Sorry about using last year’s Cubs marketing campaign slogan in the title. I know we are now committed, but committed or no, it simply is better, and more fun, when you win. With the recent storm front that cancelled Friday’s Cactus League games long gone, we settled into a gorgeous Sunday afternoon with sunshine and a high temp around 70 degrees. It certainly was a lot more fun for Cubs fans today than yesterday, as the Cubs beat the San Diego Padres 9-3 at Hohokam in front of 8,646 in attendance. The win ended a five game losing streak.
The Cubs played some long ball today, with Dioner Navarro, Jorge Soler, and Christian Villanueva all pounding it out of the yard. Alfonso Soriano also had a big 2-run double in the sixth inning when the Cubs plated their first runs of the game. The Cubs scored 4 runs in the sixth inning and then really broke it open with 5 runs in the eight inning, powered by Soler’s solo rocket to left, and Villanueva’s 2 run dinger.
Scott Feldman got the start and pitched well going three innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, with no walks and 3 K’s. Travis Wood followed Feldman and he was outstanding in his 4 innings of work. Wood only allowed 1 hit to the Padres, while holding them scoreless. At one point Wood K’d five of six consecutive batters over the fourth and fifth innings. Carlos Marmol worked a 1-2-3 inning in the eight. Yes, you read that right, not one base-on-balls. The Padres picked up a final run in the ninth inning off Michael Bowden. Former Cubs Jason Marquis and Andrew Cashner both pitched well for the Padres, with starter Marquis hurling 4 shutout innings, and Cash chipping in with a 1-2-3 seventh.
Before today’s game got under way, the Cubs had the finals of the second annual team bunting competition. David DeJesus took home his second title in as many years, beating Cubs video assistant Nate Halm. Apparently Nate had played some college baseball at Miami of Ohio, so it’s not as if he had just picked up a bat instead of a video camera and become a bunting savant. However, with his video skills we may soon see 30 Days to Better Bunting by Nate Halm hit the DVD market soon.
Remnants of the recent storm kept the soccer fields used for some of the Hohokam parking under water, muddy, and unusable. Which made for some serious traffic and parking issues. On the positive side, the storm left some snow on the mountains surrounding the valley, making a postcard view from the stadium’s second level. Once again my photographer John was over at the WBC games today, I’ll see if we can’t get him to post some of those photos tomorrow.
The Cubs head to Scottsdale tomorrow to take on the AZ Diamondbacks.