Royals Flush Cubs into 13-Run Pool

Melky Cabrera drove-in three runs with a bases loaded triple to key a five-run 1st inning and the Royals never looked back, as the Cubs were thumped 13-4 by Kansas City in Cactus League action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in sunny & warm Mesa, AZ, this afternoon.  

box score

The Royals did much of their damage against Cubs starter Matt Garza, who had an abysmal outing (especially his first inning), allowing a total of six runs on four hits and four walks in 2.2 IP (69 pitches - 40 strikes, 3/1 GO/FO).

The Royals scored five times in the top of the 1st, an inning in which Garza threw a whopping 39 pitches (23 strikes). Lorenzo Cain and Mike Aviles both drew walks to start the KC uprising, as Garza appeared to be over-throwing. Billy Butler ripped an RBI single for the 1st Royal run, and then Jeff Francouer drew a one-out walk (Garza's third free-pass of the inning). Melky Cabera then made Garza pay for his wild indiscretions, drilling a triple into deep left-centerfield to plate Aviles, Butler, and Francouer, and give the Royals a 4-0 lead. Alex Gordon followed with an RBI single to drive-in Cabrera.

The Cubs scored a single run in the bottom of the 1st against KC starter LHP Bruce Chen. Jeff Baker walked on a 3-2 pitch, and advanced to 3rd on a one-out single into the LF corner by hot-hittin' Marlon Byrd (with Byrd taking 2nd on the throw to 3rd). Aramis Ramirez then knocked-in Baker with an RBI ground out.

Although he issued another walk and had trouble locating the strike zone, Garza did retire 8 of 9 hitters after Gordon's 1st inning RBI single, before allowing another Gordon single with two outs in the 3rd, the last batter he would face. RHP Jay Jackson relieved Garza, and Gordon promptly stole a base to get into scoring position (a weak one-hop throw to 2nd by Geovany Soto). Manuel Pina then drove Gordon home with an RBI single, as Jackson allowed his inherited runner to score.

Marlon Byrd cut the KC lead to 6-2 with a solo HR over the LF fence with two outs in the 3rd. Over his last four Cactus League games, Byrd has nine hits (including four doubles and a HR) plus a walk in ten AB (11 PA).   

But J. Jackson gave the run right back in the top of the 4th, as Aviles and Butler hammered consecutive one-out singles to put runners on 1st & 3rd, giving Wilson Betemit the opportunity to plate Aviles with a SF (which he did). J. Jackson surrendered another run in the 5th on back-to-back doubles by Cabrera and Gordon. For the day J. Jackson allowed two runs (not including the inherited Garza runner who scored) on five hits (including two doubles), with no walks or strikeouts. Getting stretched-out for when he joins the Iowa Cubs starting rotation at Minor League Camp (probably next week), Jackson was permitted to go 2.1 IP, throwing 48 pitches (31 strikes), with a 1/5 GO/FO (almost all of his pitches were up in the strike zone).

Carlos Marmol threw a 1-2-3 6th with two strikeouts (Jeff Bianchi and Kila Ka'aihue) and a ground out. Marmol had really nasty stuff today.  

Down 8-2, the Cubs looked like they might mount another 6th inning rally like the one they pulled off against the Angels on Monday. Facing LHRP Everett Teaford, Josh Vitters (who has looked very good both at the plate and in the field this Spring) laced a one-out double, and Max Ramirez walked. Reed Johnson doubled to score Vitters and send M. Ramirez to 3rd (although in true Cubbery, all three runners were between 2nd and 3rd at one point), and Carlos Pena walked to load the bases, with the eventual potential tying run now moving to the On-Deck Circle. But Jim Adduci rolled into a room-service 4-6-3 DP to end the inning and kill the rally in its infancy.

RHP Justin Berg was next to take the hill for the Cubs, and he had another poor outing (a walk, a HBP, and an RBI single in 1.0 IP), throwing 18 pitches but only nine for strikes. 

Jeff Stevens had an impressive (for him) 12-pitch 1-2-3 8th, but Esmailin Caridad struggled with his command and was tagged for three runs in a 23-pitch (14 strikes) 9th, surrendering a single, a triple, and a Mitch Maier HR (plus an HBP) before getting the third out.  

