It wasn’t the way Mike Quade envisioned his 1st spring training game going in his first full season as the official manager of the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs lost to the Oakland A’s 15-7, committing 3 errors in the process.
But it is only the first game of spring and there is plenty of time to get things going in a different direction for the underdog Cubs in 2011.
Carlos Zambrano looked exceptional in his 2011 debut. Zambrano pitched to the minimum number of batters in his 2 innings of work. He walked one and struck out 2 and looked like the Carlos Zambrano who finished the 2010 campaign with 8 straight wins down the stretch.
Matt Garza, on the other hand, looked like he needed a lot of work. Garza served up a grand slam to Coco Crisp in his 1st inning of work and ended up giving up 5 ER on 5 hits and 1 walk. Garza was not deterred, however, by the fact that he gave up those 5 runs. “Today, my job was to get outs, and I got six of them, but not the way I wanted to go about it. It’s spring, I wasn’t throwing any breaking balls today, just fastballs and changeups. My location was off… It’s spring. At least the ball felt good coming out of my hand, it felt very explosive towards home plate. Everything that needs to be there is there. I’m not too worried about numbers right now. I’m just trying to get after it and work up a little sweat, which is difficult in Arizona.”
Let’s hope Garza has a better 2nd outing. Garza also got his first major league hit in his only at-bat of the day.