Rangers Edge Cubs 8-7

Carlos Zambrano threw three shutout innings, Blake DeWitt doubled, singled, drove-in a run, and scored another, and Augie Ojeda smacked a bases-loaded two-run double, but a split squad of Texas Rangers rallied from a 5-1 deficit to edge the Cubs 8-7 in Cactus League action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa this afternoon.

box score

Although he did not allow a run, Zambrano did allow five baserunners (two singles, two walks, and a HBP) and struggled with his control (41 pitches - only 20 strikes), consistently missing up. But he made pitches and threw strikes when he needed them most, and was able to survive unscathed.

Braden Looper followed "Z" to the mound and worked two innings (24 pitches - 14 strikes). He was hit hard in his first inning, but threw more effectively in his second inning when he retired the Rangers 1-2-3. 

Meanwhile, the Cubs were assuming a 5-1 lead.

Blake DeWitt doubled into the LF corner to lead off the bottom of the 1st, and then with two outs, Aramis Ramirez single to left to score DeWitt from 3rd base with the first run of the day.

The Cubs then scored four more runs in the bottom of the 4th.

Carlos Pena walked and Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto singled to load the bases, before Augie Ojeda smacked a double past the 1st baseman and down the RF line and into the corner, scoring Pena and Soriano. Braden Looper then lined a sacrifice fly to score Soto from 3rd (as the ball almost sailed over the head of RF Doug Deeds), and DeWitt followed the Looper SF with an RBI single to score Ojeda, as the Cubs took a 5-1 lead. 

But RHP Rafael Dolis had a bad day, as the 23-year old fireballer was only able to retire one batter in the top of the 6th before being relieved. It wasn't so much that he was hit hard, it's just that he threw a boatload of pitches to get just one out (32 pitches - 20 strikes). Dolis allowed two hits (including a Mitch Moreland monster three-run jack that landed just in front of the Party Pavillion located well beyond the RF fence) and two walks, but he was also hurt by an error (dropped catch) by 1st baseman Scott Moore on what should have been an easy 6-3 put-out to open the inning, and then the next batter (Omar Quintanilla) had a 13-pitch AB that featured two sprawling unsuccessful attempts at spectacular catches by LF Matt Camp in foul territory down the LF line. Esmailin Caridad eventually relieved Dolis and got the final two out of the inning easily, but not before the Rangers had tied it up at 5-5.

Texas took the lead off Thomas Diamond in the top of the 8th, as PH David Paisano tripled off the right-centerfield fence, driving in two runs before being thrown out at the plate trying to stretch the triple into an inside-the-park HR. Like Zambrano earlier in the game, Diamond struggled with his control, throwing 20 pitches (but only ten for strikes) in his one inning of work. 

The Cubs did score two runs with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, as Marquez Smith doubled down the LF line, and Scott Moore and Matt Camp followed with RBI line-drive singles. So the Cubs had the potential tying run on base and the potential winning run at the plate, but the batter was Koyie Hill, and he popped-out weakly against LHRP Ben Snyder (Brad's younger brother) to CF to end the game.

The Cubs defense was marginally better today. Besides the Scott Moore dropped throw that led to two unearned runs, the Cubs also were unable to turn double plays twice in the first three innings that might have helped Zambrano to get through his three innings with a bit less stress. 

Michael Young got the start at 2B for the Rangers today (perhaps as a showcase for a possible trade with the Cubs?), and he had a line-drive single and a walk in his two Plate Appearances. Interestingly, Rafael Dolis was rumored to be on the Rangers radar during the off-season in a deal that would have sent Dolis and C Robinson Chirinos to Texas for RHRP Darren O'Day and 1B Chris Davis, as a precursor to the Rangers acquiring Matt Garza from Tampa Bay (with Chirinos one of the players who would have gone to TB). 


well if this headline doesn't say it all

"DeWitt, Baker an uninspiring duo for Cubs at second base


Unless the Rangers intend to take some salary back (fukudome + Silva), I don't see the Cubs mucking up their books with Young for the next 3 years.

they seem to be happy with dewitt anyway...or at least committed to the project for 2011.

wish they would have been committed to Kelly Johnson in 2011, but no, must not trade James Russell!!!

/still bitter

wish they would have been committed to Kelly Johnson in 2011, but no, must not trade James Russell!!!
If Bruce Levine had posted the above he would have worded it eggs-ackley the same except for him inserting The OC.

