Today at Hohokam the Cubs played an intra-squad charity game against minor leaguers from the Cubs organization. The final score on another beautiful Mesa, AZ day was the Minor League guys 8 and the Cubs 6, the score was irrelevant in that after the 4th inning with the Cubs leading 3-1 the game was pretty much finished by all minor league players on both sides. This game didn’t count in the Cactus League schedule and was played in front of 3,993 although there didn’t appear to be nearly that many people in the park. All the players and coaches (fans too) are ready to start playing some real baseball and looking forward to opening day on Friday. However, there were some interesting things that happened in today’s game.
Darwin Barney gained 18 pounds this off-season and looks to have more power, hitting a hitting a 2 run homer in the 4th. Blake DeWitt had a pair of hits as did Jeff Baker. Starlin Castro had a hit in which he never stopped while rounding first base and turned it on to just beat the throw and tag at second base. Castro tried to take the extra base again going from second to home and would have been hosed at the plate were it not for minor league catcher Steve Clevenger dropping the ball. Castro was not even close enough to be in a slide at the time so he just hopped over Clevenger’s arms and stepped on home plate. Koyie Hill notched a hit in the 3rd inning only his 2nd of the spring (although it won’t count in Cactus League stats) it came off minor league pitcher J.R. Mathes. Hill upon reaching first threw his hands up in the air to celebrate, when the fans cheered him he lifted his hat to the crowd. Tyler Colvin made a nice running grab in left field on a Jae-Hoon Ha long drive in the 2nd.
Randy Wells in his final Cactus League tune up started today’s game and pitched 3 innings allowed 1 run on 2 hits with 1 walk and 1 strike out. Marcos Mateo had some trouble with the minor league youngsters in the 6th giving up a couple runs on 3 hits.
|Na flying into home|
Some notes on the Cubs minor league players: Tony Campana, Kyung-Min Na and Evan Crawford are three extremely fast players in the Cubs organization. Campana had 3 hits and and two stolen bases with two runs scored. Campana has 114 stolen bases over the past two minor league season’s while hitting .319 at AA Tennessee last year. The 19 year old Na had 2 hits including a bunt single, he was considered the fastest player in all of Korean High School baseball last year. Na also stole a base and scored from 2nd using his speed to just beat the throw into home. The 21 year old Crawford had 27 stolen bases last year in Single A ball and showed his wheels in the 9th inning sprinting to an easy stand up triple. DJ LeMahieu had a couple hits including an RBI double. Nate Samson had 2 hits and a stolen base. Josh Vitters had a double and RBI triple. Cubs broadcaster Bob Brenly’s son Mike Brenly got into the game and drew a base on balls in his only at bat, while mom and dad looked on from a booth in the press box.
|Reed Johnson makes running grab|
This was one of those fun and crazy games that I knew would throw the normal baseball rules out the window. My first clue was seeing the Cubs lineup with 10 batters that included 2 designated hitters. In fact, in the early innings the Cubs batted all 9 spots including the pitcher (Wells) as well as both Soriano and Pena who were designated hitters for a total of 11 batters. In the first inning Soriano batted ahead Tyler Colvin who was to be the third batter, the following inning Jeff Baker jokingly pretended he was going to the plate ahead of Colvin. Colvin not wanting to get aced out of his at-bat again ran up to the plate ahead of Baker. As mentioned today’s game didn’t count in the Cactus League standings which saw the Cubs finish with an 14-19 record. The Cubs drew 160,527 fans to Hohokam this spring for an average of 9,443 per contest.
Bud Page the Chief big Ho of the Hohokams got to throw a ceremonial pitch and catching the pitch for Bud was none other than Cubs Manager Mike Quade. Quade yelled up to the press box letting us know he was the catcher on Bud’s pitch, which tells you how few fans were at the game as I heard Mike loud and clear. I also heard Mark the Beer Guy who came down the main concourse in the 1st inning and said “Hey Tim, do you need a beer?” I shouted to Mark that I’d hold off until the 3rd inning. The Hohokam rookies sang the 7th inning stretch.
Spring training 2011 is done and it’s on to opening day at Wrigley! We will have a Cubs season preview video here at BOS tomorrow with Len Kasper talking about his thoughts and feelings on the upcoming 2011 Cubs season, so be sure to check that out. Since the Cubs were headed right to their flight they got screened after the game outside Hohokam. Photos by BOS’s John Antonoff
|Kerry Wood getting the check outside Hohokam|
|Byrd didn’t play today, not baseball anyway|
|Soriano getting the once over|