The Indians first visit to Hohokam Park in nearly 20 years was successful as they beat the Cubs 7-5 before 13,097 fans on a gorgeous Mesa afternoon. Mark DeRosa who started at 3rd base today for the Indians got a very warm reception from the Hohokam crowd as he came to bat in the 1st inning and promptly smoked a Ted Lilly pitch for a 2 run dinger. Two innings later DeRo pounded out a solo HR. His next at bat might have been more impressive even though it only ended up as a double because he crushed a ball to dead center that nearly cleared the 35 ft. high batters eye at 410 feet. The ball bounced about 5 foot from the top of the wall back into play. DeRosa finished his big day going 3 for 4 with 4 RBI’s to the chagrin of many a Cub fan.
As for the Cubs Milton Bradley continued his hot hitting with a HR and 3 RBI’s and Ryan Theriot was 2 for 2 with 2 runs scored plus a couple of walks. A-Ram went 2 for 4 one of those being a double. Reed Johnson came in as a pinch hitter in the 8th inning and eventually worked his way to a 3-2 count then smashed a 2 run HR. Joey Gathright started in centerfield played the whole game went 3 for 4 including a double. One of the hits was an infield chopper that Gathright used his speed to beat out. With Reed Johnson having an outstanding spring and Gathright’s solid play, it leaves me scratching my head a bit about how much playing time the Cubs will give Kosuke Fukudome.
Ted Lilly got his first Cactus League start since returning from the WBC. He allowed 4 runs on 7 hits with 2 bases on balls and 8 K’s. Chad Gaudin shaved his goat beard sometime recently I hope it’s not the source of his pitching abilities because he had a tough outing going 2 innings giving up 3 runs on 3 hits, 1 base on balls, 2 strikeouts. Kerry Wood got a chance to pitch today against his former teammates for an inning holding the Cubs scoreless.
Kerry Wood and DeRo arrived at Hohokam today in street clothes and gave many hugs to former teammates, Wood sat for a bit having a conversation with Ryan Dempster. Peter Gammons from ESPN was at the ballpark today. The Cubs head out to Surprise tomorrow to take on the Royals and then back at Hohokam on Tuesday to host the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
The photo below is Mark DeRosa circling the bases on one of his HR’s and was taken by a talented young photographer named Garrett Craig. Garrett is helping out Boys of Spring this week and I will post more of his photos tomorrow, so check back then.