Byrd-Scales Tag Team Too Much for Friars

Marlon Byrd doubled twice, walked once, and scored three runs, and Bobby Scales walked with the bases loaded to drive-in one run and cracked a two-run HR to knock-in two more, leading the Cubs to a 9-4 victory over the San Diego Padres in Cactus League action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in warm and sunny Mesa, AZ, this afternoon.



box score


Battling for the 5th starter job, Andrew Cashner got the start for the Cubs today (2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 45 pitches - 23 strikes, 3/2 GO/FO), and he had all kinda trouble finding the strike zone in his first inning of work (24 pitches - only nine strikes). The Padres scored just one run off of him in the 1st, but he allowed four baserunners (a ground-rule double sliced down the LF line by Max Venable to lead-off the game, a Brad Hawpe two-out RBI single, and and two walks) before escaping the jam with no further damage. Cashner settled down in the 2nd inning (21 pitches - 14 strikes), allowing just a one-out excuse-me check-swing opposite-field single by rival pitcher Wade LeBlanc. Cashner tends to throw more pitches-per-inning than your average pitcher, and if he can't be more efficient and throw more strikes, the high per-inning pitch count could jeopardize his future as a starting pitcher. But if he does not claim a job in the starting rotation, he should have a slot waiting for him in the bullpen, where he can hit 100 MPH with his fastball when he knows he is going to throw only one inning. 


The Cubs answered with one of their own in the bottom of the 1st against Padres stater Wade LeBlanc. Marlon Byrd sliced a two-out double into the RF corner, and then scored on an Aramis Ramirez "seeing-eye" ground single between 3rd and short. 


Randy Wells relieved Cashner to start the 3rd, and the Padres took the lead when Chase Headley doubled into the LF corner, stole 3rd base, and scored an unearned run when the throw from catcher Koyie Hill ticked-off Aramis Ramirez's glove for an E-5. Wells ended up throwing three innings (46 pitches - 31 strikes, 5/1 GO/FO), and looked good.


Meanwhile, the Cubs came back to score three in the 3rd, two in the 4th, and one in the 6th, to take a 7-2 lead. 


Kosuke Fukudome led off the 3rd with a ground ball single to center, but was picked-off 1st (nifty move by LeBlanc) when he left early on what was apparently going to be a hit & run. Starlin Castro followed the pick-off with a line-drive single to center, and advanced to 3rd on a Marlon Byrd double into the LF corner (Byrd's second double of the day). Aramis Ramirez walked to load the bases, and after Carlos Pena was called out on strikes, Alfonso Soriano picked up his new teammate, ripping a two-run single to score Castro and Byrd. Jeff Baker then followed the Sori 2-RBI with a line-drive RBI single of his own to score Ramirez with the Cubs third run of the inning, sending LeBlanc to the showers.   


The Cubs scored twice in the 4th, as Padres reliever Simon Castro had control issues. With one out, Fukudome singled, stole second, advanced to 3rd on a throwing error by SD catcher Hundley, and then scored on a WP. Then with two outs, Byrd walked, Ramirez was hit by a pitch, and Pena walked to load the bases. Alfonso Soriano then hit what should have been an inning-ending bounce-out to 3rd, but Headley bobbled the ball for an E-5, as Byrd scored an unearned run.


The Cubs scored a run in the bottom of the 6th with no hits, as SD RHRP Aaron Pareda could not find the strike zone. Augie Ojeda, Brad Snyder, and Josh Vitters walked to load the bases (with Vitters showing excellent patience, taking close pitches for balls on both the 2-2 pitch and the 3-2 pitch). But Bryan Lahair popped out to short left (Ojeda wisely held 3rd) and Lou Montanez popped-up weakly in the infield, leaving it all up to Bobby Scales, who worked the bases-loaded walk to perfection.   


Jay Jackson pitched the 6th and 7th for the Cubs, and after logging a shutout 6th despite struggling with his control (22 pitches - only 11 strikes), he got a lot of his pitches up in the strike zone in the 7th, allowing two solo home runs (one to Aaron Cunningham and the other to Mike Baxter) and two long fly outs, as the Padres cut the Cub lead to 7-4. 


But Scales gave the Cubs some breathing room in the bottom of the 8th, lofting a one-out opposite-field two run HR off 6'6 RHP Brad Brach that just barely cleared the LF fence, plating Bryan Lahair, who had led-off the inning with a ringing double into the RF corner. 


Scott Maine had an easy 1-2-3 8th and Robert Coello threw a shutout 9th (allowing one walk) to complete the Cub victory.


Today's crowd was not a complete sell-out (although the lawn seating did sell-out 30 minutes before the start of the game), but at least attendance was more robust (10,445) than was the case at HoHoKam earlier in the week (6,229 on Opening Day last Sunday, 5,405 on Monday, and 6,892 on Thursday). 


The Cubs will divide into split squads tomorrow, playing one game against the Dodgers at HoHoKam, and another versus the Reds in Goodyear.  

Return to Homepage

Comments

Thanks PHIL.

IS it a foregone conclusion that even if Hill should go hitless for the Spring, Max Ramirez will not have a real shot at making this team?

And, if yes, was there some strategy behind signing him to a minor league deal that I am missing, since he is out of options?

Noting the play of our "stubby-fingered" catcher so far, and his empty bat from the fan's viewpoint, it appears as if there is almost nothing he can do to get off the team as the pitchers like throwing to him.

Submitted by The E-Man on Sun, 03/06/2011 - 10:07am.
Thanks PHIL.

IS it a foregone conclusion that even if Hill should go hitless for the Spring, Max Ramirez will not have a real shot at making this team?

And, if yes, was there some strategy behind signing him to a minor league deal that I am missing, since he is out of options?

