Wins in spring training, they say, don't mean anything, and they don't, in terms of winning pennants and World Series.
Nevertheless, any competitor in any sport likes to win. That's why today's 3-2 Cubs win over the Giants is a good thing. That's not to say that the team still doesn't have things to work on. The Cubs made three more errors today, for a total of nine so far this spring. Manager Mike Quade joked that he was going to start "cutting fingers off" if the team didn't play better in the field. (That would make it even harder to make plays, without fingers, right?)
Also having a tough time today was MLB.com's audio service, which had WGN radio's feed posted for the first few minutes of today's game -- except WGN wasn't carrying today's game; it was one of several that will be exclusive to cubs.com with TV voice Len Kasper and Tennessee Smokies announcer Mick Gillispie. They did switch over fairly quickly and the two sound very good -- Len did his usual fine job and Gillispie also does nice work.
Pitching-wise, six Cub hurlers combined to allow only six Giants hits, four singles and two doubles (both by Pablo Sandoval). Ryan Dempster became the first Cub starter to go three innings and he allowed only a run. Scott Maine allowed the other SF run and Todd Wellemeyer, Casey Coleman, Jeff Stevens and Esmailin Caridad combined for five innings, two hits, a pair of walks and three strikeouts, without allowing a run. For the Cubs, Aramis Ramirez's two-run double gave the team the lead and Starlin Castro had two more hits, keeping his spring average at .667.
One of the bigger developing stories this spring is low attendance at Cactus League games. The weather was warmer today in the Phoenix area -- in the low 70s -- but only 6,848 attended at Scottsdale Stadium. That's low, even for this early in the month; the Giants always have drawn well in the past and they are the defending World Series champions. The White Sox and Brewers drew only 3,495 at Camelback Ranch; the Angels and Reds at Tempe only 3,050; another split squad of Reds and Athletics only 1,631 at Phoenix; the Padres and Royals 2,015 at Surprise; the Dodgers and Indians 2,008 at Goodyear; the Rangers and Mariners 3,247 at Peoria. Even the Diamondbacks and Rockies drew only 5,263 at their new facility on tribal land near Scottsdale, less than half capacity.
I realize it's a Tuesday afternoon and early in the month, before spring breakers and other vacationers usually go to games. But these figures seem quite low even given those conditions. This bears watching.
Tomorrow, the Cubs travel to the Brewers' facility at Maryvale (west Phoenix); Carlos Silva will start against Milwaukee's Yovani Gallardo.