At The Plate – The Iowa Cubs are scuffling, with the latest loss they fall to 0-6 on the season. Brett Jackson had a solid game going 2-for-4 with a triple, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .280 on the season. Darnell McDonald was 1-for-3 with a walk, a home run, an RBI, and a run scored. Ty Wright was 2-for-4 with two singles in the loss.
On The Mound – Chris Rusin was roughed up early then settled in but couldn’t escape the loss. Rusin went six innings giving up four runs on seven hits while walking four and striking out two. Zach Putnam and Rafael Dolis both tossed scoreless innings out of the bullpen in the loss.
At The Plate – The D-Cubs spent the whole night fighting back, but in the end couldn’t catch the Threshers. Zeke DeVoss showed some power from the lead-off spot going 1-for-5 with a home run, an RBI, and a run scored. Javier Baez was 1-for-5 with a triple, and a run scored. Jorge Soler continues his torrid start to the season going 2-for-4 with a walk, and an RBI. The D-Cubs made four errors, that most definitely cost them in this one.
On The Mound – Zach Cates made the start and as I just mentioned didn’t get much help from the guys behind him. Cates went 3.2 innings giving up three runs, one earned, on six hits while walking none and striking out seven. Eduardo Figueroa went 2.2 innings out of the pen giving up two runs on one hits while walking two and striking out three. Sheldon McDonald was solid going 2.2 innings giving up no runs on two hits while walking two and striking out one.
At The Plate – The Cougars smacked the ball all over the place in this one as six different guys had multi-hit games. Daniel Vogelbach was 3-for-5 bring his season average up to .310, all three hits were singles. Rock Shoulders might be the hottest hitter in the Cubs system, he went 2-for-3 with a walk, a home run, an RBI, and two runs scored, he’s hitting .480 (12-for-25) on the season. Gioskar Amaya, Jeimer Candelario, Marco Hernandez, and Bijan Rademacher all had two hits.
On The Mound – Pierce Johnson had a rough start to this one as he gave up two runs in the first as he struggled with command, but he found it quickly. Johnson went five innings giving up two runs on six hits while walking two and striking out four. Jeffry Antigua was solid out of the pen going three innings giving up one run on four hits while walking none and striking out one. Eduardo Orozco had some tough luck in blowing the save, but ended up getting the win. Orozco gave up two runs, both unearned on NO hits, and one walk in one inning.
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Chris Rusin was outstanding Thursday afternoon, which is nothing new this Spring as he has been nothing short of brilliant. The lefty is slated to start the 2013 season in the Iowa rotation, and if he has continued success like this don’t be surprised if he is back at Wrigley sooner than later, either starting or coming out of the pen.
Brent Lillibridge made a triumphant return to the lineup going 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored. Welington Castillo got the start behind the plate and was 1-for-2 with a triple, two RBI’s and a run scored. Luis Valbuena (1), Brian Bogusevic (2), Dave Sappelt (1), and Darnell McDonald (1) had the rest of the runs knocked in.
As I mentioned, Chris Rusin was awesome. Rusin tossed five nearly perfect innings, giving up no runs on one hit while walking one, and striking out one. Raley improved to 2-0 on the Spring with a 0.69 ERA, he has worked thirteen innings this spring and has given up one run. Drew Carpenter, Jaye Chapman, and Blake Parker all had scoreless appearances in the victory.
Split squad action tomorrow as half the team will face the White Sox on the road, and the other half will face off against Team Japan. Travis Wood will make the start against Team Japan, and Scott Feldman will work against the White Sox.
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The Cubs got back to basics this afternoon and also back into the win column, that’s not a coincidence. After yesterdays game, which was one to forget, the Cubs pitching shut the A’s down all day while the offense pounded out twelve hits, and the defense was solid making no errors, a complete ballgame. Scott Feldman got the start for the Cubs, his first as a North Sider, and struggled a bit with his command but was able to pitch around some self-imposed trouble. Feldman worked two innings giving up one run on two hits while walking two and striking out two. Travis Wood followed Feldman out of the pen, and ended up with the victory as he also went two innings, he gave up one run on two hits while walking none and striking out two. Kyuji Fujikawa had his second straight strong outing as he worked a scoreless inning giving up one hit and striking out one, he now has three strikeouts in two innings of work this Spring. Jensen Lewis made things interesting in the ninth inning as he allowed one run on three hits, but got a couple of clutch strikeouts to earn the save.
The Cubs sprayed the ball all over the field offensively today, registering twelve hits with zero leaving the ballpark. Junior Lake had an impressive day at the plate going 2-for-3 with a double, and an RBI, he is now hitting .300 on the Spring (3-for-10). Darnell McDonald had a strong day at the plate as well going 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored. Jorge Soler flashed some of his tools in the game today, he finished 1-for-3 at the plate with two strikeouts, but gunned down Josh Reddick at 3rd base from right field. Javier Baez got the start at shortstop today while Starlin Castro nurses a tight hamstring, and went 1-for-3 with a run scored, he didn’t endanger any infielders’ lives today, which is good I guess. I know it’s early, and it’s only Spring, but it’s nice to see a Cubs team competitive from the start.
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The Cubs used the long ball early and often against Chad Billingsley and the Dodgers staff to build a 6-2 lead through three innings. Nate Schierholtz hit a solo shot in the first, and then Welington Castillo went back to back with Darnell McDonald in the third inning. McDonald padded the RBI numbers with a three run homer, a no doubter. Unfortunately that was about it for the Cubs offense as they couldn’t scratch across another run the rest of the afternoon. Carlos Villanueva made his Cubs debut and it could have been better as he struggled with his command. Villanueva couldn’t make in through the first inning as he walked two guys, and gave up two runs in two-thirds of an inning. Blake Parker and Barret Loux had solid outings, each turning in a scoreless effort. Robert Whitenack struggled today, giving up three runs, while not allowing a hit, yes he struggled with command as well, walking two in two-thirds of an inning. The news of the day came from Dontrelle Willis, not because he made his debut, but because he only threw seven pitches before leaving with what is being described as shoulder stiffness, he took the loss.
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