The Cubs faced division rival Cincinnati for the second straight weekend. This match up ended up being a slug fest, so we will start with the offense first. On to the game notes.
In an interesting move, manager Mike Quade put Tyler Colvin in the lead off spot today. Yesterday my season review listed the square pegs being considered for the job, but the idea of using Colvin has really come out of no where. Kosuke Fukudome has not seized the table setting job, and I am left wondering just how seriously Quade is considering this idea. Colvin gave the manager reason to consider this more seriously by going 2 for 4 with a double, RBI, and run. Stay tuned to Cubbies Crib as we try to keep an eye on this.
One of the other many offensive highlights of this game included a three run home run by Starlin Castro and three hit days from Carlos Pena and Darwin Barney. After struggling mightily to start the Spring, Pena has rebounded to enter Saturday’s action with a .297 batting average. Barney continues to make his case for a back up infielder spot, and although Blake DeWitt only went 1 for 5 out of the 7th spot in the order, he did collect three RBIs. Welington Castillo continued his hot hitting this Spring with another 2 for 2 day. The catching prospect is now hitting .733 and has done his part to keep the pressure on Koyie Hill for the back up catching job from an offensive stand point.
Carlos Zambrano got another start, but it was not a pretty outing for him. The second pitcher in the Cubs rotation gave up six earned runs and was taken out by Quade before he could finish the 5th inning. There was some concern over what looked like a discussion between the pitcher and manager on the mound, but a laid back Zambrano told reporters after the game that he was just messing with Quade and that all is fine despite his rough outing. Zambrano said he was just working on his secondary pitches and did not pull out his full arsenal for the division foes to see.
It was a bad day to be a pitcher named Carlos, as Silva also got lit up by the Reds, all but assuring that the veteran will be relegated to long relief and mop up duty out of the bullpen come Opening Day.
The Cubs defense did not do Silva any favors either as they committed two for the day and stuck the pitcher with three unearned runs.