The Cubs belted their way to victory today, beating the Oakland Athletics 6-4 at Hohokam in front of 6,520 fans. Starting the game off Soriano took former Cub Sean Gallagher deep on the first pitch of his first at bat. In the third, Jake Fox continued the power with a fly ball that just seemed to keep drifting until it landed in the right field bullpen for a 2 run HR. Aramis Ramirez went yard the next inning on one of those A-Ram bombs that you know is long gone the split second you hear the crack of the ball hitting the bat. That 3 run homer would give the Cubs 6 runs, and all the scoring they would need to finish off the A’s.
Sean Marshall, looking to lock up the 5th starter spot was solid today going 3 innings allowing no runs, and no hits. Kevin Gregg worked a scoreless Fourth. Mike Stanton looking to catch on with the staff allowed 2 runs in the Fifth, off 3 hits and 1 walk. Luis Vizcaino pitched a scoreless Sixth, going 1-2-3. Then it was the Cubs 2008 number 1 draft pick Andrew Cashner’s turn (photos below). Cashner struggled allowing 2 runs on 3 hits with a base on balls and a wild pitch. Lou had seen enough and pulled Cashner after only a third of an inning. Neal Cotts came in and took care of Cashner’s mess getting out of the inning without further damage, stranding two A’s. Randy Wells and Esmailin Caridad also pitched scoreless innings.
A couple nice defensive plays turned in: One by Ryan Theriot as a hard grounder caromed off the mound and possibly Vizcaino’s foot high into the air, Theriot grabbed the ball bare handed as it was coming towards the ground and gunned Giambi out at 1st. So Taguchi made a nice sliding grab at the end of a long run on Rob Bowen’s flair to short left field.
Milton Bradley was doing some running drills separate from the rest of the team with strength and conditioning coach Tim Buss before BP. Bradley looked to be moving pretty well from what I could see. Jim Hendry was signing autographs during BP, I later spotted Jim chatting with Cubs beat writer Paul Sullivan by Jim’s seat in the 7th inning.
Today’s game was quick, especially for a spring training game, two hours 34 minutes. Len Kasper sat down and talked to me before the game, part of my conversation with him will be featured on our next CubsAZ video program, look for it in the large media/TV box on the home page or multimedia page in the next day or so.
The Cubs have a split squad tomorrow, heading out to Goodyear to take on the Cleveland Indians who are back in the Cactus League this year after leaving for Florida in 1993. The other half of the Cubs ballclub travels to Las Vegas to take on the White Sox tomorrow night and Thursday afternoon. I wish I could head off to Vegas with the team, but I have other obligations in Phoenix but will watch the game on WGN tomorrow night.
Sorry these photos aren’t as good as my Fitch Park stuff, I’m taking them from my booth at a long distance with a screen between me and home plate.
Andrew Cashner Cubs 1st round pick in 2008
Cashner feeling the heat