A trimmer Zambrano mows down the Athletics, but Cubs lose Opener


Spring training results don't mean much except for the guys trying to make the team.  In that sense, Justin Berg can't feel too comfortable after giving up 7 runs and only getting one man out.  That gives him a robust ERA of 189.00.  He doesn't need to pack his bags yet, but he'll want to make sure he knows where his luggage is and maybe call some old friends in Iowa to see what they're doing this April.

Other than Berg, here were some other performances of note:

  1. Carlos Zambrano looked great, not just on the mound but he looks like he's in the best shape he's been in 5 years.  On the mound he faced the minimum number of batters over 2 innings, gave up no hits and struck out 2.
  2. Matt Garza gave up a grand slam but wasn't worried about his performance.  Veteran pitchers rarely are at this point in the spring.  He was more excited about his first hit.
  3. Starlin Castro has not forgotten how to hit.
  4. Darwin Barney took the early lead for the IF utility spot with a double and a run scored.  It's your move, Augie Ojeda.
  5. Jeff Samardzija didn't get off to a good start for someone who needs a good spring to make the team.  He's out of options.  If he doesn't make the roster, the Cubs likely will have to trade him for pennies on the dollar.
  6. Colvin had a horrible day, going 0-3 and making a couple of errors.  He's fighting for playing time in RF with Fukudome.  Not a good start for him.
  7. Fernando Perez, who may be the coolest player on the Cubs, got himself a hit, an RBI, and a run scored.   The soon to be fan favorite is in the mix for that 5th outfielder spot with former fan favorite Reed Johnson.
  8. Max Ramirez, a longshot to be the backup catcher, also got a hit.  Ramirez isn't going to wow anyone defensively so he has to hit his way to Chicago
  9. Prospect Josh Vitters got a knock.  Everyone knows he can hit though.  The Cubs want to see him exude better patience at the plate and good defense.  He did swing at,and make contact with the only two pitches he saw.  Like Castro, he has to learn that just because he can make contact seemingly whenever he wants, it doesn't mean he should.  When Vitters starts waiting for a pitch he can drive, he'll take off.
  10. Blake DeWitt, the probable 2nd baseman, left a team high 5 men on base and committed an error.

I'm not worried about the loss and, as expected, there was some first day rustiness.  For those players that struggled, the good news is that there's plenty of time left until Opening Day to make an impression.

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