(where OC goes, so go the playoffs...so this year will really be the test given he's with the Tribe)

I could see Marlon Byrd and Carlos Silva ($11.5M in combined salaries in 2011 and $8.5M in combined salaries in 2012 if you include Silva's $2M 2012 buy-out) going to TEX for Young, with the Rangers paying the $9M in post-2013 deferred salaries ($3M deferred each year 2011-13).

The end result would be that the Cubs would add $20M in payroll over the next three years above what they have to pay now ($2.5M more in 2011 and $4.5M more in 2012, and then $13M more in 2013 when Dempster and Zambrano come off the books).

One problem wellllll actually 2.....1) Texas doesn't need another OFer. 2) Their rotation already has way better options than Silva.

They wiggle out of 20 Million dollars though. Probably would ask for a DeWitt in the deal as a Mike Young replacement I'd suspect?

Submitted by MikeC on Fri, 03/04/2011 - 5:54am.
One problem wellllll actually 2.....1) Texas doesn't need another OFer. 2) Their rotation already has way better options than Silva.


MIKE: It isn't that the Rangers would want or need Carlos Silva, it's that they would have to take his contract ($6M in 2011 and $2M buy-out in 2012) back as part of the deal. Then they can release him if they don't want or need him.

As for Marlon Byrd, the Rangers don't "need" another outfielder, but they don't need Michael Young either and would like to get out from under at least part of their future salary obligations to him. Young wants out if he isn't an everyday player.

Byrd would have some use to the Rangers as a 4th OF who can play CF and occasional RH DH. He might even become the starting CF. Byrd had prior success in Texas and apparently liked playing there, he just didn't get the contract offer he wanted when he was a FA post-2009. Byrd gets $12M over the next two years, and that would help make it possible for the Cubs to afford to add Young's salary.

And if the Cubs were to make the deal, it would open up a starting OF spot for Tyler Colvin immediately and then for Brett Jackson whenever he's ready. Blake DeWitt would be a back-up 2B-3B-LHPH, and Jeff Baker would not be needed at all, allowing the Cubs to keep Max Ramirez as a 3rd catcher, RH back-up 1B, and RHPH. And Andrew Cashner could be the 5th starter.

"...but the batter was Koyie Hill..."


Cubs set MLB Record...earliest called players only meeting in a season.


just what i was thinking...in an unrelated note, the team has doubled the # of WF tours this year [@ $25 per]; does that $ still go to Cubs Care or is it being converted to a revenue stream alternative?

I believe it's going to the team's traveling secretary's favorite charity, The Human Fund.

Jason Castro out for the season. Any chance Hendry ships Ramirez to the 'Stros?

For W-Rod?

I'd do it.

Max Ramirez that is. Probably not, but I bet they're looking for a C.

Koyie Hill then! We'll even throw in Augie Ojeda.

And Reed Johnson

And Soriano

He's what I like to call a 'pot sweetener'

I thought that was Soto?



"That was a very hard inning," Silva said Friday, addressing the incident for the first time after refusing previous requests. "I gave up those two homers, I came to the dugout and tried to take it easy. I tried to relax and let it go. The only thing I said was, 'We need to start making plays here.'

"He took it personally. I knew it was my mistake. It was my fault. You shouldn't say anything. But he took it personally. We argued in the dugout."

He seems to have backed off believing that he's already earned a rotation spot as well.

So, today we have Castro throwing to Colvin at first. Things could get real ugly.

Soto bats cleanup...where he belongs in the regular season.

RF Fukudome
SS Castro
1B Colvin
C Soto
3B Moore
2B Baker
LF Johnson
CF Jackson
P Garza

Isn't Moore's "natural" position 3B?

Good to see Jackson get a start.

nice lineup...must be a good day for golf or something.

they obviously didn't want Garza to go wacko when ARam makes an error in his innings

one of the things few people have actually commented on about garza is his temper...and he's got one.

that said, he's never been known as toxic...just mouthy.

supposedly those days are behind him, though...meh...whatevers.

Colvin solo HR in 1st, not bad for his first 1B start. Also got two putouts (on the first two batters) in the bottom of the inning.

HoF bound!... if they based the HoF only on March statistics.

Wonder if CPat still has the record for March RBI's.

Was he related to Kpatt?

