On Monday the Cubs played just the one game, serving as hosts to the Cleveland Indians. The AL Central members, however, proved to be rude guests, pretty much taking batting practice off of Cubs pitching on their way to a 13-5 rout in Mesa. Nick Swisher of the Tribe left the game wishing the Indians were in the NL Central, as he went 3 for 4 with four RBI and 2 runs.
What? You are still reading despite the lopsided score line I provided as a spoiler?
Alberto Cabrera was handed the starting duties, allowing five earned runs on seven hits over 2 2/3 innings. The added insult was that two of the hits were for home runs. Brooks Raley came in to relieve Cabrera, but you would not have noticed if Raley was not left handed. Number 43 got tagged for five runs himself (four earned) in his 2 1/3 innings of work. The number three was unlucky for Ty’Relle Harris, who took over in the sixth inning. The aging minor leaguer that was part of the package the Cubs received for Derek Lee in 2010 allowed three runs on three hits, with the three walks in one inning of work being the most disappointing stat. In fact the Indians scored in each of the first six innings before letting up on the home team. The Cubs staff allowed 20 hits and walked six batters.
If you have been persistent enough to read through those ugly numbers, the least I can do is leave you with a couple of positives. Alfonso Soriano hit his first home run of the Spring as part of his 2 for 2 appearance. It is looking more and more likely that the veteran left fielder will start the 2013 season in Cubs blue pinstripes. It is a shame that a solid 2012 season for Soriano has not resulted in stronger trade interest for the Cubs. At this point both the team and fans should hope for similar production this season. With one year at $18 million left on Soriano’s deal after 2013, trading Soriano would only get easier from here on out as long as the slugger stays healthy and can pull his weight in the line up.
Overall the Cubs offense did score five runs, it is just that the Indians overshadowed them with a dozen. Javier Baez collected yet another RBI as he continues to do his part to fuel the hype surrounding him this Spring.