So let me get this straight. Last Saturday, a Cubs right-handed pitcher named Carlos got pounded early and often by White Sox hitters, allowing two home runs, and everyone here was out with the pitchforks and torches, saying, "Release him! He sucks! He'll never be good! He's the worst pitcher in baseball!"
Today, a Cubs pitcher named Carlos gave up six hits, a walk, and a grand slam to Pablo Sandoval, allowing five runs in three innings of work.
Get rid of him, right? DFA?
I should put the sarcasm photo here, because obviously, the Cubs aren't going to release Carlos Zambrano based on one bad spring training appearance. And also obviously, he's earned the right to have bad spring outings more than Carlos Silva, who got hammered by the Sox last weekend. And if Silva continues to pitch poorly, then yes, the Cubs will have a decision to make about him. But supposedly Silva had a mechanical flaw that's been corrected -- we'll see if that makes any difference when he goes tomorrow against the Padres at Peoria. The point is, don't judge a pitcher -- any pitcher -- off one spring training appearance.
Sandoval's grand slam was pretty much the story of the game; the Giants' five runs in that third inning off Z were the only runs they scored in a 5-1 win over the Cubs. Six Cubs relievers -- John Grabow, Mike Parisi, Andrew Cashner, Thomas Diamond, John Gaub and Justin Berg -- limited the Giants to a single and a pair of walks after that. That's good news, as a couple of those guys, particularly Cashner and Berg, are strong candidates to go north with the team.
Meanwhile, the Cubs managed only one run. Derrek Lee walked and Aramis Ramirez hit an RBI double -- but only after D-Lee had to be removed from the game for pinch-runner Micah Hoffpauir after he fouled a ball off his foot. Hopefully, that was only as a precaution, given that this is an early-spring game.
Today's attendance was 9,381 on another cool day when the game-time temperature was again lower in Mesa (55) than it was in Chicago (60 outside my window on the north side). The weather's supposed to gradually warm into the 70's by the weekend. Average attendance in Mesa for five dates is now 9,968. I would expect that to increase after the next home game, a Saturday afternoon date with the Reds, the first meeting with Cincinnati after their move to Arizona spring training this year.