The Cubs lost to the Oakland A’s 2-1 in front of 5,873 fans on a sunny day at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. The same pattern I talked about earlier today took the Cubs down as the A’s scored 2 runs in the 8th inning off Jose Ceda. Ceda had been impressive in camp thus far but has had a rough go of it in Cactus League games. In 1/3rd of an inning today Ceda walked 2 batters, allowed 2 hits, 2 runs, and has an 18.00 ERA in 3 game appearances. Ceda was a very long shot to make the club, trying to jump from single A last year. While his 99 mph fastball is impressive, he’ll definitely need more seasoning.
Marquis warming up before todays game.
Jason Marquis was the starter today, vying for a spot in the rotation, and did well pitching 3 innings of shutout ball, allowing 4 hits. Marquis and Piniella had a chat and ironed out their earlier misunderstanding. You can count on Marquis to be an inning eater if he finds his spot in the rotation he certainly is a well-prepared, focused, and a hard-working pitcher. Other good signs today: Kerry Wood, Bob Howry, and Juan Mateo all pitched scoreless innings. Fukudome continues his selective eye at the plate, drawing another walk and scoring the Cubs lone run. Daryle Ward DH’d today, and had an RBI double. Cubs catcher Geovany Soto was 2 for 2 at the plate along with a walk. However, one thing that is going to absolutely drive Lou Piniella bananas are the continued base running mistakes, Soto was picked off 2nd base today.
Dome avoids being picked off first base.
Not a very large crowd at Phoenix Muni, which was nice, made it easy to walk around and enjoy the game from different vantage points. I met a guy sitting in front of me in the stands, he had on a Cubs jersey that said in place of the name, “Shave Your Head .com”. Turns out, his name is Scott Derenger, he works at Wrigley Field, and is also a stand-up comedian, and huge Cubs fan. Scott is involved in a comedy charity benefit this Saturday evening here in Tempe (more about this on his site). Yes, he is bald. I also had a nice chat with my favorite beer dispensing guru, Mark the Beer Guy, who also happens to have a website. markthebeerguy.com
Dome heads to right, Papago Mountains in background.
I will be on WGEM radio’s SportsCenter tomorrow morning talking Cubs baseball at about 8 am Central Time, 7 am for us in AZ. The show is on live streaming over the internet so tune in here tomorrow morning.
Cubs are back home at Hohokam tomorrow taking on the Seattle Mariners, talk to you after the game.
Marquis not looking in Piniella’s direction.