Anyone else enjoy watching a game with a lineup that closely resembles what opening day will look like?
After a rough first, Marquis turned things around and looked great through five innings giving up 4 hits, 1ER and striking out four. It brought his Spring ERA to 1.93. Phenomenal. Soriano looked uncomfortable to me today going 0-3 and he looked horrendous trying to field a flyball in the third inning, letting it drop next to the warning track. Once again, Lee was a no-show, figuratively and statistically speaking that is. Another 0-3 day dropping his avg to .154.
A few great ‘firsts’ in today’s game: Ramirez hit a 3 run shot for his first HR of the Spring and Fukudome picked up his first stolen base as a Cub. I’ve made comments in the past about how Fukudome (who’s name by the way, is censored as is on the MLB chat site they have available for fans to talk during the game…how ridiculous is that?) needs to get out of the way of pitches and his HBP haven’t been so regular as of late. Unfortunately, in successfully stealing second base, he also managed to successfully take the catcher’s throw right to his neck in the process. One of his teammates joked about him being a magnet with all the roughing up he’s been experiencing. It’s funny, but it won’t be if it keeps up. Fukudome will be huge this year…especially if we need him to be our back up CF (what is that about? Pie better not be included in a Roberts deal if that’s where this might be headed…)
Speaking of Pie, he played the whole game and looked great in legging out a run from first on Cedeno’s triple in the ninth to tie it. I think the club would do a great disservice to take the Pie piece of the puzzle out to drop in the Roberts one…just as I think Lahey did a great disservice to himself with today’s outing. 1/3 of an inning pitched and managed to give up 4 H, 4ER and walked another. I believe he’s done enough to make the team this year but only if he can finish strong in these next couple weeks to make up for today.
It was a blast seeing our potential opening day team on the field (minus Zambrano) today. Going ahead 4-1 after 5 innings would normally put us in a great position especially if you figure in the regular season we keep in perhaps Eyre to pitch the sixth, then Howry, Wood and Marmol to close it out…a much better chance of getting the win over putting out Eyre, Lahey, Walrond, Ascanio and Hart. Even with those guys finishing up for Marquis, we eeked out a 6-5 win in a thrilling bottom of the ninth performance. That’s the positive. The downside is you never want to struggle against the Royals…spring training or not. I feel really good about where the team is right now. If it wasn’t for the potential Roberts deal, I’d feel really comfortable knowing everyone knows their roles, etc. And if its irritating for me, I can only imagine what its like for the guys on the team. Split squad games coming up tomorrow…one of them featuring part 1 of the ‘Can Kerry Wood Close Out a Game Effectively Two Days In a Row’ experiment. Good times. GO CUBS GO!