|DeWitt about to go yard|
The Cubs lost to the Oakland Athletics at Hohokam Park today, 8-7. The Cubs held a 6-1 lead in to the 6th inning before the Athletics scored 7 runs over the final four frames. 5,809 fans turned out on this somewhat overcast Mesa Monday with temperatures in the low 80s.
One of the Cubs big hits came in the 2nd inning when Blake DeWitt pounded a 3 run home run off Bartolo Colon. Josh Vitters had an RBI double in the 4th, helping the Cubs to plate 3 runs that inning, establishing the 6-1 lead. Cubs Hitters of note: Jeff Baker was 2 for 2 including a double, Joe Mather who took over RF for Baker had 2 hits and 2 stolen bases before coming up with a runner on in the 9th, unfortunately he ground into a game ending double play. Steve Clevenger started at catcher and had a hit and a sac RBI.
Ryan Dempster started the game and pitched two effective innings, giving up 1 run on 2 hits with 2 K’s. Scott Maine, Blake Parker and Casey Weathers each followed with a scoreless frame, then Marco Carrillo gave up 4 runs on 3 hits, 2 walks in .2 inning. Manuel Corpas relieved Carrillo and gave up 2 runs on 3 hits in 1.1 inning. Cubs Minor league addition Anthony Zych gave up the A’s winning run in the 9th.
|Rizzo goes way up|
Other game notes: Reed Johnson made a nice running grab in the 3rd off a Collin Cowgill drive to the left center alley. Johnson showed good communication with CF Tony Campana who was also blazing towards the ball. Starlin Castro ranged deep to the hole between 3rd and short for a grounder, then made a whirling throw right on the money to get the runner at first. Anthony Rizzo who came into the game replacing Bryan LaHair at first base showed nice athleticism elevating high in the air to snare a Brandon Moss liner in the 9th.
We had an uplifting pre-game ceremony honoring Robert Brinton, the long time Cactus League icon who died unexpectedly this past October. His wife Nannette and their 8 kids all threw simultaneous ceremonial pitches. Robert’s wife, kids and grandkids also sang Take Me Out To The Ballgame during the 7th inning stretch. Robert’s initials are painted on the field as a memorial this spring. Another addition to the Hohokam field this spring season is the Cubbie Bear head logo cut into the outfield grass.
The Hohokam fire alarm, which is a very annoying combination of siren and buzzer, went off while Ryan Dempster was pitching in the1st inning. It took a couple batters to finally get the errant alarm shut off. Dempster seemed unfazed.
It’s interesting that the Athletics played the Cubs two games in a row at Hohokam to open the Cactus League season, that gave them a good chance to take a close look at the Hohokam/Fitch set-up. The Athletics are the prime candidate to take over as the spring tenant at Hohokam once the Cubs move to their new spring digs at Wrigleyville West in 2014.
We are pleased to welcome back our Boys of Spring ace game photographer John Antonoff! These are his photos from today’s game and pre-game.
|Josh Vitters double|
|Robert Brinton’s family and the Cubs who caught their pitches|
|Blake Lalli’s RBI single|
|Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and Nannette Brinton|