On a gorgeous sunny 75 degree day, the Cubs played their final split squad games of the spring season. At Hohokam Stadium the Cubs came away with a 2-0 shutout of the San Diego Padres, while falling 3-2 to the Arizona Diamondbacks in Scottsdale.
The game in Mesa was the Cubs first shutout this spring and Cubs starting pitcher Paul Maholm turned in five solid innings, scattering 4 hits, with 2 walks and 6 K’s. Carlos Marmol followed Maholm with one of his best efforts this spring. In spite of allowing a hit (the ball hit the bag at first, otherwise Bryan LaHair may have made the play) and a walk, Marmol shut down the Padres without scoring. Casey Coleman followed with 2 solid innings, allowing only 1 single. Rafael Dolis finished the game for the Cubs in the 9th. Dolis would have had an easy 1-2-3 inning, but while striking out Everett Williams for what would have been the 3rd out, the ball got past Geovany Soto (wild pitch) allowing Williams to reach 1st base. Dolis then walked Yasmani Grandal, putting the tying run aboard, before recording the 3rd out.
The Cubs were not exactly an offensive juggernaut themselves, but were able to plate a run in each of the first two innings. In the first, Starlin Castro drew a 2-out walk then stole second base and was driven home on Bryan LaHair’s double. In the 2nd inning, Jeff Baker led off with a double (one of two doubles he had today), followed by a Tony Campana single, Reed Johnson then drove in Baker with a single.
Matt Szczur made a sensational diving grab in the top of the 9th off a Jaff Decker (yes, Jaff) sinking liner. In the fifth inning Tony Campana made a long run on a bloop single down the left field line, he then turned and gunned a perfect throw to nail Padres Will Venable trying to stretch it to a double.
It’s nice to hear Go Cubs Go after the victory at Hohokam, however this is only the 3rd win for the Cubs at the Mesa ballpark this spring. 7,122 fans attended the Mesa game, with 11,573 making it out to see the Cubs in Scottsdale. Our photographer John Antonoff had the day off, so no photos today. I would have taken some but I was a little busy announcing the game.