Notes: One walk can turn inning around
Marshall learns tough lessons after good outing goes bad
LAS VEGAS -- Sean Marshall has to be hoping the slogan, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" is true.
Marshall, in his first start since earning the No. 4 spot in the Cubs' starting rotation, was roughed up by the Padres on Friday night in his final spring tuneup. The 23-year-old left-hander is scheduled to make his Major League debut on national television against the Cardinals on April 9, and the Cubs are hoping he got any jitters out of the way as the Padres circled the bases on him.
"He's going to have nerves -- that's natural," said Cubs manager Dusty Baker. "Hank Aaron told me when I came up, 'It's natural to be nervous. Just don't be scared.' You wouldn't be human if you weren't nervous. But after you throw that first pitch or two, your nerves subside and it's the same game."
Marshall gave up six runs -- all earned -- on seven hits and two walks while striking out three in 4 2/3 innings. Most damaging were the three home runs he allowed, including a towering three-run blast by Vinny Castilla in the first inning.
But Marshall actually came close to coming away unscathed Friday. He retired the first two batters in each of the five innings he started, but allowed a four-run rally in the first inning, and solo homers by Doug Mirabelli in the third and Ben Johnson in the fifth.
He was one pitch away from a 1-2-3 first inning when the trouble began. Brian Giles singled on an 0-2 pitch; then Mirabelli walked, Adrian Gonzalez hit an opposite-field double off the left-field wall to drive in a run, and Castilla followed with his three-run blast to left-center.
"The whole game to me boiled down to the 0-2 pitch [to Giles] -- he was sailing along pretty good," Baker said. "Then the walk to Mirabelli, then the wind-blown double and then the legitimate home run by Vinny. ... I told him, 'Learn from it. Just because you get two quick outs ... In the big leagues, that can turn into a whole bunch of runs in a hurry.' But I think he'll learn from it."
A young pitcher like Marshall might be expected to have problems getting that third out, but Baker said even his veterans sometimes get stung when they least expect it.
"It not only happens to young pitchers, it happens to older pitchers too," Baker said. "Greg Maddux ... he's from Vegas so he knows the odds on everything, and he said something like 65 percent of all runs or 70 percent come with two outs. You might relax and say, 'It's going pretty good, I'm out of the inning.'
"If you start paying attention to how many times that happens, on both sides, four or five times a day, you get two quick outs and it's 2-0 on the next hitter. That's one of the things we're trying to address."
Roster move: The Cubs officially added right-handed pitcher Wade Miller to the 40-man roster on Saturday. They had an open spot on the roster after trading reliever Todd Wellemeyer earlier in the week. Miller will begin the season on the 15-day disabled list and will continue to rehabilitate his injured shoulder at the team's Spring Training complex in Mesa, Ariz.
Cubs crumbs: Aramis Ramirez, who entered the weekend with a Major League-leading 28 Spring Training hits, went a combined 0-for-5 in the two games in Las Vegas and had his 13-game hitting streak snapped Friday. ... Newest Cub Freddie Bynum, acquired from the Oakland A's on Friday, will wear uniform number 4.
Up next: The Cubs will work out at 2 p.m. CT on Sunday at Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park, and will face the Reds on Monday at 1:10 p.m. CT in the season opener. Right-hander Carlos Zambrano will start for the Cubs, while Cincinnati will counter with righty Aaron Harang.
Patrick Donnelly is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.