You Can't Catch It If You Can't See It

Jered Weaver threw five innings of one-hit shutout ball while striking out nine (no walks), and Cubs pitchers were battered to the tune of 16 hits (including one triple, two doubles, and three home runs), as the Los Angeles Angels pounded a Cubs split squad 11-0 in Cactus League action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in sunny Mesa, Arizona, this afternoon.

Cubs-Angels box score


Carlos Zambrano made his last Spring training start in preparation for Opening Day next Monday in Atlanta, and "Z" did not have his best stuff today.


He pitched four innings (73 pitches - 45 strikes), and actually looked OK in the middle of his outing, even retiring eight of nine hitters at one point.


But it was the beginning and the end that wasn't too good.


Zambrano gave up a lead-off single to Maicer Izturis in the top of the first, but then got some serendipity when, with Izturis on the move (big jump) and Cubs shortstop Ryan Theriot running over to cover second base, #2 hitter Mike Ryan lined a shot right at Theriot, who caught the ball at his shoetops and then easily doubled Izturis off 1st base. So two outs, nobody on base. But then Brandon Wood ripped a single, and clean-up hitter Mike Napoli blasted a home run off the scoreboard in LF to give the Angels a 2-0 lead.


Zambrano more-or-less cruised through the next couple of innings, getting the first man he faced in the 4th (Mike Napoli) on strikes (swinging). But then Zambrano walked Robb Quinlan on four pitches, and local lad Peter Bourjos roped a triple into left-center, scoring Quinlan. Terry Evans followed that with an RBI single (Evans had five hits and three RBI today), before getting picked-off 1st base as an alert Geovany Soto made a pinpoint throw to nab Evans as he tried to get back to the bag.


Sean Marshall worked an easy nine-pitch 1-2-3 5th (6-3, F-9, 5-3) in relief of Zambrano, but then Jeff Samardzija got hit hard in the 6th, allowing a two-run HR to Peter Bourjos and two hard-hit singles. The Shark just could not keep his pitches down today, and Cubs Manager Lou Piniella really should be worrying about his bullpen if Samardzija has a featured role in it.


With the Cubs down 6-0, rookie LHP James Russell entered the game in the 7th, and the Angels proceeded to load the bases on three straight singles, although one was an infield hit to short (Ryan Flaherty could knock it down but was unable to field it cleanly) and another was a routine fly ball that Marlon Byrd lost in the sun (by my count the 4th time he has done that this Spring... but I guess if you can't see it, you can't catch it, even though most-other outfielders out here don't have that much trouble doing it).


But Russell actually responded pretty well to his bases-loaded & none out jam, getting the next three hitters on a strikeout (swinging), a ground out, and a fly out, keeping the damage to a minimum (just one run, and it was his first earned run allowed this Spring, too).


Justin Berg got hit like a BP pitcher in the 8th (allowing two runs on two doubles and a single), and Esmailin Caridad gave up a long two-run HR in the 9th to 5-for-5 man Terry Evans, although Caridad did get two punch-outs in his one inning of work (the first and last men he faced in the inning, both swinging).


The Cubs offense was truly offensive today, getting just two hits (a broken-bat single by Xavier Nady with one out in the bottom of the 2nd, and a line-drive single to left with one out in the 9th by AA 1B Russ Canzler, who was up from Minor League Camp for the day).


The Cubs did load the bases in the 8th on walks (actually the Cubs drew four walks in the inning) but failed to score. Nady walked to lead off the inning, then was erased when Alfonso Soriano rolled into a 5-4-3 DP. Then Darwin Barney, Geovany Soto, and PH Brandon Guyer each drew walks, before Ryan Flaherty struck out (looking) to end the inning.


While one Cubs split squad was getting squelched ugly in Mesa, the other one was blowing a 6-4 8th inning lead against the Brewers in Maryvale.


Cubs-Brewers box score


Rookie RHP Jay Jackson started the game for the Cubs, and he would have thrown four shutout innings except for the Prince Fielder 3rd inning grand slam.


The Cubs did come back, though, scoring three in the 5th and then three more in the 7th (the big blow being a Micah Hoffpauir two-run PH double that gave the Cubs the lead). But then Iowa Cubs right-handers Alessandro Maestri and Brian Schlitter imploded in the 8th, as the Brew Crew scored eight runs, giving themselves a big lead they would not surrender.


The Cubs play the Colorado Rockies at HoHoKam Park in Mesa tomorrow.

Comments

Is there anyone else here who wants to cover their eyes when the 6 spot comes up? If it were LaRussa, Soriano would be batting 9th after Zambrano, Dump, Gorz, maybe even Silva.

Isn't there a mercy rule that just gives him an 0-2 count when he steps in? One pitch and I can anticipate the next batter, and uncover my eyes. Lord, where's his doghouse?

And the Blackhawks think Huet is going to help in the playoffs...

awww...soriano is looking a lot more in control this spring, imo.

still, it's like not it would take much for that to happen. it at least looks like he's getting back to his "old" swing with a lot less motion in the front foot (and none of that stupid back-foot loading crap he was playing around with the past couple years).

i just hope he's capable of 25 homers...oh yeah, and stays healthy...oh yeah, and doesn't murder LF any more than he usually does...

