On Wednesday the Cubs played the Dodgers for the second time in three days, this time serving as hosts in Mesa, Arizona. Early offense has been a fairly regular theme so far this Spring, with the home team putting up four runs off starter Aaron Harang. In fact, the Cubs batted around in the first. Luis Valbuena led off another game with a double, raising questions as to whether or not he may continue to get looks as a possible table setter. The Cubs third base candidate would later score on a single by Anthony Rizzo. Darwin Barney capped off the scoring in the frame with a bases loaded two run single.
Unfortunately for our boys in blue, the Cubs pitching was not able to hold the 4-1 advantage. After Cubs starter Brooks Raley allowed a run on a wild pitch with the bases loaded in the first, he allowed the Dodgers to pack the bags again in the second. The young southpaw did not get to finish the frame and reliever Trey McNutt was not able to help his buddy out of the jam, allowing a double and a single that charged three more runs to Raley. McNutt would also give up an earned run of his own and eventually got hung with the loss as a result.
Relievers Jaye Chapman and Alberto Cabrera put the Cubs further in the hole, allowing five runs between the two, although a Scott Hairston error did not do Chapman any favors. Veterans Shawn Camp and James Russell came on in the eighth and ninth innings respectively for perfect outings, insuring that everyone could leave in time for dinner after a 3 hour 45 minute ballgame dragged out by all the scoring.
Dodger Jerry outdueled brother Scott in the battle of the Hairston brothers, with Jerry going 1 for 2 with three RBI while Scott went 0 for 2 with three men left on base. But the biggest concern from yesterday’s game was that franchise player Starlin Castro had to exit the game early due to tightness in his hamstring. The early word is that Castro is day to day, but the buckets of injuries to the team overall in recent days has to be concerning.