, and Dan Ortmeier hammered a one-out HR over the LF fence to cut the Cubs lead to 9-8. Stanton did manage to retire the last two hitters in the 7th (a 6-3 GO and an F-8 FO), but he sure didn't fool anybody in the process. I half-expected Cubs GM Jim Hendry (who sits in a front-row box seat right behind Lou Piniella and his coaches) to come out to the mound himself after the Ortmeier HR and personally take Stanton's uniform from him right then and there.

The Cubs threatened again the bottom of the 7th when Hoffpauir lined a double down the RF line into the corner, but Andres Blanco and PH Brad Snyder struck out swinging to end the threat. 

Rule 5 RHP David Patton (a former Rockies minor leaguer) worked the 8th for the Cubs, protecting a one-run lead, and retiring the side on 15 pitches (getting an L-9, P-3, and F-7 while allowing a two-out walk and a SB), and then RHRP Chad Fox pitched the 9th (14 pitches). 

Fox hit speedy Chris Frey to lead-off the 9th and then allowed Frey to steal 2nd (he wasn't paying attention to the runner), putting the tying run in scoring position. But the veteran retired the side on two fly outs and a game-ending strikeout (that being ex-Cub Mark Bellhorn, swinging just as hard as he possibly could at each pitch). 

The Cubs get a day off tomorrow, before resuming Cactus League play at Scottsdale Stadium versus the Giants Thursday night.   



Arizona Phil - Can you fill us in on the minor leaguers who were released by the Cubs today? Word has it that Ryan Harvey and others were released. Thanks for an awesome report as usual.

Thanks, Phil!

Waiting to hear some mea culpas on the subject of Milton Bradley...

Let's wait until the regular season for any "mea culpas" on anything, ok?

Since joining the team, Bradley hasn't hit a single meaningful home run in a regular season game. Hell, he hasn't even hit a dooble yet! And his plate discipline has been less than advertised ... no walks in Cubs regular season games so far. Hell, when I look out at right field at Wrigley, it's like he's not even there playing defense.

I apologize for thinking he'd bring some power to this team in the regular season. I was clearly wrong.

This made me smile.

Wow, 25 Cubs played in the game.

Yet another good outing this spring from Chad Fox. This guy is a character guy, in and out of the clubhouse. I look for him to coach/instruct when his playing days are over.

As for Jake Fox, seems you have to find a roster spot for a guy hitting .350 with 4 homers. Manny isn't a great defensive player, but teams find room for hitters.

and people thought greg "toe" nash had interesting taste in women...

43?!?!?! 20 year old future big leaguer is married to a 43 year old?

Excuse me for asking, but WHAT THE FUCK

Filthy slider, consistent 101 MPH fastball, 20 years old

Checkout the highlight video;_ylt=Av_eqJt11.8m...

yeah, he's the awesome. like prior, though...he may fall to 2nd+ in the draft because he WILL get a mlb-contract and it will pay huge (if healthy).

either way, he's pretty much supposed to be bigger than jesus on stilts.

Boras was saying he'll ask for a 50 million dollar MLB contract.  Argument being that like Matsuzaka, Strausberg can't really be considered a rookie and should get Matsuzaka-like money.

Geoff Young of Ducksnorts fame has been catching his San Diego State games, fwiw...

great summary...

Strasburg has received a great deal of hype, and deservedly so. I don’t have much to add that hasn’t already been said. And even if I did, I’m not sure I’d say it. Talent like his doesn’t need hype. It just needs health and an audience.

Az Phil: I doubt So Taguchi has a chance at a final 25 man roster spot. Is there any chance he'll stay in the organization and wait for a call-up when Soriano/Gathright goes on the DL?

(He's got the magic touch winding up in the World Series wherever he seems to land)

Well, he played for the Cardinals from 2002-2007 and made two WS just like the rest of them, and so he has actually only landed once in his career, last year with the Phillies.

But I am also wondering why he is here. At age 38 he hit 220/283/297 last year, he has no power or speed, and he is an average to below-average defender. Someone speculated on here that he might have been brought in for Fukudome during ST, but then Fukudome wasn't even here. So you got me. I would think he must be willing to go to the minors or he would have picked a team he had a better chance of making to sign a minor league deal with.

you do have to think that with 2 open spots on the 40-man and a few pitchers w/o options, something is going down. Maybe they're working with Stanton, Taguchi, or German to accept minor league assignments if the Cubs wll put them on the 40-man?

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  • I noticed that too. He's getting to everything, but when he gets right under it on a high flyball he looks uncomfortable

    cubbies.4ever 4 hours 21 min ago view
  • Did you expect anything different?

    billybucks 4 hours 51 min ago view
  • Wow, did they blow this game. Stupid plays by the kids in the 7th -- Almora throwing to 3rd instead of 2nd to keep the DP in order (when a DP probably wins the game) and Baez throwing to 3rd (to a backpedalling KB) instead of getting the easy 2nd out at first - cost them the game. Also, Contreras almost throws the ball into RF on a nonexistent pick-off play. And Maddon, for using Peralta in the first place. Did they do a bunch of shots in the dugout before the 7th? Unbelievably bad baseball. I thought Almora had a high baseball IQ?

    billybucks 5 hours 13 min ago view
  • men on 2nd/3rd, 0 out...and nothing.

    cubs lose :(

    crunch 5 hours 46 min ago view

    crunch 5 hours 55 min ago view
  • Getting tired of this Heywood weak sauce

    jacos 6 hours 6 min ago view
  • Yep, can't say I disagree with that. His first batter and resulting walk was just brutal. Reminded me of a bit of Jacque Jones spiking his throws into the ground from RF.

    Eric S 6 hours 15 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best.

    fixed that for ya.

    crunch 6 hours 22 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best. Hind sight is easy but Peralta had nothing.

    Eric S 6 hours 30 min ago view
  • make that just peralta...

    crunch 6 hours 30 min ago view
  • a.soriano new OF fielding coach?

    crunch 7 hours 34 min ago view
  • Why is Almora jumping up on catches?

    jacos 7 hours 36 min ago view
  • "Tommy La Stella (hamstring) will remain on his minor league rehab assignment through at least Friday."

    should be an interesting roster shuffle once these guys trickle back in. i imagine patton or peralta are on the hot seat for la stella's return.

    crunch 7 hours 56 min ago view
  • 6 pitches, 2 run lead.


    crunch 9 hours 4 min ago view
  • So am I. Point remains.

    Old and Blue 18 hours 54 min ago view
  • Not certain why the site has been slowed. Worked much of Wednesday on it and will continue today. Sorry for the inconvenience. I will probably take it offline for a while, but it will be up before the game against the Mets.

    WebAdmin 1 day 3 hours ago view