If LaRussa were the manager, Soriano would not be batting 9th unless the Cubs somehow also got Pujols.

LaRussa bats the pitcher 8th only because he wants Pujols to bat in the third spot in order to get a few more at bats over the course of the season, but also wants at least three batters to bat before Pujols as much as possible, to increase the chances of having him come up with runners on base.

If Pujols retired tomorrow, LaRussa would once again have the pitchers bat ninth.

Fucking finally a decent late inning option to go with Marmol.

(according to Stark) Cubs trade Colvin, Caridad for Jason Frasor. Was the price too high?

Link please

Carlos -- You were five minutes too early. Nice try though.

Whaa? It was already April Fools' on ET!

they can't let it rest...this time it's Trib's David Haugh

And thanks to one of Hendry's best moves ever, they don't have Bradley, which is like removing asbestos from the clubhouse.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

i can think of about two dozen better moves than having to get rid of a mistake signing and taking on carlos silva in a roster spot to make up for it.

seattle is trying to figure out whether they should bat bradley 3rd or 4th and the cubs are trying to justify giving carlos silva the #5 spot in the rotation after a battle with samninja.

how about dubois to gerut to lawton to berg? =p

Well..the Cubs could have signed Bobby Abreu like I wanted...

;)

Happy 2nd anniversay of Trans Rob G Fake Internet Fight.

LaRussa with 6 outfielders...

http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/3...

A lot of teams, when filling out their roster with spare players, would look for some real balance. But not the Cardinals. Stavinoha, Mather, and Craig are all right-handed hitters who don't throw (or field) particularly well.

I'll tell you what, though: When those enemy managers bring in those left-handed relief pitchers in the eighth inning, Tony La Russa will be ready.

Silva is fat.

That is all.

Silva is fat.
---
I wonder if Silva has an ugly brother with glasses and a moustache that looks like this guy with a sun tan...

http://dee-nee.com/wiki/images/a/a7/PaulReusc...

http://blogs.suntimes.com/cubs/2010/04/cubs_o...

on Lou's future...

TR: That's between Lou and Jim. It's Jim's responsibility to put the winning team on the field, both players and managers. I think that if you insert yourself into that discussion you're not adding value, for one thing, and secondly, you want accountability. It's Jim's responsibility and he knows it. He and Lou will tell me if there's anything else they want to add to the discussion.

thank god...

a hands-off owner. give up the money, go the games, enjoy the perks...let the baseball men do baseball things.

Yeah, that's what's been wrong with the Cubs for the last hundred and one years.

Especially that micro-manager Sam Zell.

i just don't want a steinbrenner-like ass clown putting his dim head and clumsy hands all over something he doesn't understand.

with a stolen base off the lefty Jeff Francis

Silva 5 shutout innings so far

including today, he's thrown 19.1 IP, 3 ER, 1.42 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 20 H, 9 K, 2 BB since that first disastrous outing and Rothschild allegedly fixed him by moving him to one side of the rubber.

I credit Greg Maddux for fixing Silva. He was the first guy out there working with him. But, FWIW, Silva thanked both of them and the Doughnutman as well...

He credits the apparent turnaround to Greg Maddux — "his jersey is hanging in my house" — and pitching coach Larry Rothschild for making mechanical adjustments, plus Cubs management for not worrying about his weight.

silva is fixed?

silva is fixed?
---
that was Pie with the twisted testicle

Good. We certainly wouldn't want a whole litter of little Silva's shitting all over the clubhouse and chewing up the furniture.

*high five*

That Marmol v Tulo at bat was downright cruel. First a fast ball at his head to go 3-1, then two sliders on the outside corner to ring him up.

riot, baker, and soto to be fined in kangaroo court for taking walks on the last ST game.

shame...they've been around long enough to know better. hehe...

http://muskat.mlblogs.com/

April Fool's joke on Chris Robinson that wasn't...
Lilly to throw 60 pitches on Sunday at Fitch park
Lowest Cubs home attendance for spring training since 2003 (150,000+ this year, over 200,000+ last year)
kids can run the bases after Sunday games in April/May if you buy 4 tickets
Guzman says he'll be ready for next season...

"The pain is gone and I actually started therapy two days ago," Guzman said. "At least my shoulder is still attached to my body."

He expected to start throwing in six months.

"I'll be ready for next season," Guzman said.

"April Fool's joke on Chris Robinson that wasn't..."

ha! btw, i hate this day. i'm a bit too pseudo-autistic =p to deal with having to mentally process every trivial piece of information fed to me for legitimacy.

Lowest Cubs home attendance for spring training since 2003 (150,000+ this year, over 200,000+ last year)

Blah... last year was 203,105 in 19 games (10,698/game), this year is 152,493 in 14 games (10,892/game).

So they drew more per game this year, they just had less games.

I blame the liberal media.

Damn Fox News!

does caridad tend to get frustrated quickly?

he's rushing his stuff right now and visibly upset over nothing in particular except some pesky baserunners he let on early.

