3/26 Cubs 2, Padres 0; Dbacks 3, Cubs 2
What went right:
Paul Maholm struck out six over five scoreless innings against the Padres in Mesa. Carlos Marmol, pitching in his first game since March 20, gave up one hit, walked one and struck out one in one inning. Bryan LaHair, who had five hits in his last six at-bats, hit a RBI double in the first. In Scottsdale, Blake DeWitt was 2-for-4 with a double while Scott Maine walked two and struck out one in one inning.
What went wrong:
Cubs missed a chance in the second when they loaded bases with two outs and Padres pitcher Tim Stauffer got Starlin Castro to fly out. Castro did draw a walk in the first, his first this spring, and doubled in the fifth.
“I just want to stay where I’m at. I want to stay consistent with the breaking ball. I’ve had a good spring working on that, probably more than I have normally in Spring Training, and just command. You need to have a second pitch and have command of your fastball when you break camp. I’m trying to be fresh for the start of the year.” — Kerry Wood on his spring game plan
* The Cubs acquired right-handed reliever Shawn Camp, who was released by the Mariners on March 21. He may not be the only pitcher added before the regular season begins. The Cubs are looking at other options for the bullpen. Rafael Dolis could make the team. He picked up the save in Mesa and Dale Sveum has raved about his stuff this spring. Earlier this spring, the Cubs claimed Frankie De La Cruz off waivers from the Brewers. They may not be done as far as they try to find a workable bullpen.
Trever Miller was released on Monday, which left James Russell and Scott Maine as the only left-handed relievers still in camp. At least one of them will stay. Marmol and Kerry Wood are set, which would leave four openings. Lendy Castillo, 22, the Rule 5 pickup who is a converted shortstop, has a 3.12 ERA in eight appearances and has shown a lot of poise for a pitcher who last season was on a Class A roster in only his second season of pitching. Casey Coleman pitched well Monday against the Padres, giving up one hit and striking out two over two innings of relief. He could be the long man. So could Rodrigo Lopez if he’s not in the rotation.
* Kerry Wood is slated to pitch Saturday. It’s been his plan to cut back on Cactus League innings to prepare for the regular season.
Matt Garza will make his fifth spring start on Tuesday when the Cubs travel to Goodyear to face the Reds. Garza did not give up an earned run over five innings in his last outing, and has eight strikeouts over 12 1/3 innings. The game will be broadcast on Cubs.com
– Carrie Muskat