Noting the play of our "stubby-fingered" catcher so far, and his empty bat from the fan's viewpoint, it appears as if there is almost nothing he can do to get off the team as the pitchers like throwing to him.

========================================

E-MAN: I suspect the reason the Cubs claimed Max Ramirez off waivers was as an insurance policy in case Geovany Soto's shoulder was not 100% to start the season and/or if Soto or Koyie Hill started the season on the DL. (The Cubs do not believe that Welington Castillo is ready for MLB yet).

Otherwise M. Ramirez probably has virtually no chance of making the Cubs Opening Day 25-man roster, unless a trade occurs prior to Opening Day that opens up a spot.

"The Cubs do not believe that Welington Castillo is ready for MLB yet"

it took me a week+ to catch on that's it's not a competition, but it sure seems that way and then some.

what's to be done with m.ramirez if he doesn't make the club over k.hill?

robinson/castillo/ramirez...it looks like a 3-ready-for-AAA logjam.

It wasn't a minor league deal. The problem is, we can't send him to the minors unless he clears waivers. Since four catchers have been somewhat to severely injured this spring Max in Iowa looks highly unlikely. Houston would gobble him up. So, yeah, why sign him if you're just going to release him?

Submitted by tim815 on Sun, 03/06/2011 - 8:52pm.
It wasn't a minor league deal. The problem is, we can't send him to the minors unless he clears waivers. Since four catchers have been somewhat to severely injured this spring Max in Iowa looks highly unlikely. Houston would gobble him up. So, yeah, why sign him if you're just going to release him?

===================================

TIM: The Cubs claimed Max Ramirez off waivers right after they opened up a couple of slots on the 40-man roster with the Garza trade.

I strongly suspect that Ramirez was claimed as insurance in case something happens to Soto or Hill during Spring Training, or if Soto's shoulder isn't 100% at the start of the season (although so far so good).

If Soto and Hill get through Spring Training healthy, and unless the Cubs open up a roster slot with a trade (which is unlikely), I would think that M. Ramirez will probably get claimed off waivers by another MLB club if the Cubs try to send him to AAA, so they might decide to try and trade him before they put him on waivers.

woo...good ol' cash considerations!

2 hours and change til the first televised cubs game...woos.

RF Fuke, LF Johnson, CF Byrd, 3B Ramy, 1B LaHair, C Soto, 2B Baker, SS Barney, P Dempster (LAD, TV)

2B DeWitt, SS Castro, DH Colvin, LF Sori, 1B Pena, 3B Smith, CF Jackson, C Hill, RF Adduci (CIN, non-TV)

Scheduled to pitch for the Cubs this Sunday:

Dumpster,
Welly,
Coleman,
McNutt,
Rice,
Smit,
Marmz
Diamond,
Mateo,
Stevens

So I'm just guessing but THAT guy who hasn't pitched since 2/27 must not be healthy.

Who's Welly and Rice and how come there are 10 guys scheduled and why should we know who "THAT guy" is?

wellemeyer (cin starter)

rice = scott rice (i think)

"Who's Welly and Rice and how come there are 10 guys scheduled and why should we know who "THAT guy" is?"

What are dumb questions?

like, people know who scott rice is.

hell, i dunno who you're talking about with 2/27, myself.

-edit-

he's talking about grabow...

Oh, of course, Grabow! How did I not realize that he hadn't pitched since 2/27, since that's all the internet has been flooded with for the last week? At least it wasn't Marmol.

Once again, WGN TV doesn't have HD cameras at spring training. WTF??

it takes all of 10 minutes for len/bob to stop talking about the game and start talking about weather and fishing.

they're in mid-season form.

"two errors on 1 play...been there, done that." - bob brenley, allstar 3rd baseman

horrible pop/rock on the fan cam...the production crew is in midseason form.

Agree, they are thoroughly annoying. They can't be bothered to watch the game and report on it. Brenly, especially, has been saving stuff up all winter. I didn't know Vitters was up until I was able to read the back of his shirt from a centerfield camera view. When he hit a smash up the middle, Len woke up and said "Vitters" for the first time. (Before that they were talking about the little gnomes someone had placed on the rolled-up tarp.)

If you care about spring training telecasts, you've probably got some other issues.

wellemeyer only goes 2ip today...

wellemeyer - 2ip 3h 1er 1bb 2k
dumpster - 4ip 3h 1er 0bb 3k

I liked the way Diamond pitched today, that one 2 strike belt high fastball aside. He didn't seem flustered or like he had to struggle to find the plate. I can get behind him as the long man instead of Looper o Wellemyer.

Agree about Diamond. Mateo looked in charge, too.

Byrd solidifying third spot

Ugh

Laura Ricketts being interviewed by Len, "We have a great roster of veterans and young people."

I was just amused by that.

My 82 year old father asked-

"she's not going to be in the booth for every game, is she?"

haaha

lol. I'd rather have her than any of her brothers, though. She seems to be less offensive, at least to me, but I would rather not see them out there all the time.

cubs being 1-hit by CIN through 6...to the bottom 6th with CIN up by 8 (bad day for mcnutt and coleman)

Max Ramirez now catching (8th inning).

a group of loud weirdos trying to start the wave at the LAD game...denied. very denied.

FREE BOBBY SCALES!!!

*gruff voice* WAY TO GO...BOBBAY!!! *gruff voice*

CUBS WIN!!! BOTTOM 10TH WALKOFF HOMER!!!

yeah, spring, so what?

Play that funky music, DJ!

BobbyScalesForStartingSS.com

Koyieieieieieieieie Hill? 0-13? Please make it stop.

FREE KOYIEIEIIEIEIEIEIEIEIE HILL!

X
  • Sign in with Twitter