Sorry for the late Miscellany, but after the game, I tooled around the mountains East of Mesa for a bit this afternoon/evening. Beautiful place.
As for the game, while it’s always a blast to enjoy live Chicago Cubs baseball in nice weather, it was kind of a dud. No offense for the Cubs, blah pitching for the Cubs, and a number of guys whom I would have liked to have seen didn’t get into the game. And, when we trekked down to Fitch to check out any youngsters that might be working out, there were none to be found. Grumble. I did meet BN’er LouCub at the game today, which was cool.
Among the game’s notable bits…
- Travis Wood had a decent, unspectacular start (though the final line reads crummy (3.2 innings, 5 hits, 2 hit batters, 3 earned runs), two of the runs charged to him were primarily thanks to a two-out double given up by Trever Miller). The hits off of him weren’t cheapies, though. The number of groundouts he got was encouraging, but I saw enough to suspect that AAA Iowa is where he belongs right now.
- Randy Wells threw 1.2 scoreless innings (though he was bailed out on a beautiful play by Darwin Barney on a rocket shot, which he turned into a double play after making a leaping catch). He came into the game with one out in the fifth, but with no one on base, and he pitched from the stretch. It was a “bullpen” appearance all the way, and I think it’s pretty clear that’s the job he’s being considered for at this point.
- Scott Maine threw a scoreless inning with a walk and two strikeouts. Dale Sveum is considering going without “another” lefty in the pen (besides James Russell), so it’s possible that Maine could be left out of the bullpen mix despite a very strong Spring.
- Lendy Castillo also threw a scoreless frame, but it was a dicey one with two walks. He seemed to get really preoccupied with runners on base, and forget about the guy at the plate. Pretty understandable, given his age, but it makes you wonder whether keeping in the pen is the best thing for the 2012 Cubs’ bullpen, or just the best thing for the Cubs’ organizational depth, overall. For what it’s worth, I’m hoping he makes the cut. I see a lot of future value there that the Cubs can essentially nab for free.
- Tony Zych (fourth round pick in 2011), threw the ninth inning, and although he gave up a couple runs, it was easy to see why the Cubs like him as a fast-tracked future reliever. He throws very hard, and has a really interesting – probably hard to time – delivery.
- On offense, most of the starters stayed in for the whole game, including catcher Welington Castillo (0-2). It will be interesting to see if Steve Clevenger gets a whole game soon, too.
- The Cubs had only three hits the entire game – a single each by Marlon Byrd and Blake DeWitt, and a rope double by Alfonso Soriano that missed being a homer by about three feet.