TEMPE, Arizona -- Seriously, today's game never should have been started at all.
All of the rest of the games in the Valley were cancelled before they even started (except for the Rockies/Giants game in Scottsdale, where they got into the third inning before giving up); there's a Dodgers/Diamondbacks game scheduled at Talking Stick tonight, but that one's iffy as well).
Angels manager Mike Scioscia had the right idea -- as each of his starters got on base in the first inning, he pulled them. The only Angels starter who played the whole three and a half innings was poor Hank Conger, the catcher, who not only had to be out in the rain the whole time, but with wet catcher's gear on, too.
I'll freely admit that I didn't stay for much of this. It was raining far too hard to sit on the lawn, or even in seats -- none of them are covered at Tempe Diablo Stadium. The concourse, which is covered, was jammed with fans, only the first two "rows" or so of which could see the game. I managed to peek over a few of them to see Kosuke Fukudome walk, Starlin Castro single, and one out later, watched Carlos Pena's three-run homer head over the RF wall. None of that, unfortunately, will count in the spring stats, as the game was called in the top of the fourth inning with the Cubs leading 7-4.
You really can't "analyze" any performance in this game. It was about 63 degrees in the late morning, before it started raining, but the temperature rapidly dropped into the low 50s, and with the wind, it felt kind of like... most April days at Wrigley Field. So there's that, then.
But for Andrew Cashner, who's trying to make the rotation as the fifth starter, it was kind of a waste of time. Again, Mike Scioscia did the right thing -- pulling scheduled starter Jered Weaver and having him get his throwing in at Angels minor league camp in the morning, before it started raining. The Angels went with an all-relief corps starting, while the Cubs didn't substitute anyone. It probably would have served Cashner better to pitch in minor league camp today, even if it was only against minor league hitters.
If I were more cynical, I'd say that the only reason they played even as long as they did was in an attempt to not have to refund the tickets bought by what appeared to be close to a sellout crowd. But I'd never say that. Nope. Not me.
By tomorrow, we may know more about some roster spots. As is being discussed in this FanPost, the brass is meeting tomorrow to hash out some decisions. The link in that FanPost seems to indicate that at least the manager and coaches have seen the same things we are seeing in the backup catcher "battle", and also in the second base issues. Let's hope the Cubs can see past loyalty and make the right decisions.
Tomorrow, the sun is expected to return to the Valley of the... well, you know... and Ryan Dempster will face the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch. He'll face the Dodgers' Chad Billingsley.