I would like to personally thank the new Batting Coach God for the great results he has spawned with Geo Soto(.400, .257, .229) and K Hill (.132BA).

Nice work RUDY!

If Soto performs like this in the regular season again, good luck Cubbies!

Who cares? Its spring training.

I CARE based on the former ROY catcher who sucked ass in 2009, and has done nothing to impress in a month+ of the spring in 2010 - except he is mighty svelte right now.

It is certainly continuing a trend that needs to end. Show SOME kinds of life here.

To be fair, Tyler Colvin, Ryan Theriot, Mike Fontenot, Starlin Castro, and Brad Snyder are all going to bat over .350 for the Cubs this year, and Marlon Byrd is going to pass his career high in HRs. Also, Carlos Silva is going to be good, and Dempster and Marshall are going to be first and second in the Cy Young voting.

Why do you hate Zambrano?

You're complaining about the catcher's batting averages? Okay.

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  • best relievers in baseball tend to not be the best relievers for very long though...

    also, when you start just trading away guys for marginal benefits, that window will shrink. The window is easily through 2021, just have to look how long Rizzo is signed for and how long they have rights to Bryant, Russell and so on down the line.

    Can't say I'm too worried about the SP, they've done nothing but land guys on the cheap and on the expensive since they've arrived. TheJedi will figure that out.

    Rob G. 4 min 58 sec ago view
  • Not sure I agree with this logic. The Cubs are one of the best teams in baseball, they have spent heavily on the team over the past couple of seasons, have more hitting prospects than they have places for them to play (and more on the way), a clear weakness in the bullpen, and have a 1.5 year window with Arrieta (to say nothing of the likely declines of Lester and Lackey).

    Unless you think (maybe even if you do think) Schwarber is the next coming of Babe Ruth, I would certainly consider trading him if it brought back a couple of the best relief pitchers in baseball.

    Rob Richardson 2 hours 47 min ago view
  • Miggy was going to sit anyway with Lester starting.

    In related news, do any of the Cubs pitchers want to throw to Contreras?

    Rob G. 2 hours 59 min ago view
  • Only Russell and Miggy failed to reach base yesterday. Both sit today.

    billybucks 3 hours 7 min ago view
  • Trading Schwarber actually makes a lot of sense because his actual position is currently being taken by Anthony Rizzo, unless they vote in the DH this offseason.

    Trading him for a reliever is never going to happen though. I don't think you can trade Schwarber unless you get a CF'er for a few years (presume Fowler finds his multi-year deal next offseson) or a couple of high end young starters...or an established starter...a good one like Chris Sale.

    Rob G. 3 hours 19 min ago view
  • I don't see what the Yanks have that the Cubs need.

    Ryno 3 hours 24 min ago view
  • peter gammons on MLB network pushing the yanks/schwarber angle...says insiders from the yanks say brian cashman highly covets him.

    unless that conversation starts with a.miller (2/18m left on contract) i dunno how you even start that conversation given the "not trash, but no stars" state of the yanks minor league system.

    they got corner OF'r aaron judge, C gary sanchez, RHP james kaprielian's questionable elbow, RHP domingo acevedo...all interesting, none expected to impact the game like schwarber's power potential.

    crunch 3 hours 57 min ago view
  • Zo, Heyward, KB, Riz, Contreras (LF), Baez (SS), Szczur (CF), Ross, Lester

    Cubster 4 hours 5 min ago view
  • damn. low sample size blah blah whatever, but that slash got sneaky good. 10 hits, 4 walks, 2hr, 1 double through 39 PA...nice

    crunch 4 hours 25 min ago view
  • Buddy Ryan takes his place alongside George Allen as the great Bear head coaches who never were.

    VirginiaPhil 7 hours 19 min ago view
  • Well, at least he can still hit: Jake slashing .294/.368/.868. Forget hitting 8th -- he should hit 6th.

    billybucks 7 hours 38 min ago view
  • Curious to see today's lineup vs. a LHP: Ross needs to catch Lester, Joe likes Javy at 3B when Lester pitches. Heyward with back-to-back good games at the plate, and is actually hitting a little better against LHP (.247/.341) than RHP (.232/.321), although neither is much to write home about. But, tomorrow is an early day game, so some regulars will probably sit either today or tomorrow.

    Maybe Willson in LF, KB in RF and Almora in CF? If so, Albert Jr., assume every ball is yours.

    billybucks 7 hours 43 min ago view
  • "Pitching prospects not looking so hot"

    That reminds me that Lucas Giolito will start for the Nats tonight.

    VirginiaPhil 7 hours 46 min ago view
  • Well, there you go. Federowicz is one of the best at balls in the dirt.

    VirginiaPhil 8 hours 5 min ago view
  • Reds pitching meeting tomorrow:

    "Hey coach...maybe we should walk Bryant?"
    "No...keep challenging him with fastballs! What kind of man are you?! The Cubs walked Harper, and look what happened there! They got teased for it, by one of the Nat players! Is that what you want?"

    billybucks 18 hours 46 min ago view
  • How can I get that feature? I think it woudl be a win-win for all involved.

    billybucks 18 hours 50 min ago view