...brought to you from the school of thought that named our ace "Dumpster".

gameday has garza throwing 94mph. this early? i doubt it...

gameday has been too flaky to trust so far, dunno if i buy that.

twitter sez Garza knocked by Francouer line drive

Gordo says rib/kidney
Sully says back of shoulder
Muskrat says somewhere in the back

He stayed in to finish the inning

i was wondering how that play went garza to castro to colvin for an out at 1st and no DP.

garza pinch hit for after retiring the last 2 after getting hit by the liner...

garza - 2ip 1h 0er 0bb 0k

KC has made about 1000 pickoff attempts at 1st pretty much any time anyone's on 1st...fun stuff.

at most disappointing prospects of all-time


These would not be players who were overdrafted, but rather those who seemed on their way to justifying high picks and large bonuses when apparent destiny was denied.

I believe that means guys drafted high and with good minor league numbers.

Todd Walker the only one with Cubs ties that I noticed. Already put Matt Wieters on there...ouch.

I think it's too soon to call it a closed case on Weiters, but it's sort of funny how people here were saying the Cubs blew it by not taking him in the draft a month ago.

At least he made it to the bigs, Vitters is in AA. Just sayin'.....

Yes, but the Orioles have paid him a lot more money - and now if he ever does get good it will be in the arbitration years of his career.


nice hacky column by Wojo

Zambrano didn't have "little" anger issues, as Soto said, but very public ones. And does anybody really think Zambrano's outbursts, usually directed at showing up his teammates, were limited to what Cubs fans saw on the field?

Does he bother to be a journalist and get some answers to the question he posed? Nope. Just dangeles it like he went to the school of Jay Mariotti writing.

also video preview from ESPN that couldn't get the lineup right. Eduardo Perez, or whatever producers told him to say, doesn't seem to like the Cubs.

hacky is being nice...i feel like finding the guy and pushing him into a mud puddle in front of his mom.

olney on twitter sez Angels looking for a left-handed bat. I'm sure they could use another outfielder.

So, can we safely say that John Gaub will be only a memory in the trade for DeRo after March 19?

Submitted by The E-Man on Fri, 03/04/2011 - 4:55pm.
So, can we safely say that John Gaub will be only a memory in the trade for DeRo after March 19?


E-MAN: I suspect it's headed that way. I was kind of surprised Gaub wasn't outrighted during the off season, but I guess the Cubs were hoping he could get straightened out in Spring Training.

Gaub spent the last half of last season at Fitch Park trying to hit the broad side of the clubhouse, and it wasn't pretty. He got into one AZL Cubs game in July or August and then that was it. He did not return to Iowa, and he didn't play winter ball, either.

We really need to find a cure for Steve Blass Disease. Perhaps a telethon?

... trying to hit the broad side of the clubhouse, and it wasn't pretty.


You have a helluva sense of humor, PHIL!

I had asked you on several occasions over the last year what was up with Gaub, as on the occasions I had seen him pitch as he was pretty dreadful.

I guess at one time he showed promise?

If its a telethon, we gotta get Jerry Lewis in on it.

Since Stevens, in my estimation, will not amount to much either, the three-for-one deal of Gaub/Stevens/Archer for De Rosa, was really just DeRo for Archer. And now as we know Garza takes his place in what is currently a one-year deal, right?

I wonder, if you were to calculate the amount of wasted time spent by staff trying to train these two untalented pitchers since December 2008, that the deal came out worse than a wash for the Cubs?

so much depends on what both garza and archer do at this point...and to a lesser extent hj.lee (imo, since his hitting is theriot-esque...still young, though).

so far all garza has done is save the cubs 4-6m on a pitcher of similar caliber...which given the 2011 payroll constraints is something.

it could be big win or big bleh...

-edit- before this starts a pro-archer shitstorm...or a negative-garza shitstorm...or a useless pro-chinirrioiroiroros shitstorm...

long story short, this is something probably best assessed in Oct/Nov as of now.

Funny thing that you didn't even pick out the mentioning of Gaub as a "untalented" pitcher. I guess Dale Murphy was an untalented catcher.

One scout called Gaub the best left handed reliever in the minors prior to 2010. Catching Steve Blass disease doesn't have anything to do with talent - in fact it's probably evidence of talent.

"prior to 2010" is the key part...up until then he was the lefty relief version of archer. now he's a big question mark.

You have to keep in mind though that DeRo was simply a FA signing in the first place, he cost the Cubs nothing to acquire him other than some money. So regardless of what happens with Archer, you can almost think of the trade as HJ Lee, Chirinos and Guyer for getting 3 years of Garza's services at a below-market rate relative to similar quality pitchers. Are those three prospects worth approximately $3-$5MM in major league payroll savings? It all depends on whether Lee pans out or not.


