Turned out to be partly sunny, but a cooler than normal 55 degrees at first pitch today. Even though it was cool, Carlos Zambrano was hot as he pitched 6 scoreless innings, allowing only 1 hit while facing the minimum number of batters through 5. The Cubs supplied enough hitting to take a 4-1 victory over the Angels in front of another sellout crowd at Hohokam.
With the Cubs outstanding pitching, including Michael Wuertz solid 8th inning, no hits and 2 K’s. The two main contestants for the closer’s job both pitched, Carlos Marmol pitching in the 7th finally allowed a run this spring on a HR by Erik Aybar. He gave up 2 hits and the 1 run of the Angel’s day while finishing the inning on a strikeout throwout of Bobby Wilson and Kendry Morales. Kerry Wood came in for the 9th, and looked the part- closing out the game with an easy 1-2-3. The Cubs’ pitching really kept this game moving along, which ended in less than 2 hours. (1:53) I can’t recall any spring game at this or old Hohokam being any faster than today’s speedy 9.
Cubs runs were supplied by a strong game from Alfonso Soriano, who went 3 for 4 with his 2nd HR of the spring. Mike Fontenot, starting at short, chipped in with a solo HR in the 2nd. A-Ram had an RBI single in the 3d inning. Derrek Lee hit a long drive to left center that came very close to being a HR, he ended up with a double.
Felix Pie was back in the lineup after his having the medical team straighten out the curve ball. The Angels had a split-squad today and their acting manager was Mesa, Arizona native Mickey Hatcher. Former Reds and Mets slugging star George Foster threw out a ceremonial first pitch before the game. Foster will be part of the Fergie and Friends game on March 28th at Hohokam. The Cubs have St. Patrick’s Day off tomorrow, then will play Kansas City on Tuesday in Mesa.