Paul Maholm pitched a couple of fine innings today in his Spring debut as the Cubs beat the Reds 8-6. Most of the damage came early off of Fabio Arroyo – which nickname I use completely lovingly.
Among the notable bits:
- Jeff Samardzija pitched three innings, giving up two earned runs and striking out three. A bad call cost him the chance to give up just one run, and it wasn’t a bad outing. The fact that he got another three innings today does nothing but strengthen a growing belief that he’s becoming a favorite to take one of the two open rotation spots.
- Alfonso Soriano had two more hits, including a looooong bomb of a home run. I’ll be discussing his Spring very soon.
- Yeah, yeah, Carlos Marmol wild, grumble, hits, rabble, blown save, rubble (Marmol gave up three earned runs in his inning of work on the strength of two hits, two walks and a HBP – eesh). No one wants to be pitching like this in Spring Training, but I’ll be worried when he’s doing this stuff in April. (Which, you know, he almost certainly will.)
- So, Joe Mather really wants to make this team. I’ve said all along that the reserve outfield candidate has an uphill climb – he’d have to pass at least two of Reed Johnson, Tony Campana, and Dave Sappelt. But, that said, he’s doing nothing but hitting, stealing bases, and playing adequate defense. Three-run homer today gave the Cubs the lead back after Marmol’s Marmoliness.
- Rule 5 pick Lendy Castillo – whom you’ve got to suspect Theo and Jed would very, very much like to keep – pitched another scoreless inning, striking out two. His situation (if the Cubs can keep him on the 25-man roster all year (well, technically, on the 25-man for 90 days, and then on the disabled list for the rest of the year), they get to keep him) gives him a leg up in his effort to make the pen. His performance isn’t really doing anything to disuade Dale Sveum from agreeing with Theo and Jed.
- Marcos Mateo threw a scoreless frame, striking out one.