A lot of scrubs played in today's 5-4 Cubs loss to the Indians. Only Derrek Lee and Milton Bradley, among regular players (I'm not counting Joey Gathright and Aaron Miles as starters, although they probably got credit for being so, to give the Cubs the four "regulars" they usually are required to bring to road games), got the start today. Both went 1-for-3 before departing, Gathright leaving for a pinch-runner -- which probably is the first time that's ever happened to the speedy Gathright in any pro game, spring training or no. It was 77 degrees at game time, yet another above-normal temperature day. There seemed to be a fair number of Cubs fans in the smallish crowd of 5,352, judging from the applause I heard over the WGN radio broadcast when the Cubs did something good.
The biggest blows today were struck by Brad Snyder, a two-run single in the first inning, and a single and a triple by Nate Spears, who, surprisingly, participated in the Arizona Fall League (usually a showcase for prospects) and then was left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft. He wasn't invited to spring training, but got into this game because of all the extra players needed. Spears is a Mike Fontenot type who might have a shot at being a utility player in the majors; Snyder isn't really a prospect, but will probably be a starting OF at Iowa this year and might provide some injury protection.
Chad Gaudin had a shaky first inning and then settled down. Good news: he didn't walk anyone, and the rest of the game was pitched by guys who won't be on the major league roster. So, the 5-4 loss, which resulted from hits and walks given up by Justin Berg, doesn't mean all that much.
Bob Brenly's son Michael, who was drafted last year in one of the later rounds, was brought over to Goodyear with some of the other minor leaguers, but didn't get into the game. So, I thought I'd post this cubs.com article about him, just to give him some exposure. Michael Brenly isn't a top prospect, but if he can hit even a little bit, he's got a chance to perhaps be a backup catcher in the major leagues.
Now, on to tonight's matchup.
West Coast game start times already, and it's not even April yet... the Cubs and White Sox are meeting in early-March Las Vegas games on two weekdays, as opposed to the final-weekend-of-the-spring matchups with the Mariners and/or Padres they've had in Vegas the last two years.
The Cubs will be the "home" team tonight and bat last. Jeff Samardzija gets his second spring start and will face the Sox' John Danks. Here's MLB.com Gameday, in case you don't have access to the telecast on WGN-TV (announced by Len & Bob, as will be tomorrow afternoon's contest).
Discuss amongst yourselves.