Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Intrasquad Game

I was fortunate enough to be in Phoenix over the past week. This afternoon I made my way down to Hohokam for the intrasquad scrimmage. It was fun to see the Cubs on the field again. Here were the two starting lineups:

Visiting Squad
CF Pie
SS Neifi
LF Grissom
DH Restovich
3B McGehee
C Blanco
RF Pagan
1B Sing
2B Theriot

P Rich Hill

Home Side
CF Pierre
DH Walker
1B Lee
3B Ramirez
RF Jones
C Barrett
LF Murton
SS Cedeno
2B Hairston

P Angel Guzman

It looked to me like the home side will be pretty close to Dusty's Opening Day Lineup (without the DH of course). The first inning was three up three down for the visiting side. Angel Guzman in his only inning of work threw well. He fanned both Neifi and Grissom. He made Neifi look foolish on a breaking ball. In the home sides half of the first the first teamers went to work right away on Rich Hill. Pierre walked, Walker walked, Derrek Lee strode to the plate. The small crowd at the intrasquad game gave Lee a nice ovation thanking him for a great 2005. Lee rewarded the crowd with a double to the gap in left center. That scored both Pierre and Walker. Aramis Ramirez struckout and the Cub coaches decided that was enough pitches in one inning for Hill so the called the inning.

In the top of the second Wellemeyer came in for the home side. He put down the three men he faced. New Cub Jacque Jones led off the home sides half inning with a line drive homer to the bullpens in rightfield. It was not a good day for Rich Hill. Hill would end his day on a good note retiring Barrett(G-3), Murton(K) and Cedeno(4-3).

In the top of the third Randy Wells took the hill. He retired the first two batters and should have had a three up three down inning, but Cedeno threw a ball in the dirt past DLee. Speedy Ryan Theriot was on. Theriot wasted no time. He stole second, Pie walked, and Theriot stole third. Pie stayed at first on the play. Neifi grounded out 4-3 and Wells escaped the inning with no runs.

In the bottom of the third young Sean Marshall came into pitch. He looked good retiring Hairston(K), Pierre(5-3) and Walker(F-8) in order. At this point you started to see wholesale changes to both teams. Todd Walker actually went to the visiting team to play 1B. Cedeno and Murton stayed in a little later. In the 5th Ronny doubled to the gap in left center. He scored on a sac fly by Adam Greenberg. For the visitors Restovich hit a triple high off the center field batters eye (would have been a homer in any big league park). At this point with all of the changes my scorecard looked pretty ugly.

All in all it was a fun day in Mesa. The weather was overcast and cool. Still for a midwesterner it was warm enough to wear short sleeves and shorts. The Cubs will open the Cactus League Thursday versus the Oakland Athletics.

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