Over at The Cub Reporter, Arizona Phil delivers another of his sterling, personal accounts of Cubs spring training action, a report on today's 9-6 Cub loss to the Angels in Mesa.
Whereas yesterday's ugliness had mostly to do with poor Cub glovework, today's chief offense was allowing the Angels to score five times in the fifth inning and run up an 8-3 lead after the Cubs had built up a 3-0 margin in the game's first three innings. Young Clay Rapada, a sidearming lefty reliever, had to face seven consecutive right-handed hitters to start the fifth, and it was ugly. Arizona Phil has all the details. All I'm going to say is 67.50 ERA.
The bright spots in today's loss included the hitting of Matt Murton, who went 3-for-3, including a second-inning home run and 4 RBI. Overall, six regular position players--Soriano, Izturis, Lee, Ramirez, Murton and DeRosa--started the game for the Cubs, and they went a combined 7-for-15. On the mound, starter Carlos Zambrano, Bob Howry, young Sean Gallagher and Will Ohman combined to hurl 6 scoreless innings with 6 strikeouts and no--as is ZERO!--walks allowed. In fact, even Rapada, Neal Cotts, and Angel Guzman, who were all tagged for runs, avoided issuing any walks.
The Cubs will visit the A's in Phoenix on Saturday, then host the White Sox on Sunday.