|Dempster started in Mesa today|
The Cubs lost two games today, with split-squads going down to the Rockies 7-5 in Scottsdale and losing to the Diamondbacks 12-2 at Hohokam. I’ll focus on the lopsided loss in Mesa witnessed by 9,912 sun drenched fans.
Cubs pitching was not very good today. Starter Ryan Dempster gave up 3 runs in 3.2 innings but allowed 8 hits including a home run by old pal Hank White, aka Henry Blanco. Dempster also walked one, and struck-out 3. The Diamondbacks had a 4-0 lead by the time Kerry Wood took over in the 7th – when all heck busted loose. Woody struggled immediately, allowing hits to the first 4 batters he faced. With one run already across the plate and bases loaded Wood recorded the first out, then was lifted and replaced by lefty Jeff Beliveau. Beliveau, the Cubs minor league pitcher of the year last season, promptly walked in 2 runs. Things got worse for Beliveau as he surrendered a monster grand slam to Paul Goldschmidt. On the bright side, Carlos Marmol had a decent outing. After walking the first batter he faced, he sat down the next three, one by strikeout.
The Cubs couldn’t get much going offensively, although Starlin Castro had two hits. Geovany Soto and Marlon Byrd each had a double to go along with a base hit.. Catcher Michael Brenly hit his first home run of the spring.
|RJ tracks one down|
In the field, Reed Johnson made a great running grab of Aaron Hill’s liner towards the RF line. Marlon Byrd lost an easy pop up in the sun in the 5th (a fairly common issue in the Cactus League). Anthony Rizzo continues to impress with his athletic ability and defensive play, today he made a nice play on a throw that was high and inside the base. Rizzo was able to maneuver and stretch towards the dugout while keeping his foot on the bag to get the out. Josh Vitters shattered a bat with the large sharp barrel end flying past the Diamondbacks dugout, luckily landing in an empty photographer’s well.
Hopefully we’ll see a better game from the Cubs tomorrow when they take on the Giants at Hohokam. Game photos as always by Boys of Spring ace John Antonoff.
|One of Byrd’s two hits|
|Bobby Scales helps turn two|