3/12 Cubs 8, Reds 6

What went right:

Alfonso Soriano belted his fourth spring homer, Joe Mather added a go-ahead three-run shot in the seventh, and Blake Lalli hit a solo homer in the eighth to power the Cubs. Paul Maholm made his first spring start and gave up one run on two hits over two innings. Lendy Castillo struck out two of the three batters he faced.

What went wrong:

Carlos Marmol had another tough outing. The Cubs closer walked the first batter he faced, gave up a double, and one out later, hit a batter to load the bases. Donald Lutz hit a two-run single and Marmol walked the next batter before Didi Gregorius’ sac fly, which gave the Reds a 6-4 lead.

Quotable:

“I was happy to get out there. After going through [pitcher fielding practice] and throwing bullpens, you really don’t feel a part of it and then you get out there and it went well. I wish I would’ve gotten ahead of a couple more guys. My main thing was no walks and I was aggressive and went after the guys.” — Paul Maholm

Up next:

Chris Volstad will make his second spring appearance when he starts Tuesday for the Cubs against the Giants in Scottsdale. Volstad, one of the candidates for a spot in the rotation, gave up one hit over three innings in his first outing. The game will be broadcast on Cubs.com.

– Carrie Muskat

1 Comment

It might not be panic time regarding Marmol but it sure looks like Hoystein may have to come up with a reliable plan B for a closer? Like possibly returning Dempster to the closer role, Marmol to set up along with Wood, this frees up a spot for one of the younger starters that would benefit from starting in the big leagues. Dempster is not the go to starter the organization thought he was any way. There is no “Ace” starting pitcher on this staff that will completley shut down the opposing team’s offense any way so they might as well let Garza at least try to be the “pseudo Ace”. What’s there to lose during a rebuilding year? Probably more important to get Samarzjda a starting gig to see if he can last the whole season rather than squeeze one more year of starting from Dempster who wouldn’t be here if not for the ridiculous player option Hendry handed him.

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