|The sky from my booth about 12:45pm – Photo TJS
Rain was all around the Valley of the Sun today. In fact, three other Cactus League games were not played due to the rain, and another was stopped after five and a half innings. In Mesa we played 10 innings, with the White Sox beating the Cubs by a score of 7-5.
|Casey Coleman today|
In spite of the less than stellar conditions, today’s attendance was 12,469, it appeared to my eyes that around 11,500 were actually at Hohokam. The Cubs were cruising along with a 3-0 lead until Andy Sonnanstine came in to pitch in the 6th inning. The Sox put up 5 runs on him which included a Dan Johnson, HR blast. Sonnanstine stayed in the game for the 7th inning, and would have been in for further abuse after giving up a hit and two consecutive walks, but the Cubs defense was able to help with an inning ending double play. Casey Coleman started and tossed 3 solid shutout innings. Kerry Wood pitched a scoreless 4th inning aided by a double play after allowing two consecutive hits. Carlos Marmol followed Wood with a nice hitless inning, allowing only a walk to Tyler Flowers. It looks like Marmol is starting to settle in with the pitches he likes and locate his fastball better. Marcos Mateo allowed the Sox two runs in the 10th inning, but only one was earned as Cubs SS Logan Watkins’ throwing error allowed Ray Olmedo to score.
|Brett Jackson hits a double in 10th inning|
The Cubs had a great chance to win this thing in the 8th when they scored 2 runs to tie the game at 5, and then had bases loaded with only 1 but failed to plate another run. Starlin Castro, Josh Vitters, and Tony Campana each had two hits. It’s good to see the Cubs really running and going from first base to third base on a single, today it was Jeff Baker doing the running on a Josh Vitters single to right center. Josh Vitters also had a stole second base, yes, Josh Vitters! With one out in the 10th, Brett Jackson tried to ignite a Cubs rally, hitting a double, but was left stranded.
I really don’t get concerned at these wins or losses right now because many of the players who are deciding these games won’t be on the team, at least this season. The players and coaching staff are also still working on certain aspects of the game, and not individual pitcher/hitter match-ups at this point. However, with just about two and a half weeks until the season opener, the coaching staff will now become a bit more focused on game situations and match-ups. From here on out the position battles will become more intense and magnified until the cutting process is complete.
Photos by BOS’s John Antonoff
|Hard working grounds crew|
|Logan Watkins helps with double play|
|Baker to third|
|Vitters steals second|
|AZ Governor Jan Brewer threw ceremonial pitch|