The Angels beat the Cubs 9-6 today, dropping the club record to 0-2.
All today's game proved is that the Angels' major league players can beat up on one of the Cubs' minor league relievers, as they hit three home runs (Chone Figgins, Vladimir Guerrero, and Gary Matthews Jr.) off Clay Rapada.
Some here have thought Rapada is closer material. Maybe, but he was overmatched at Iowa after his promotion last year (with an unsightly 1.77 WHIP) and he will soon be 26 years old. However, he is lefthanded, and those types always get second and third and eighth chances. Neal Cotts also got roughed up today; after getting the first two men out, he allowed a single and then threw a wild pitch, which seemed to cause him to lose focus. I hate this, and it's happened with alarming frequency to Cub pitching staffs over the last several seasons. This is something that truly has to be addressed before the team breaks camp. When the first two hitters make easy outs, be aggressive and get the next guy. It's really that simple.
Apart from that, Z threw well in his first spring start, all two innings of it, and Matt Murton had a big day, with three hits and four RBI, and the Cubs' first HR of the spring. Eric Patterson hit the club's second HR of the game in the 8th inning off a 30-year-old journeyman named Greg Jones. Sean Gallagher threw two scoreless innings.
Attendance shows in the boxscore as 9171 and the boxscore temperature was given as 63 degrees -- which seems pretty close based on the Weather Channel's website.
Which would look pretty good to me right now, considering it's 31 degrees in Chicago and has been puking snow this afternoon.
One other baseball-related note this afternoon -- a bus carrying some members of the baseball team at a small Ohio college, Bluffton University, flew off the side of a highway overpass in Georgia today, killing six members of the team and injuring more than 20 others.
Just for some perspective. Till tomorrow.