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Cubs 9, Rockies 8: Lackluster pitching dooms Rox

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Ryan Spilborghs (who is still on an incredible tear) and Christian Colonel (who is beginning to have a nice little spring himself) each had two hits and two RBIs, but it wasn't enough to keep the Rockies from falling 9-8 to the Chicago Cubs.

Unimpressive pitching ran rampant for the Rox today, as Greg Smith, Alan Embree, and Ryan Speier combined to give up 9 runs and 11 hits. Even when the pitchers were able to keep the Cubs from crossing the plate, they still couldn't avoid clogging up the bases - as was the case with Manny Corpas, who walked the bases loaded in the fourth but was able to get away unscathed.

On a positive note, 22 year old righty Edgmer Escalona struck out two batters in an inning of work. Escalona is an interesting prospect; he was pretty solid last season in Asheville, where he posted a 3.22 ERA in 78 innings of work while striking out 79 against just 18 walks - in only his second year of professional baseball. Despite those good numbers, he doesn't show up on any "top prospect" lists for the organization. At any rate, I'll be keeping track of him in the minors this season, for sure.

Other positives for the Rockies today included Chris Iannetta, who had two hits, scored two runs, and collected an RBI in his first game back from the WBC. Apparently, his experience with team USA helped his approach at the plate, as he had this to say to Patrick Saunders:

“I think when I left I was a little jumpy at the plate,” he said. “And then when I faced those guys in the WBC, they throw a lot more off-speed and I slowed myself down and I feel a lot better now. It was a good thing.”

Continuing with the positive trend, Dan Ortmeier hit his third homer of the spring and Glendon Rusch pitched a scoreless ninth. On the bad side (in addition to the poor pitching mentioned above), Omar Quintanilla was 0-4 with five LOB and Matt Murton went 0-4 with a K in his first game against his former club.

Tomorrow, the Rockies travel to Tempe to face the Los Angeles Angels. Jason Marquis is scheduled to start, while Matt Belisle, Randy Flores, Jason Grilli, and Juan Morillo are expected to get some work in as well.

Thanks to everyone who joined in on the Game Thread. Keep it going!