Many of you probably saw the Cubs 5-3 victory over the San Diego Padres on WGN or at Hohokam as we had more fans in attendance than any Cactus League game in history- 13,162. The previous single game attendance record 13,046 was set only last week on St.Patricks Day at Camelback Ranch in Glendale when the Cubs played the Dodgers. They made quite a big deal over the public address system at the Ranch about breaking Hohokam’s record. Of course, they couldn’t do it without the Cubs half of the equation…for us it’s kind of like, oh yeah another sell-out record crowd, we’re used to it, not that big of a deal because we expect it.
As for the game, Rich Harden didn’t start because of the flu so youngster Mitch Atkins got the nod, allowing two runs in the first both unearned. Atkins would have been out of the inning unscathed if not for an error. Alfonso Soriano’s bat is coming around, he went 2 for 4. Milton “The Game” Bradley had a couple hits in 3 at bats. I don’t know if WGN picked this up, but after Milton struck out in the 3rd inning, he threw his batting helmet hard against the dugout wall in frustration…this guy really hates to strike out. A-Ram went 2 for 3. Reed Johnson had a pinch hit 2 run homer to left center that put the Cubs ahead to stay.
Carlos Marmol, Kevin Gregg, and Angel Guzman all pitched well, giving up no runs to the Padres with Gregg and Guzie striking out 3 each. Kevin Hart looking to pitch himself to Iowa, almost blew it in the 9th as he hit the first two batters he faced and allowed a triple and a run before getting Brett Dowdy pop out to end the game.
With Sean Marshall winning the 5th starter spot, one of the few competitions left is for the closer spot, which should be interesting over the next week as both Carlos Marmol and Kevin Gregg battle it out. Angel Guzman helped his cause to join the pen today and it’s really time for him to step up if he’s ever going to. Micah Hoffpauir made a nice leaping snag of a liner in the 6th then doubled up Kyle Blanks off of 1st. Hoffpauir’s glove work at 1st base has been surprisingly effective this spring. Funny but almost not funny, Paul Bako throwing to 1st base after a strikeout only to have Hoffpauir looking the other way and nearly get his head taken off. Luckily it didn’t hit him, the very next batter Chase Headley struck out and Bako made sure Hoffpauir was looking before he threw to first.
Good to see Geovany Soto back with the Cubs even though he went o for 2, striking out both times. The guys from Cubscast.com interviewed me before the game today we touched on alot of different subjects, you can hear it soon on their website. Today I heard a fan say to Billy Williams “let’s play two”, to which Billy replied “Let’s play one and win!” The Cubs will play the White Sox tomorrow at Camelback Ranch and then we’ll host the Mariners on Sunday at Hohokam.
Soto during infield this morning