Saturday, March 12, 2011

3/12/11 Chicago Cubs 8, Cincinnati Reds 9

Cashman Field, Las Vegas, NV
(Las Vegas Exhibition Game #1)

Always a fan favorite, the annual 2-day series at Cashman Field this year features not the typical match-up between the Cubs and the White Sox, but a game each with the Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 1-run loss by the Cubs was somewhat disappointing, but this was an exhilarating game to watch for many reasons.

Early on in Spring Training, we're getting a good look at the expanded Cubs squad (including Brett Jackson, Matt Camp, Scott Moore, Marquez Smith, and more). The bonus is seeing the expanded Reds squad, featuring several Louisville Bats roster favorites over the past couple of years (Matt Maloney, Zack Cozart, Danny Dorn, Devin Mesoraco, and our favorite here at my house, Todd Frazier). It's unusual to see them in Reds uniforms!

James Russell hung on for 3 innings, 4 R (only one of them earned). Carlos Marmol pitches a typical "cliffhanger" inning, walking his first batter, hitting the next, striking out the third, and then allowing back to back base hits (the second of which scored the hit battter) and one more walk for good measure until striking out Fred Lewis to end the inning. Casey Coleman relieved Marmol and pitched 5 solid innings (2H, 1ER, BB, 2K).

Castro and Scott Moore led the Cubs offense with 2 HRs each (3 of their combined 4 HR were given up by Reds RHP Mike Leake). The Reds maintained pace with the Cubs; Cozart and Dorn led the offense with 2 RBI each, but as the end of the game neared, they remained 2 runs behind. In the bottom of the 9th, Kris Negron's surprise walk-off base hit single with 2 on and 0 outs brought in both the tying run and the winning run.

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