Cubs Play Long Ball with Dusty's Reds

Ryan Theriot had three hits, and Marlon Byrd, Mike Fontenot, and Jeff Baker mashed home runs, leading the Cubs to an 8-1 victory over Dusty Baker's Cincinnati Reds at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park under mostly cloudy skies in warm Mesa, AZ.


 


box score


The Cubs got off to an early 3-0 lead, putting up a three-spot against Reds starter Carlos Fisher in the bottom of the 1st inning.


Ryan Theriot led-off with a ground single to center, and scored when Tyler Colvin crushed a one-out double off the Oregano's sign in right-centerfield. Marlon Byrd followed with a two-run homer (his team-leading 4th dinger of the Spring) off the Dos Gringos taco stand well beyond the left-centerfield fence.


Working with a 3-0 lead, Cubs starter Randy Wells mostly cruised through 5.2 IP (93 pitches - 61 strikes, 8/3 GO/FO), allowing just one run in the top of the 5th on a single, a double, and an RBI ground out. For the day, Wells scattered seven hits (five singles and two doubles), allowing one hit in five of his six innings, and then two hits in the one-run 5th. But he only walked one while striking out five (including the last batter he faced, with a runner on 2nd and one out in the 6th).


Justin Berg got the final out in the 6th (one pitch resulting in a 5-3 GO) to strand an inherited runner, and then Sean Marshall worked the 7th & 8th (34 pitches - 22 strikes), allowing a hit and a walk while striking out four (2/0 GO/FO). Marshall's curve was breaking sharply today, and really fooled the Reds hitters. Marshall's performance was very impressive.


While Marshall was mowing down the Reds, the Cubs scored two in the 7th and three in the 8th.


Facing veteran RHP Kip Wells, Geovany Soto was hit by a pitch (a glancing blow) leading off the bottom of the 7th, and then Jeff Baker and Ryan Theriot lined singles to load the bases. Kosuke Fukudome walked on a 3-1 pitch to force-in a run, and Tyler Colvin racked-up his second RBI of the game on a 6-4 FC, leaving runners at 1st & 3rd and one out. But Marlon Byrd bounced into a 4-6-4 DP to end the inning, with the Cubs ahead 5-1.


Micah Hoffpauir led-off the bottom of the 8th against Reds lefty Matt Maloney with a line single to right, and scored when Mike Fontenot crushed a HR off the Bud Lite Party Pavilion beyond the two bullpens in RF. Then with two outs, Jeff Baker slammed a home run to the base of the scoreboard beyond the fence in LF.


Rookie LHP James Russell worked a scoreless 9th (14 pitches - 12 strikes), allowing one hit and a WP around a Ks, an F-8 (nice running catch by Sam Fuld in deep left-center with his back to the infield), and a game-ending "can o' corn" F-8. (Russell has allowed just one unearned run on seven hits and three walks with nine strikeouts in 11.0 IP this Spring).


Chad Tracy had an odd day at the plate, striking out twice (both looking) and flying out to CF, but he also just missed a HR down the RF line (ball went out of the park, but foul), and then in his next AB he just missed a line-drive double down the RF line (ball landed just outside the line in foul territory).


Supposedly still battling for a spot on the Cubs 25-man roster, veteran Kevin Millar pinch-hit in the bottom of the 8th against LHP Matt Maloney and popped-up to the shortstop in short-CF. I suspect if they can't find a reason to place him on the DL, the Cubs will ask Millar to accept a 30-day vacation with Mike Wellman in Des Moines, after-which he will either get brought up to Chicago or he can have his release. By then, it should be obvious whether Tyler Colvin is getting enough playing time to justify keeping him on the 25-man roster. Or perhaps a position player will get hurt sometime in April and land on the DL, opening up a spot for Millar.


The Cubs will play the Giants tomorrow at Scottsdale Stadium.

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Comments

I suspect if they can't find a reason to place him on the DL, the Cubs will ask Millar to accept a 30-day vacation with Mike Wellman in Des Moines, after-which he will either get brought up to Chicago or he can have his release.

Is Mike Wellman looking for a roommate? Millar would make a good middle-aged frat bro.

I suggest they live in a trailer outside the park.

Or a van, down by the river.

Things didn't work out so well for the last guy who did that...

Good breakdown of Caridad

http://www.cubsfx.com/2009/09/esmailin-carida...

I am interested to see how he will handle 8th inning relief when the game is on the line and runners in scoring position. I have read scouting reports that conclude he relies heavily on the fastball (big suprise when you throw 95-97), but my concern is his ability to command secondary pitches while mixing them up well enough to keep the opposition guessing. From all indication this spring, the kid throws strikes. He has only walked one in the 11 innings he has appeared in this spring. Granted, it is spring training which made me wonder how he will fare once the weather turns from spring break to fall break. The Cubs bullpen is the biggest and most important aspect of the 2010 season. The rotation should keep the team in the game and the offense, barring serious injury, should be able to score enough runs to compete (even if Soriano or Soto were to struggle). This team will need to concentrate on run production through efficient base running. I am concerned about the team's ability to run. They finished 15th overall in 2008 with 87 stolen bases and dead last with 56 in 2009. This 2010 team figures to finish near the bottom in stole bases again this year.

How much diff will DeJesus make at first rather than what's his name that was there last yeat. Maybe they should have Greg go over the oppositions moves to give them the edge on the jump. Also, don't steal in the first when the infield is still mud on the road. The Dodgers do that all the time and it's a mess. Utilize the bunt in the first to get the runner over and then have Joey Gaithright in there to take 3rd. He's available, you know, and he should have a car placed at third to get that extra step.

"I am interested to see how he will handle 8th inning relief when the game is on the line and runners in scoring position. "

I think I can say we are all interested in this, Dirt.

As well as: who will be the closer when/if Marmol does not get the job done?

If you have a graph or chart to help me out on this potentially season-deciding mystery, let me know.

Az. Phil, have the flood of minor league cuts and demotions started yet?

the latest to land where all former cubs go before they hang up the cleats...

http://twitter.com/Britt_Ghiroli/status/11304...

Britt might want to reconsider using her picture for her avatar.

ha ha
(nelson from the simpsons)

I have been traveling and out of the loop the last couple of weeks. Any nuggets on our new guys in the bullpen: Berg, Caridad, and Russel. That many rookies makes me nervous...if they don't throw strikes, Lou is sure to have a coronary in the dugout. Also, I can't wait to hear Santo try and pronounce "Esmailin Caridad"

Bruce Levine's blog will catch you up w/everyone's status. Except last night. Which was the first night of Passover, so I am sure he was at an AZ Seder.

in an hour or two

http://twitter.com/cst_cubs

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2010/03/...

"I feel confident that I'm going to be a Cubbie."

Hopefully the AAA version.

Hey, the Lenny Bruce of the clubhouse can stay w/ us, especially if he helps get me into the ballpark; having credential problems w/ the I-Cubs after 3 years w/ no problems; think it's 'The Sandberg Effect...'

BTW, gonna miss Opening Night in Des Moines, w/ or w/o creds, since it coincides w/ Opening Night @ the theater [our son's spring play @ school]; hoping to make my first start @ a matinee on Sunday, 4/11...

oh, that reminds me, I've got an email to send to someone on your behalf.

~grin~

you never miss a sign, Rob...

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