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.

Recent comments

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The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 5 min 28 sec ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 8 min 2 sec ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 17 min 53 sec ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 1 hour 41 sec ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 5 hours 46 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 5 hours 47 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 15 hours 28 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 18 hours 26 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 18 hours 38 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 18 hours 47 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 18 hours 52 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 19 hours 10 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 19 hours 47 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 20 hours 4 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 20 hours 6 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 20 hours 24 min ago view