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The Chicago Cubs didn’t do a whole lot of anything today in what was, assuredly, the most boring game of the Spring thus far. The team lost 5-0 to the Dodgers, which evens up their record at 4-4. ¬†Things started off badly as Matt Garza couldn’t find the zone (barely half of his 39 pitches were strikes), and gave up four runs before being pulled in the second inning. Standard Spring caveats apply (no idea what he was working on; Garza’s Spring numbers last year were terrible; etc.).

As for the other notable bits (again: heavy focus on guys fighting for roster spots and/or specific jobs):

  • Welington Castillo had one of the Cubs’ five hits, but looked … off behind the plate. I’m not saying he looked bad or that he called a bad game. He just didn’t look entirely comfortable back there. I’m probably just not used to his style.
  • Jeff Baker made a couple slick plays at second base, but was 0-2 with a walk at the plate.
  • Adrian Cardenas saw some action late, but went 0-1. Blake DeWitt, for his part, had another hit and a walk while playing third base.
  • Andy Sonnanstine, who’s almost certainly pitching for a bullpen spot only at this point, threw a scoreless inning, striking out one and giving up one hit.
  • Jeff Beliveau rebounded, to say the least. His performance today was a dominant as his previous two outings were abominable – he threw two perfect innings (save for an error by Bobby Scales), striking out five(!). Somebody must’ve said something powerful to Beliveau, and let’s hope they wrote it down.
  • Veteran lefty Trever Miller quietly threw yet another scoreless inning.
  • 2011 21st round draft pick Andrew McKirahan got an inning of work at the end of the game. There were indications last year that the former Texas Longhorn had a relatively advanced, polished approach (but a ceiling that wasn’t terribly high), suggesting that he could move quickly through the system as a LOOGY. This could be another hint at that.
  • Kyle

    I liked what I saw out of Rizzo’s at bats. He’s never going to be a great contact guy, but he looked a little better against outside pitches than he did the first time I saw him the day before.

    I really liked what I saw out of Starlin Castro in the field. Maybe it’s just because I was looking for it, but you started to see what they’ve talked about this offseason for him: Footwork and picking up his target sooner. As he gets into position to field the ball, he’s also getting himself into position to look over to first and pick up his target. That should cut down on the throwing errors significantly.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Agreed on both accounts.

    • Rick Vaughn

      His first shot up the middle was an absolute laser.

  • OkieCub

    Okay, I’m ignorant, I admit it. What’s a LOOGY?

    • Kyle

      Left-handed One Out Guy.

      Basically, it’s usually a lefty with a funky delivery or breaking stuff that is tough for left-handed batters but useless against right-handed batters.

      • MichiganGoat

        Beat menu two minutes

    • MichiganGoat

      Basically a left handed reliever that specializing in getting a left handed batter.

      According to Wikipedia: A mildly derogatory nickname for a left-handed specialist. An acronym for “Lefty One Out GuY,” a left-handed pitcher who may be brought into the game to pitch against just one or two left-handed batters to take extreme advantage of platoon effects.

      Never heard it referred to as derogatory, anyone else ever heard of that? I always thought a compliment but I guess if all your good for is one out then it kind of a slam. Many think all good left ganders are loogys but that’s not true.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        I definitely don’t think of it as derogatory (absent a surrounding derogatory context – “that guy will never amount to more than a LOOGY” is derogatory, while “he could one day be a big-league LOOGY” is not).

        • Edwin

          It can be derogatory in the right context. “We don’t serve their kind here! The loogies, they’ll have to wait outside”.

          • Bric

            Right. Also very derogatory- “Loogies? We don’t need no stinking loogies!”

        • MichiganGoat

          Well it is derogatory when people referred to John Grabow as a loogy

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Except that he was actually a LNOGY.

            • AP

              That’s the great thing about being a lefty. I’m 30 years old and have all of a 27 mph fastball, but since I’m left handed, I could still make it as a LOOGY.

  • MichiganGoat

    In true reactionary fashion: OMG we’re doomed Garza is horrible we should have traded him when we could now we’re stuck with the worst pitcher in baseball. We will be lucky to win 20 games!

    • Kyle

      I’m not concerned with the results, but I’m concerned that the TV radar gun had him working from 85 to 89 with his fastball. I hope it was just a slow gun.

      • MichiganGoat

        OMG we traded a man that could throw 104 but kept this bum, what was Theo thinking! Now we’re lucky to win 15 games.

        • Bric

          Hey goat, did you hear that I figured out Jorge Solar is just an urban legend. That picture of him that Brett uses is actually a Rod Carew rookie card.

          • MichiganGoat

            OMG now were down to 10 wins, Ricketts is too cheap to purchase a Rod Carew rookie card!

      • Mrp

        I’m pretty sure the gun was off. WGN actually stopped showing it after a few pitches that registered at 68 in the second inning. Or we could just go with this…..OMG GARZA CAN”T BREAK A PANE OF GLASS!! THE SKY IS FALLING!! AHHHHH!!

        • Kyle

          Well, that was certainly an appropriate response to the post.

          • MichiganGoat

            Sometimes it’s fun to be overly-reactionary :)

        • DocWimsey

          You forgot to add that the gun was in the grassy knoll…..

      • DocWimsey

        It could also just be an off-day for Garza. Pitchers often go through a “dead arm” phase in spring training. (I’ve never gotten a good explanation as to why that should be, but it’s reported so often that there must be something to it.)

        • MichiganGoat

          OMG he has a dead arm! Now 5 wins is the best we can do.

          • Frank

            Just finish it off—we won’t win a game, but at least we’ll have good draft picks.

  • Edwin

    Maybe Sveum was woringk on how to pull a starter who is getting shelled. With the Cubs rotation this year, that could come in useful.

  • rocky8263

    During an in game interview either bosio or len or bob said garza was working on two pitches. I forget which two.

    • ferrets_bueller

      Slowball and Slowerball.

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