The Cubs scored once in the bottom of the 9th, as pinch-hitter Chris Robinson rammed a double off the fence in left-centerfield, and scored a moment later on a Jeff Baker line-drive RBI single to right.


Bruce Miles says he's treading lightly but in the early going he likee Wellemeyer and Fernando Perez

and calls Soriano serviceable:

Berg's 2 ER in 1 IP outing lowered his ERA. Four Cubs catchers had more hits today (one each) than Koyie Hill has had all Spring.

Relief pitcher John Grabow has had some left shoulder discomfort ,according to Mike Quade. Quade said for the rest of this week he’ll build his arm strength up and make his second Cactus League appearance next Monday or Tuesday.

navigator will be thrilled.

hehe...i've been wondering where the hell the dude was, myself. about time someone dragged up some info on him.

I really thought he was dead.

i just like how almost all of TCR forgot about him until you brought him up.

after last season he became pretty forgettable.

Did ftard give Grabow a 3 year contract?

Year 2 of TWO-year deal.

In which he may pitch 90 days of!

without good ol' duct tape Chad Fox on board, somebody has to be the designated 60 day DL guy. I can't think of a better roster spot for Grabes.

rooting for Angel Guzman to only be a 15 day DL candidate.

Good to hear that Vitters is looking good by AZ Phil's eye. Especially the defense. I guess he'll be down in the minor league camp by the time I get out there for spring training the week of the 22nd. I really don't know how that shit works.

As for Grabow, he's just another poster child, like Scott Eyre and Mike Remlinger and I'm sure a few hundred others, for not spending a bunch of money on relievers. He's making $4.8 million this year. You could build a nice prospect development facility in some nether region for that kind of cash.

Signs so far look good for the Vitters breakout we've been waiting for essentially since he got promoted to Daytona. Hopefully another hot week at the plate with the big boys will scare AramRam into hitting and fielding like a major leaguer for the majority of the season.

Was there a report on here on Vitters that said he struggles whenever he's moved up and then after 200 or so bats he starts raking?

I think the actual pattern is that as soon as he gets hot the Cubs promote him, and then he struggles again... That was the pattern with his last two promotions.

Matt (Chicago)

For whatever it's worth, it sounds like Vitters has looked good so far. Have you seen/heard anything on him?


Didn't play when I saw the Cubs - but, again, it's a tiny sample, and Vitters always *looks* good. One of the best swings I've ever seen. He just uses it early and often.

He's making $4.8 million this year. You could build a nice prospect development facility in some nether region for that kind of cash.

"Nether Region" was the name of a film I was in back in college.

I'd like to give props again for AZ PHIL'S headlines during this terrific ST run.

C'Mon guys -

Give it up for PHIL!

AZ Phil, I salute you with the "Homer Dolphin"

send sound- Dolphin

Phil, why don't you join us on parachat this summer?

Yeaaaaah Phil!

I have a feeling there will be a lot of opportunities for funny headlines this summer. Like, "Pirates Make Cubs Bats Go 'Argh'", and, after the Cubs sign Dwayne Wade to a tryout contract, "There's No Crying In Baseball!"

""Pirates Make Cubs Bats Go 'Argh'"

That one is pretty good, but "Royals Flush Cubs..." is pretty damn' sweet!

AZ Phil -

Do you think Matt Camp or Scott Moore are even being considered to make the team. They are both having a good spring training and offer good utility left bats. Camp can play almost anywhere (including 2B) and has speed and could lead off. Moore has has power potential and has played 2B in both the major and minor leagues in addition to 1B and 3B (I believe he was drafted as a SS)


I think, while not answering for Phil obviously, only one spot will be open realistically, which will go to RJ or Perez.

AAA in the Cubs system is for emergency fillins. Moore and Camp will hit AAA pitching in 2011.

