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A Good Beginning


I know that today's 12-6 Cub win over the Giants is not only meaningless in the grand scheme of things, but the score will likely be forgotten by Opening Day, if not before.

But still, isn't it nice to start the spring this way instead of the way it did a year ago -- remember? Well, of course you don't, for the very same reason you won't remember today, either. Spring results are virtually without meaning, but in 2007, when the Cubs started by losing their first four games and we all thought Lou Piniella was going to blow his stack before April even arrived, there seemed more of a sense of urgency to at least winonealreadybeforesomethingdrastichappens!

As it turned out, spring 2007 was a microcosm of the season -- a bad and seemingly out-of-control start, followed by, slowly, a team that got itself together and looked better pretty much each day as time went by.

This year, the consensus was that Lou didn't need to look at very much, other than decide who his closer was going to be, to sort out the bottom of the pitching rotation, and to tinker with a couple of batting order slots.

Today, none of the above really got accomplished, but a whole bunch of people -- some of whom will actually be in Cubs uniforms when the season starts -- got a whole bunch of hits. Ryan Theriot went 3-for-3 before being taken out; Kosuke Fukudome started to seal his reputation (as some of you mentioned in the game thread comments) as an "OBP machine" by getting hit by the very first pitch he saw, drawing a walk, and singling; and Felix Pie and Li'l Mikey Fontenot hit home runs, Fontenot's being a three-run job pinch-hitting for Ryan Dempster.

For his part, Dempster, in his first two-inning start auditioning for a rotation slot, threw credibly, allowing two hits, one run, striking out two and walking no one. The rest of the staff, save kid fireballer Jose Ceda (who allowed two hits, two walks and two runs before being mercifully pulled), also threw credibly. None of the closer candidates pitched today, so that competition remains at square one; in fact, Dempster and Kevin Hart were the only ones of today's pitchers who will likely break camp with the major league club (and that's no lock for Hart, either -- not that he doesn't deserve it, but it may be a numbers-game thing for him).

And keep in mind that this game was against the San Francisco Giants, who look like a really, really bad team this season (Scott McClain starting their exhibition opener at 3B? They're that desperate?). At least three of their relievers today (Jack Taschner, Kevin Correia, and Brian Hennessey) are going to be mainstays of their bullpen this year, so I'd say Bruce Bochy has concerns.

And so the best news of the day is that Mark DeRosa did undergo the heart procedure he was scheduled to have in Chicago today and all went well, according to Cubs team Dr. Stephen Adams:

DeRosa could return to Arizona on Sunday and could resume taking batting practice by the beginning of next week. Adams said if DeRosa passes all the tests, he could be going "full throttle" by the end of next week.

In the meantime, it's nice to be 1-0, anytime, right? Sometime over the weekend I'll try to get the final projections posted for the four pitchers I've already posted and get some new threads going. And if any BCB'er was at the game today, please post your thoughts in the comments or in a diary.