Joe Mather continues to impress as he hit a game winning solo homerun yesterday against the Texas Rangers. He is making a strong case to make the opening day roster with a rather impressive spring thus far. Not only has Mather had a nice spring with the bat, but his versatility should only improve his chances of making the team. He can play the corner outfield spots and can also play both corner spots in the infield. Mather, 29 hits from the right side of the plate, which if he makes the team he should get plenty of playing time against left-handed pitching as he could spell DeJesus, LaHair, and Sewart. (more…)
The Cubs jumped out to a 3-0 lead and Casey Coleman made that stand while he was in the game for three strong innings. However, Andy Sonnanstine had another rough outing which let the Sox right back in the game, and gave them a brief 5-3 lead. The Cubs were able to fight back and tie it late, but left runners on the corners in the 8th inning. Jordan Danks belted a 2-run homer in the 10th inning to give the White Sox a two run lead, and eventually the victory.
Joe Mather made another huge statement on Sunday, hitting a game winning solo shot in the top of the 9th inning against the Rangers. A home run that might have cemented his spot on the Cubs bench for the upcoming season. Mather has been fantastic this Spring, hitting .379, with 2 HR’s, and 7 RBI in 29 Spring at bats.
Chris Volstad starts for the Cubs against the Rangers, Casey Coleman is scheduled to start for the Cubs against the White Sox, other pitchers expected to get some action today include Carlos Marmol, Kerry Wood, Lendy Castillo, and Andy Sonnanstine, among others.
Today’s lineup against the Rangers (MLB.tv in Vegas)
1. Reed Johnson, LF
2. Junior Lake, SS
3. Blake DeWitt, 2B
4. Alfonso Soriano, DH
5. Bryan LaHair, 1B
6. Joe Mather, 3B
7. Steve Clevenger, C
8. Dave Sappelt, RF
9. James Adduci, CF
Today’s lineup against the White Sox (Free audio on Cubs.com)
1. David DeJesus, DH
2. Marlon Byrd, CF
3. Starlin Castro, SS
4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
5. Geovany Soto, C
6. Jeff Baker, LF
7. Josh Vitters, 3B
8. Alfredo Amezaga, 2B
9. Tony Campana, RF
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Ups and downs, I’m sure the Cubs will see their fair share of those throughout the season. They have already seen it this Spring, just four days ago the Cubs were coming off three straight wins and playing some good baseball, now they have lost six in a row, good thing is, none of that matters right now. The Cubs are still playing well, just not getting the results, there will be plenty of time for that. Each Cubs starter pitched well today, Samardzija against the Rangers, and Maholm against the A’s. However, both pitchers were tagged with losses today, Maholm was done in by a Josh Vitters error in the first that led to a three run first inning. Samardzija only gave up one run over four innings, but the Cubs bats couldn’t get it going until late in the game when it was out of hand.
The Cubs have claimed right-handed pitcher Frankie De La Cruz from the Brewers. De La Cruz was getting roughed up this Spring, giving up eight runs on seven hits and three walks over 3 1/3 innings. The spot that was opened by Casey Weathers being moved off the 40 man roster is now De La Cruz’s, and he will compete for a spot in the bullpen. The Brewers had hoped De La Cruz would clear waivers and start at Triple-A Nashville. Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio knows the right-hander well.
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In one of the best played games of the Spring, meaning the game was similar to a regular season game, the Cubs fell 3-2 to the Giants. Matt Garza had a decent outing, going 4 innings, and allowing two runs on three hits. Rafael Dolis, and Chris Rusin continued their strong Spring both tossing scoreless frames.
I mentioned in an earlier blog post that what could be better than two Cubs games in one day, well I meant as long as they don’t lose both. That’s exactly what happened today, as the Cubs fell 12-2 to the D-Backs, and 7-5 against the Rockies. Very few if any bright spots today, but Junior Lake and Michael Brenly hit HR’s, so there’s that. Kerry Wood got knocked around, so did Dempster, and Carlos Marmol tightroped his way thru a scoreless inning.
Cubs vs. Diamondbacks in Mesa
Cubs vs. Rockies in Scottsdale
Happy March Madness, even better? Two Cubs games in one day, check back tonight for full recaps from both games!
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Randy Wells turned in an outstanding performance against the Brewers on Wednesday afternoon, going three scoreless innings, Travis Wood, not so much. Wood was lit up like a Christmas tree for the second time this spring, ending the day with a 1/3rd of an inning pitched giving up 6 runs (5 earned), on 3 hits, 2 walks, while striking out one.