Submitted by skavoovee on Thu, 03/10/2011 - 10:26am.
AZ Phil -

Do you think Matt Camp or Scott Moore are even being considered to make the team. They are both having a good spring training and offer good utility left bats. Camp can play almost anywhere (including 2B) and has speed and could lead off. Moore has has power potential and has played 2B in both the major and minor leagues in addition to 1B and 3B (I believe he was drafted as a SS)



SKAVOOVEE: I can't see Scott Moore or Matt Camp making the Cubs Opening Day roster unless a couple of infielders start the season on the DL. Both should be on the Iowa Cubs Opening Day roster, though, and one or both could get called up to Chicago sometime later in the season.

Moore isn't much of a hitter when facing MLB pitchers, but he has plus-power and has been worked-out all over the infield this spring, and (as you said) Camp can play anywhere, and would be a good PR in September if the Cubs are still in contention.

Phil Rogers, TCR's favorite columnist, spoke a bit about the empty seats at the Cubs spring training games...

"So many good seats were available at HoHoKam Stadium that Wednesday brought back vivid recollections of last summer at Wrigley Field, when fans turned their back on the Cubs just as surely as a veteran team quit on Piniella, laying down during a 4-19 stretch that gave Quade a chance to try his hand as a manager."

I was really flabbergasted by the price of tickets at HoHoKam and other Cactus league games last year. You can get "all you can eat" tickets in the outfield bleachers at the Juice Box for regular season games for less than exhibition tickets for the Cubs in AZ.

Poor play is one thing, but just overestimating the value proposition you're putting forth, especially in an ecomony which is still struggling is another.

I don't remember all the handwringing this year from the season ticket holders here over price increases. Anyone care to elaborate on the changes from last year?

At least the Cubs aren't the Mets yet:

bet that works a lot better than Roku,

Andrew Cashner breaks up the Indians' no-hitter in the sixth. Woo Cubs.

He's actually been pitching pretty well today in comparison to earlier outings, fwiw.

Cashner today

4.0 IP 3 Hits 1 ER (1 HR) 1 BB 3K's

and the "W"

1 HR

But, nice outing.

C'mon Cubs, the notion that Randy Wells is still competing for a rotation spot just reached "ridiculous" on the baseball banalities scale.

4.0 IP 1 hit 1 BB 2K's ST ERA 0.00

I decided to look up what the actual Cubs home spring training attendance has been so far this season, just for kicks.

The az central website said just as spring training was beginning, "The HoHoKams have already sold about 118,000 tickets for this season, after the Cubs drew 152,000 last season for 14 home games. This season there will be 18 games.

The Cubs averaged 10,900 fans per game last year."

So I looked up actual attendance numbers this year using Yahoo's box scores:

Cubs spring training home game attendance this year:

2/27 vs OAK - 6,892 (Sunday)
2/28 vs Mil - 5,405
3/3 vs Tex - 6,229
3/5 vs SD - 10,445 (a Saturday game)
3/6 (SS) vs LAD - 8,669 (Sunday)
3/7 vs LAA - 6,804
3/9 vs KC - 5,529

7 home games before today,
total/avg attendance: 49,973, 7,139

What is most interesting is that the first article says they had sold 118,000 tickets before spring training began, to 18 games, which is an avg of 6,555. Actual attendance so far is 7,139 avg, meaning only about 600 extra tickets per game are being sold (beyond what they had already sold pre-ST).

They averaged 10,900 fans per game last year, and they are averaging 3,761 fewer butts in the seats this year, that's a 35% drop. WOW.

They have a little over 7,000 in the house today as well.

looking like dumpster/z/garza/wells are locked in...barring injury or mega-wells-fails.

silva's gotta be sweating his next start or 2...wellemeyer is nipping and cashner is bobbing above/below water enough to stay in some kind of consideration (though i wouldn't mind seeing cashner starting in AAA and stretching out more).

it's one thing to pitch like crap in spring, it's another to do it on the level silva has while not even showing good stuff behind the bad numbers.

meh, it's still too early...kinda...

whomever C Chin-Hsiu Chen is, he really wants the Cubs to win this game

after a Marquez Smith double, wild pitch followed by a throwing error by him, then a BB to Matt Camp followed by a passed ball

so does the $14.99 MLB At Bat 2011 let me watch games on my Iphone if I've already bought the subscription?

