Re: Cactus League - Reds, Rangers 3/24
Night game at Hohokam. (How did they come up with that name?). Only three regulars in the lineup - Bruce, Frazier and Hanigan. Per Wikipedia: Hohokam (hə-hō'kəm) is one of the four major prehistoric archaeological Oasisamerica traditions of what is now the American Southwest. And it is appropriate that the Cubs train there since Hohokam means "all used up".
Reds 1st - Burriss leading off. I can't see him making the squad. Grounds hard to short. 6-3. Heisey lifts a lazy fly ball to center. Bruce waves at breaking pitching. Samardzija sets the Reds down in order.
Cubs 1st - DeJesus bounces to Lutz at first who makes a fine play and flips the ball to Cueto for the first out. Starlin Castro singles to center. Rizzo strikes out on a changeup. Dave Sappelt hitting cleanup for Chicago. He bounces to third to end the Cubs' first.
Reds 2nd - Denis Phipps smokes a hung breaking pitch back through the box for a single. Frazier grounds into a 6-4-3. Two pitches and two outs and Lutz swings at the first pitch he sees. Geez. Luckily he missed. Don't let Cueto get any rest. Swing and a miss on a slider. Lutz Ks.
Cubs 2nd - Schierholtz sends Bruce to the wall in right. Bruce hauls it in. Brantley raving about the jumps that Bruce gets on the baseball. Castillo bounces to third. Cueto looking good early. Valbuena pops to third. We roll on to the third.
Reds 3rd - Donald bounces to Gold Glover Darwin Barney on the first pitch. Samardzija feeds Hanigan three fast balls and Hanigan looks at all three, then turns and grabs some bench. Johnny Cueto smacks a two-out breaking pitch back up the middle for a single. Wild pitch and Burriss has a duck on the pond. Burriss grounds one up the middle and hustles into second sliding as DeJesus was shaded a bit towards right. 1-0 as Cueto crosses the pay station. Heisey flies to center for the second time.
Cubs 3rd - Barney lifts a fly to Heisey in center. Samardzija swings and misses. Cueto on cruise control. I need to keep my mouth shut. DeJesus lines hard for a single to right. Cueto's change looking sharp. Cueto nearly picks off DeJesus. Castro bounces to Burriss who flips on to Donald for the force.
Reds 4th - Bruce strikes out on the same pitch - a slider down and in. One down. Phipps with a BOMB to dead center off the top of the batter's eye. He stands at second. Brantley fooled me with his call. I need to brush up on my Cowboy. Frazier lines to left-center but DeJesus runs it down to save a run. Lutz skies to Sappelt in left to end the inning.
Cubs 4th - One would think that if a person did the same thing year after year, like say play-by-play, that person would eventually acquire a certain level of competence. In the case of Jeff Brantley, one would be wrong. At times I have no clue as to what is going on in the game as he is calling the action. Rizzo grounds hard up the middle. Burriss makes a diving stop but cannot get Rizzo at first. Sappelt follows with a line shot up the middle and the Cubs have runners at first and second with nobody out. Schierholtz grounds to short. Burriss flips to Donald for one out but the relay to first pulls Lutz off of the bag. First and third. Castillo up and it is GM, GA and GN. FACTOID: Cueto faced 20 batters last year with the bases loaded. Hitters were 0-17 with two walks and a sac fly. Valbuena works a walk. A Cub stands on every base. Ground ball to Burriss who goes the short way to second to end the inning.
Reds 5th - Donald sends one back to Samardzija, who barehands and tosses to first. One out. Hanigan singles the other way. Cueto sacrifices Hanigan into scoring position. Cueto does a lot of the little things very well. Grrr. Burriss swings at the first pitch and pops it up to second. That had to be about a six-pitch inning.
Cubs 5th - Dioner Navarro, hitting for Samardzija, sends a two-hopper to Donald for the first out. DeJesus bunts back to Cueto. Two gone. Castro strikes out. Cueto sharp through five.
Reds 6th - Takahashi sends Heisey back to the bench on three pitches. Bruce down on strikes. And there a quickly two outs. Bruce will have a shot at the Golden Sombrero if he gets another at-bat. Thom said Phipps hit the ball last time 35 feet up the wall at the 410 sign. Phipps swings and comes up empty. Takahashi strikes out the side.
Cubs 6th - Rizzo whiffs. Sappelt hits one deep to center and Derrick Robinson makes a lunging catch at the wall. Schierholtz rolls one to Burriss at short. Nice outing for Johnny Cueto as his night is probably done. 6IP 4H 0ER 1BB 5K.
Reds 7th - Takahashi is pitching a second inning. The Toddfather gets a first-pitch fast ball and says Sayonara! 2-zip Reds. Frazier's fifth (meaningless) round-tripper this spring. Lutz grounds out to Barney. Izturis, on for Donald, grounds the first pitch to Barney. Takahashi will be lifted for righty Shawn Camp. Hanigan lines his second single of the game, this one to left. It looks as if Junior Arias is going to get an at-bat. He shoots one to the third sacker who fires across the diamond to end the inning.
Cubs 7th - Castillo bloops one that falls in short right. I wonder if the ground crew comes out after Simon works an inning and measure the mound to ensure it is still the correct height. He is one large man. Valbuena bounces one down the first-base line. Lutz fields and touches the bag. Castillo moves up 90 feet. Barney shoots one to right that Bruce snags for the second out. Castillo retreats to second. Okay, Brantley is horrible at play-by-play. He states the Clevenger slices one down the right field line. Will it stay fair? Heisey with a full-out dive cannot come up with it. And then he and Thom talk for a minute about the wonderful effort by Heisey with no mention of what actually happened. It turns out the ball was fair. Clevenger had himself a double. Heisey was okay. And the Cubs were on the board. Somebody (Lillibridge) , probably a pinch-hitter but who really knows as nothing was said one way or the other, lines to Robinson in center. 2-1 through seven.
Zero chance the Reds miss the playoffs!
Last edited by texasdave; 03-27-2013 at 01:16 AM.