Golden Bear Cub Comes Through When It Counts
Brett Jackson rifled an RBI single into the LF corner with two outs in the bottom of the 9th to score Jim Adduci from 2nd base with the winning run, as the Cubs scored one in the 8th and one in the 9th to edge the Cleveland Indians 2-1 in Cactus League action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in sunny & warm Mesa this afternoon.
Randy Wells got the start for the Cubs today, and threw four shutout innings (57 pitches - 35 strikes, 6/3 GO/FO), allowing a single and a walk while striking out two. Kerry Wood pitched the 5th and struck out the side (S. Duncan-Valbuena-Donald) after allowing a lead-off single to Travis Buck, and Andrew Cashner pitched the final four innings (55 pitches - 33 strikes), allowing one run (a solo HR by Jayson Nix, the second batter Cashner faced). Cashner's command was a little bit spotty, but he got a ton of ground balls (7/1 GO/FO), and may have taken the lead in the battle for the 5th starter job (with Randy Wells now solidly #4) with his performance today. For the day, Cashner allowed just the one run (the Nix HR) on three hits and a walk, plus three stikeouts and one GIDP, in 4.0 IP.
Meanwhile, Cleveland pitchers threw 5.2 IP of no-hit ball at the Cubs, as Tribe starter Justin Masterson threw three perfect innings (with five strikeouts) and Jeanmar Gomez followed with three innings of one-hit shutout ball (including three punch-outs). The Cubs didn't even have a baserunner until one out in the bottom of the 6th, when Koyie Hill drew a walk. But with pitcher Andrew Cashner at bat, Hill was thrown out at 2nd base on a busted "butcher boy" hit & run play where Cash faked the bunt and then swung away (and missed), and then Cashner immediately followed the Hill CS with a line-drive single to left, the Cubs first hit of the day.
Down 1-0 going into the bottom of the 8th, Marquez Smith ripped a one-out double down the left-field line off Frank Herrmann, advanced to 3rd base on a Wild Pitch, and then scored when Indians catcher Chun-Hsiu Chen made an inadvisable (and errant) throw to 3rd base trying to nab Smith (who had already arrived at the bag). Chen had a bad day behind the dish today, with the critical E-5 and a PB.
With the score tied 1-1, Jim Adduci led-off the bottom of the 9th for the Cubs, beating out an infield hit. Fernando Perez then laid down a bunt and reached safely on a SH-FC when Cleveland pitcher Vinny Pestana tried to force the speedy Adduci at 2nd base (Pestana had absolutely no chance). But Scott Moore popped-out into short LF and Josh Vitters popped out to right-center, leaving it up to Brett Jackson (the Cubs 2009 1st round draft pick out of Cal), who came into the AB hitting .063 (1-16) in Cactus League action. And the Golden Bear came through, hammering the first pitch he saw into the LF corner, scoring Adduci from 2nd base with the winning run.
Today was "Ron Santo Day" at HoHoKam Park, with a pre-game ceremony featuring the Ricketts Family, Ferguson Jenkins, Billy Williams, Randy Hundley, Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, and Ronnie's wife and kids. There were a lot of #10 jerseys at HoHoKam today.