Today I learned that SFGiants.com, which was the first stream to click on via MLB.com, doesn’t actually have commercial breaks so one can actually hear all the lineup changes during the dead time. That was nice. Got to listen to their radio guy talk to former Cub Shawn Estes, who reminisced about 2003 *cries*. Got to see the Cubs slap Madison Bumgarner around too, and they eked out the victory against the Giants.
Alfonso Soriano didn’t actually homer today, but had a pretty nice hustle double on a bloop that even the Giants guys applauded. Josh Vitters had a nice RBI triple, and Dave Sappelt had a hustle triple of his own. The Cubs, as previously said, did have their way with Bumgarner to the tune of seven hits and three runs. Bumgarner did have four strikeouts, including three of Cubs minor league legend Bryan LaHair. Come on, even Chris Volstad got a hit. None of the starters made a baserunning gaffe today even with being so aggressive, and no walks as I’m guessing both pitchers were working on fastball location so they probably wouldn’t see that many balls out of the zone.
Speaking of Volstad, he had another three-inning stint in which he only allowed two hits and induced ground balls for seven of the nine outs he recorded. That’s always encouraging, as you can’t hit a home run on a ground ball unless the batter is Tony Campana and the outfielder is Yonder Alonso. The Giants aren’t exactly the best offense in the world, so grain of salt applies.
In prospect news, Jay Jackson pitched today. He gave up a run after a two-out triple to former Cub Angel Pagan, but settled down to go three solid innings. Brett Jackson struck out on a check swing that surprised the Giants’ announcer, but a couple batters later, Anthony Rizzo killed a ball for a two-run homer. Jackson later got a nice base hit in the ninth inning and stole a base on a smart decision, knowing the pitcher was slow to the plate.
In other former Cub news, Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot were both in the game. Theriot started at 2B and then shifted to 3B for some reason (yeah, like he could make that throw) to accommodate Fontenot, who came in later on and had an RBI double off Andy Sonnanstine before scoring his own run.
In shoddy defense news, Tony Campana’s noodle arm in center field cost the Cubs a couple runs as the Giants were extremely aggressive on the bases against him. They probably should consider putting Brett Jackson or Matt Szczur in there in late innings for the rest of spring instead of Campana. Oh well. Blake DeWitt had a couple of misadventures at third base with a missed tag and a late throw on a well-placed bunt that allowed a run to score (a run that wouldn’t have been if Campana had a good arm). Food for thought.
The Cubs host the Brewers again tomorrow, and the game will be streamed on MLB.com.