4/2 Cubs 8, Diamondbacks 3
What went right:
Kerry Wood needed just 11 pitches to get through the fifth inning Monday, striking out the first batter he faced. It was his final spring outing and he retired the side in the fifth and picked up the win in relief. Manager Dale Sveum predicted pre-game an 11-pitch outing. Wood will leave Arizona with five innings total. The Cubs hope that’s enough.
“[We’re] just a little more patient this year,” Wood said. “We get here [to camp] and we’re excited to be around the guys and next thing you know, six days later, we’re facing hitters. We backed it off a little bit.”
At 34 and entering his 15th season, Wood should know how to prepare. His 2011 season ended early because of a torn meniscus in his left knee but that hasn’t slowed him. The light workload may be more preventative than anything else.
“I feel good, my body feels ready to go,” Wood said. “Counting back stuff and side stuff, I’ve been off the mound enough.”
He said his command has been good, he’s been able to throw his cutter to both sides of the plate and just needs to fine tune his curve.
* In the game, Alfonso Soriano, Jeff Baker and Geovany Soto each had two RBIs, with Soto’s coming on his fourth home run.
What went wrong:
Jay Jackson had a 2-0 lead, then gave up three runs on five hits over four innings. He’ll open the season at Triple-A Iowa.
“It’s coming along. Sometimes it’s a process for people. Sometimes they look too deep into things, especially veteran players in Spring Training. it’s just wait and see what happens during the season. I know Rudy [Jaramillo] and he have talked. It’s been interesting actually. It could be a huge impact on why the numbers haven’t been there the last year.” — Dale Sveum on David DeJesus, who was batting .207 this spring.
* Bryan LaHair was expected to play Tuesday in the Cactus League finale against the Brewers. He has not played since Friday because of tightness in his back. Milwaukee also has a night game Tuesday, so most of the squad will be from the Double-A Huntsville roster.
* Marcos Mateo continues to rehab from right elbow soreness. He will not be ready for Opening Day.
This and that:
* Jeff Samardzija tuned up for the regular season by throwing four scoreless innings at the Cubs Minor League camp. He is scheduled to start April 8 against the Nationals at Wrigley Field.
* The competition for the final bullpen spots is coming down to the wire. There are eight relievers for seven spots. Carlos Marmol, Kerry Wood and James Russell are set and Rodrigo Lopez appears to be the long man. Others to be considered include Rafael Dolis, Lendy Castillo, Manuel Corpas and Shawn Camp.
Camp threw Sunday against the Angels and had a better outing, Sveum said.
“Guys like him, they have to stay out of the middle of the plate and keep the ball down otherwise their stuff doesn’t allow them to be in the middle of the plate up,” Sveum said. “He makes the ball go sideways, but he has to be down because his velocity is only 88 miles an hour.”
Travis Wood, who will open the season at Triple-A Iowa, will close the Cactus League action on Tuesday against the Brewers. Tuesday’s game will start one hour earlier at 12:05 p.m. Arizona time and be broadcast on WGN Radio. The lineup will be a preview of Opening Day with DeJesus in right, Darwin Barney at second, Starlin Castro at short, LaHair at first, Alfonso Soriano in left, Ian Stewart at third, Marlon Byrd in center, and Geovany Soto catching. The Cubs will use a DH and Reed Johnson was slated to start.
– Carrie Muskat