Monique requested a restraining order against Milton on January 24th and states that while they were in New York City for New Year's Eve: "Milton cursed and yelled at me for approximately five minutes and then he grabbed a glass from off the coffee table and threw it directly at my head from across the room.

you'll be surprised to learn that she's filing for divorce

Too bad it wasn't Jacque Jones. He would have just smashed the glass at his own feet.




"The glass shattered on my head and I started to bleed..." Monique is requesting that she be given legal and physical custody of the boys, and that Milton be given visitation. She is seeking child support and cites irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split.

So he's not feeling like $30 million bucks anymore?

Hopefully, she and the kids are.

matt garza on taking a comebacker and the bruising...

“I’ve got a lot of tattoos over there,” Garza said. “It’s nothing really. It hit the lower lat under my rib. After I took a deep breath, it didn’t hurt.”

In other words, Matt Garaza is completely badass.

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  • j.buchanan with a nice start...5ip 2h 1bb 3k, 0r/er

    zobrist with 2HR and a double through 8

    heyward 0-4 :(

    crunch 6 hours 59 min ago view
  • Mark Gonzales @MDGonzales

    Soler likely to return Sunday, Maddon says

    crunch 9 hours 37 min ago view
  • Right now, I'd like to see the Mets first, Giants 2nd.

    I believe that since most of the team from last years' NLCS is on the squad this year, they will really amp their game up even more to kick their ass in payback for 2015.

    The Giants just do not have the depth in years past, and I think all things equal - and at Wrigley - they could handle them.

    I do not want to see the Cards, period. Or their fans, media, or Joe Buck.

    The E-Man 9 hours 56 min ago view
  • I don't want to play Braves in the first round. Any friggin team in the league can win 3 of 5..I hate the first round. Furthermore, I wanted to play the Marlins in 2003 and the Mets over Dodgers last year.

    With that said in reverse order:
    3. Cardinals: It will be devastating to lose in the first round, but even worse to their main rival. It is increased incentive for the Cardinals, especially after last year. Cards would have nothing to lose, Cubs have everything to lose.

    2. Giants: Rotation in the playoffs scare me a bit, but what a lousy team.

    blockhead25 10 hours 39 min ago view
  • 1. Mets--because of the losses in the rotation
    2. Giants--because they're not the team they were BUT they maybe have bullshit even-year magic?
    3. Cardinals--because rivalry and not making the playoffs hurts them more than losing in the NLDS plus getting eliminated by them in the playoffs would make for horrible sports commentary next throughout next season.

    Charlie 12 hours 23 min ago view
  • Who's asking?

    jacos 12 hours 25 min ago view
  • #TeamEntropy


    CLE/DET rained out last night already, possible rain-outs in New York (vs. Baltimore), Boston(vs. Toronto) and Philly(vs. Mets) this weekend too.

    Not only games involving playoff spots that would need to be played, but any that involve home field advantage.

    Rob G. 12 hours 33 min ago view
  • I got the first one! Second one I'm not even sure what even/odd betting is.

    johann 13 hours 20 min ago view
  • any opponent preference for NLDS?

    Mets are down to 1 great pitcher instead of 4. Syndegaard may pitch Sunday which means if Mets win the WC game, he'd be set up for Game 1. There's a chance they clinch a spot by Sunday so he'd pitch the WC and then we'd probably get Colon for Game 1. They've certainly had the hottest bats over the last week and month out of the WC options.

    Rob G. 13 hours 42 min ago view
  • Rob Richardson 18 hours 46 min ago view
  • Can't teach height and thinness

    jacos 20 hours 41 min ago view
  • Hopefully Pirates don't call up A. Lincoln.

    jacos 1 day 6 hours ago view
  • j.buchanan going friday...should be...baseball...or something like it.

    crunch 1 day 6 hours ago view
  • Wow. I didn't know they could do that.

    Nice for Willson, not so much for Addy.

    billybucks 1 day 6 hours ago view
  • Game is officially called...also officially a tie.

    Stats count, no make-up date of course.


    Rob G. 1 day 6 hours ago view
  • Yeah -- seeing the weather -- I hope KB and Rizz are inside, wrapped in blankets and drinking hot chocolate.

    billybucks 1 day 7 hours ago view