Al, since you were taking in the game at Maryvale, Fezboy & Ginger and I will report on the split-squade game on the home diamond.
The first inning pretty much summed up the game, with the Cubs sending ten men to the plate while scoring five runs on six hits, including home runs by Soriano and Lee. Mariners starter Ryan Feierabend didn't stand a chance-Even Wade Miller roped him. The onslought continued through the fourth inning, with the Cubs tallying three runs in each of the second, third and fourth. The Riot continued to impress, going 4-for-5. He was a home run shy of the cycle with eight total bases and three runs scored. Micheal Barrett had two identical, line-drive homers, Soriano led off the game with one, and Aramis had one that were not sure where it landed.
Wade Miller's start probably got him closer to the fifth spot in the rotation, going 3.1 innings, six hits, 3 ER, while striking out two. The Mariners first inning run should not have happened if Cliff Floyd, starting today in left field, would have made a routine, warning-track fly-ball catch, which went for a ground-rule double. There was also an error in the mix of his three-run third. What concerns me is he was hitting 87-88 mph on his fastball, with a rare 89-90. Hopefully he'll strengthen as the season goes on. Hey look, Neil Cotts with a solid outing! Two innings, one hit, with two Ks, hitting 90-91 on the gun. Howery looked good also, hitting 92-93.
I'm not sure what kind of line-up Seattle put out there today, because I'm a Cubs fan, and don't know jack about the Mariners, but man, they looked sad.
Some other highlights today were Chris Walker's beautiful leaping grab at the center field wall in the fifth, and the crowd favorite of Zambrano pinch-hitting in the fifth, although he wiffed.
What a difference between the Cubs of today and yesterday. Fezboy out.