For the second day in a row the Cubs played another 10 inning game, this time against the Colorado Rockies and it offered no exciting conclusion. Today’s game, played in front of a sell-out crowd of 12,712, was called after 10 innings with the teams locked at 4 runs a piece. This was a less than stellar defensive performance by both clubs who combined for an ugly 6 errors, 4 by the Cubs. Mark Prior started the game, and went 3 innings, allowed 2 hits, struck out 3, and gave up 3 runs, all unearned. Lou Piniella, who earlier in the day, had said he was happy with Alfonso Soriano’s play in centerfield this spring, might be reevaluating that opinion after watching him today. Soriano misplayed Kaz Matsui’s liner in the 1st inning, at first hesitating then charging only to let the ball get past him. I won’t go over all the Cubs defensive lapses, other than to say Cliff Floyd committed 2 of the Cubs 4 errors, like Soriano, Floyd was brought to Chicago for his bat.
However the game was not all bad. Alfonso Soriano, Derrek Lee, and Aramis Ramirez all hit homeruns, Lee and Ramirez back to back in the 6th inning. Michael Wuertz bounced back from yesterday’s mulligan to record a solid inning, allowing no hits, striking out 2 with 1 walk. Angel Guzman, who has been named one of the Cubs long relievers, pitched 3 quality innings, giving up 1 run. Ryan Dempster also bounced back from yesterday’s blown save to throw a shutout inning. Neal Cotts and Federico Baez (minor leaguer called up for today’s game) combined for two shutout innings.
While the Cubs had 4 errors in the field today, count 1 in the pressbox for me. As the Public Address Announcer, little mistakes happen fairly often, most going unnoticed. Today’s was definitely conspicuous, as I announced Alfonso Soriano coming up to the plate in the 3rd inning, only problem was, he wasn’t up yet. Who was up? Well, that player was in the dugout & not on the field at the time. It turned out to be Kyle Reynolds, pinch-hitting for Mark Prior. I broke one of my cardinal rules, to always look at my scorecard, instead I was watching Soriano who wasn’t in his normal on deck spot, giving the impression he was coming up to bat. It didn’t seem to bother Soriano any, who after I announced him the 2nd time jacked one out of the Park.
Before the game, Lou Piniella was asked about the female umpire that will work tomorrow’s game at Hohokam. Lou was very positive, and said he had no problem at all with a female umpire. Then, one of the reporters asked him if he would treat a female umpire differently in an onfield squabble, which brought a big smile and some laughter from the manager, who said he should probably avoid answering that question. A female umpire has never worked in the Major Leagues during the regular season. The last time a woman called a big league exhibition game was 1989. The only female umpire in professional baseball, Ria Cortesio, of Rock Island, Illinois, will work tomorrow’s game, and is assigned to Double-A this year.
After Tony Dungy took in a Cubs game yesterday, equal time was given to the other Super Bowl participant as Bear’s Head Coach Lovie Smith was a front row spectator today.
If you are coming to tomorrow’s game at Hohokam get an early start because the game starts at 12:05 Arizona time.