Another day, another big home run from Alfonso Soriano, hopefully he can bottle this magic and take it North with him next week. Soriano has been on fire at the plate, hitting six home runs on the spring, he’s clearly motivated, and a motivated Soriano can be a dangerous one for the rest of the National League.
The Cubs played well for the majority of both games today but ended up tied in one, and lost the other. The Cubs held a solid lead all day against the A’s, but a three run ninth inning by the A’s forced the game to extra’s and that’s where it ended tied at five. In the other game, Ryan Dempster turned in the longest outing by a Cubs pitcher all Spring going 6 strong innings, however the Cubs couldn’t break thru against Rangers pitching and dropped a well-played ball game 6-2. The other interesting, or, concerning news for Cubs fans was that Carlos Marmol had to leave the game against the Rangers after a visit from the trainer, more on that later.
The Cubs jumped out to a 3-0 lead and Casey Coleman made that stand while he was in the game for three strong innings. However, Andy Sonnanstine had another rough outing which let the Sox right back in the game, and gave them a brief 5-3 lead. The Cubs were able to fight back and tie it late, but left runners on the corners in the 8th inning. Jordan Danks belted a 2-run homer in the 10th inning to give the White Sox a two run lead, and eventually the victory.
Ups and downs, I’m sure the Cubs will see their fair share of those throughout the season. They have already seen it this Spring, just four days ago the Cubs were coming off three straight wins and playing some good baseball, now they have lost six in a row, good thing is, none of that matters right now. The Cubs are still playing well, just not getting the results, there will be plenty of time for that. Each Cubs starter pitched well today, Samardzija against the Rangers, and Maholm against the A’s. However, both pitchers were tagged with losses today, Maholm was done in by a Josh Vitters error in the first that led to a three run first inning. Samardzija only gave up one run over four innings, but the Cubs bats couldn’t get it going until late in the game when it was out of hand.
In one of the best played games of the Spring, meaning the game was similar to a regular season game, the Cubs fell 3-2 to the Giants. Matt Garza had a decent outing, going 4 innings, and allowing two runs on three hits. Rafael Dolis, and Chris Rusin continued their strong Spring both tossing scoreless frames.
Randy Wells turned in an outstanding performance against the Brewers on Wednesday afternoon, going three scoreless innings, Travis Wood, not so much. Wood was lit up like a Christmas tree for the second time this spring, ending the day with a 1/3rd of an inning pitched giving up 6 runs (5 earned), on 3 hits, 2 walks, while striking out one.
A shaky outing by Matt Garza, and cold bats dropped the Cubs back to .500 losing 5-1 to the Dodgers today. Not much else to say, you can’t be awesome every day. One of the few bright spots on the afternoon was Jeff Beliveau who tossed two scoreless innings, stirking out five guys.
Beliveau Strikes Out Five