Chicago Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano during photo day at HoHoKam Park. Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
We have both good and bad news in today's 10-3 Cubs loss to the Mariners.
Good news! Alfonso Soriano hit his third home run of the spring; he's hitting .625. (Small sample size alert.) Better yet, he did this while playing an acceptable left field.
Good news! Chris Volstad looked solid. It doesn't somehow seem right for someone as big as Volstad to be a sinkerballer, but that's what he does best, and he had a good sinker working on Thursday, allowing just one single.
Bad news! Blake Parker, vying for a possible bullpen spot, got touched up for the fifth Seattle run. (Headed back to be closer at Iowa, I think.) Scott Maine also got hit pretty hard; the guy has talent, but doesn't seem to be able to get major league hitters out.
The Mariners have some good young hitters who were pretty bad last year -- they were second to last in the major leagues in runs scored, only the punchless Giants were worse. Today, it was the Cubs who didn't hit much; apart from Soriano's home run and Jeff Baker's two hits (a single and a double), the Cubs were pretty punchless today. The last three or four innings of this game really dragged; early on, it looked like it could be a quick game, but wound up being well over three hours.
Attendance watch: 8,580 today, 31,170 for four dates, 7,793 average. The game time temperature was still cool, either 62 degrees (said Len) or 65 degrees (the boxscore). It's supposed to be sunny and warm now for at least the next week.
Tomorrow, we'll see Travis Wood for the first time; he'll face the White Sox' Chris Sale. The game will also be the first appearance by the Cubs on TV in 2012, although I will note that the announcers will be the White Sox broadcasting team -- so be ready to hit your mute button.