It will go down in the books as a loss, but most of the Cubs regulars did a good job, and the Giants did most of there scoring off a couple of scrubs. The big news of the game was made by a player who wasn’t even on the field. Aramis Ramirez, who was supposed to make his first spring training start, was a game day scratch. Ramirez said he was suffering from soreness in his right shoulder.
"I’m all right hitting — it’s just throwing the ball," Ramirez said. "Last year, I had the same thing. I don’t know what’s up with that — I don’t do the same kind of throwing that I do in the Dominican in the offseason. I went through it last year. I’ll be all right."
Little disappointing, but on to the game. Zambrano came out a little wild, giving up a hit, had a fielding error, and threw a wild pitch, giving the Giants an early 1-0 lead, but he was able to settle down, giving up the one unearned run, two hits, with two strike outs and no walks.
The Cubs offense picked up where it left off, scoring three more runs in the bottom of the first. Soriano was back at the top of the lineup, and he drew a walk and scored a run, but was 0-2 and grounded into a doublle play. Ryan Theriot, who looked so good in the lead off the day before, went 0-3 hitting behind Soriano. Pie, who also looked good in the first game, struggled in the second game, going 0-3 with one strike out and leaving 5 men on base. Fukudome continued to show his plate disciplince, going 1-2 and drawing two more walks. Derek Lee went 1-3 with another RBI. Cubs fans are just dying to see what happens when Fukudome, Lee, and Ramirez finally get to bat in the same game. Rich Hill also pitched two innings, giving up one run on three hits, but he struck out three batters and didn’t walk any.
As far as relievers go, Scott Eyre still doesn’t look like the same guy from 2006. The Giants only scored one unearned run off him, thanks to an error by Sam Fuld, but Eyre did give up a hit and a walk in his one inning of work. Juan Mateo, who looked pretty good in 2006 before the injury bug bit him in 2007 worked a nice inning, allowing no baserunners. Fukudome’s BFF, Shingo Takatsu came in and gave up one hit, a solo home run. He won’t make the team. Finally, we get to the goat of the game, Les Walrond. Let me say this-Les Walrond is god awful. If you remember him from last year, it makes you wonder why you even have a guy like this in the minors. He’s a 30 year old non-roster invitee. The last time he pitched in a major league game was for the Cubs in 2006, when everyone of our pitchers were hurt and Dusty Baker was grabbing anyone who could throw a ball on to the mound. In the 10 games he appeared in, he pitched 17.3 innings, gave up 19 hits and 13 runs. The guy is brutal. So he comes into today’s game with a 5-4 lead and what does this guy do? Gives up 2 hits, 2 walks, hits a batter, and gives up a grand slam, giving the Giants an 8-5 lead and essentially ending the game. Walrond couldn’t get out of the inning, so hard throwing Billy Petrick came in to record the final out of the inning. Carlos Marmol came into the game in the 9th inning and didn’t allow a base runner.
So, the everyday starters are looking decent. The starters look fine. I’m still a little concerned about our left handed relievers. Walrond stinks, Eyre looked mediocre, and so did Neal Cotts yesterday. Carmen Pignatello looks ok. Me, personally, I would rather have a bunch of great righties rather than some good righties and some bad lefties. I like Kevin Hart, Petrick, Mateo, and Ascanio better than Cotts or Eyre. Remember when Lou didn’t pitch Eyre for two months after he stunk it up in the beginning of the season? Eyre is in a contract year, and we need him to pick it up. Tomorrow should be a good game and it will be televised on Comcast Sportnet here in Chicago. The Cubs travel to Tempe, Ariz., to face the Angels, and Jason Marquis is scheduled to start against Jered Weaver. Marquis knows he is not on Lou’s good side, so let’s see how he responds in his first spring training start.