Yes. But you do need that sub.

I have an iPhone 3G, 8GB.

I unlocked and I am using w/T-Mobile.

Its gonna be too slow for that I'm afraid for me.

I'm just watching on my laptop with MLB PRemium and its pretty sweet so far.

I was looking at the rest of the televised spring training games. Here's the schedule.

Central Time:

Friday, Mar 11 @ White Sox 2:05
Saturday, Mar 12 vs Reds 3:05
Sunday, Mar 13 vs Dodgers 3:05

Saturday, Mar 19 @ Padres 3:05
Sunday, Mar 20 vs Giants 3:05
Monday, Mar 21 @ Angels 3:05
Tuesday, Mar 22 @ Dodgers 3:05
Thursday, Mar 24 vs White Sox 3:05
Friday, Mar 25 vs Mariners 3:05
Sunday, Mar 27 vs Rockies 3:05

Cubs WiN!!!

B. Jackson manages a game winning single to bring in Adduci

is brian roberts a cub yet?

Any deal concerning Brian Roberts should include Scott Moore. Especially now since he's a second baseman.

Recent comments

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  • Dan Vogelbach is working on his firstbase defense in Seattle. Seems to say the Cubs didn't teach him properly.

    QuietMan 5 hours 58 min ago view
  • Oh my! Cards down 2-1 to Reds in the bottom of the 9th -- get a leadoff triple -- and don't score!

    billybucks 9 hours 11 min ago view
  • Gameday has stopped at the top of the 8th inning. Google tells me it ended up 8-4 Pirates but I can't get further detail. Guess I'll have to wait until the Cubs' website updates...

    JoePepitone 10 hours 16 min ago view
  • Attaboy!

    billybucks 10 hours 30 min ago view
  • Phil, thanks for posting. Where do find the schedule? I have a condo in Surprise, yet I drove to Mesa and Tempe looking for a game today! Thanks!

    rvimpeny 10 hours 31 min ago view
  • Dear Baseball Gods--
    My trip to Chicago has nothing whatsoever to do with the Cubs. In actuality, I am a Red Sox fan.

    CTSteve 10 hours 32 min ago view
  • Well, if Strop had to give up a least he hit Sean Rodriguez to do it.

    billybucks 10 hours 40 min ago view
  • strop...stawwwp.

    jaso has a cycle and 5 rbis...pit leads by 4.

    crunch 10 hours 52 min ago view
  • have a nice bowl of pizza soup deep dish pizza...or a leisurely walk around the notorious south-side (bring money) at one of the walmart supercenters...waiting in line to waste $20 at willis tower...

    seriously,'s chicago, a lot to do. have a dog for lunch, a great dinner, and catch some local comedy.

    crunch 10 hours 59 min ago view
  • Strange, because he really seemed to have the Pirates number last year.

    Bummer for Jake -- I think this is the first time all year his ERA has been over 3.00, and that will be his number for the year.

    billybucks 11 hours 3 min ago view
  • Jinx remover -- your trip doesn't have to be for a baseball game -- lots of stuff to do here in town.

    billybucks 11 hours 6 min ago view
  • Guess they could always try to White Sox (and Bears...sob) approach: Never Rebuild! Seems to work pretty well for them.

    billybucks 11 hours 7 min ago view
  • 3rd time this season he's given up 6+ runs to PIT...only team he's given up 6+ runs to this season.

    7 runs is the most he's given up since august 6th in 2014.

    crunch 11 hours 37 min ago view
  • Over 100 pitches, only the 5th.

    Brick 11 hours 39 min ago view
  • coghlan his cleats stuck in the wall attempting a play (failed, but looked great doing it). walking off on his own, precautionary/day-to-day looking stuff...hopefully not worse.

    also, jake arrieta is literally worse than hitler. 1-5, bottom 5. ...make that 1-6, bottom 5. ...make that 1-7, bottom 5.

    crunch 11 hours 40 min ago view
  • Coghlan crashes into wall and comes up limping, looks like left knee or ankle. Leaves game...

    Arrieta inspiring no confidence yet again.

    Rob G. 11 hours 46 min ago view