Lake & Castro Make the Minor League Scene, Pimentel Fires Goose-Eggs at Riverview
Carlos Pimentel tossed five shutout innings, allowing three hits and no walks while striking out nine, as the AAA Iowa Cubs throttled the Columbus Clippers (Indians AAA affiliate) 7-2 on Field #6, while on Field #3 the Akron Aeros (CLE AA affiliate) defeated the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) 5-2, in Cactus League Minor League doubleheader game action Monday afternoon at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.
The 6'3 175 Pimentel was signed by the Cubs as a six-year minor league free-agent after the 2013 season, and after being named the Dominican Winter League Pitcher of the Year this past off-season, the 24 year old right-hander and former Texas Rangers prospect has been very impressive both in big league camp (where he was initially assigned) and in two outings for the AAA I-Cubs at Minor League Camp. He threw 72% strikes today (anything above 70% is outstanding), and totally dominated the Clippers lineup.
RHP Yoanner Negrin "piggy-backed" with Pimentel (as both pitchers are being primed as rotation starters), and the two hurlers practiced their bunting skill by being inserted into the I-Cubs lineup whenever a sacrifice-bunt situation presented itself.
Starlin Castro (hamstring injury rehab) played shorstop for five innings and got six Plate Appearances (one in each of the first six innings) for Iowa. After flying out F-9 in each of his first two AB, he struck out swinging, and then grounded out, before finishing his day with line-drive singles in consecutive innings, the first of which drove-in the game's first run.
On the heels of his three-HR performance at Phoenix Municipal Stadium on Sunday, Junior Lake served as a DH for the Tennessee squad on Monday, and went 1-7. He belted a triple in the 5th inning and scored a run, and he also just missed a monster HR in an earlier AB (ball curved foul at the last second), but he also struck out four times (all four swinging), popped out to the shortstop, and grounded out 5-3 (although to retire Lake required the Aeros third-baseman to make an outstanding diving stop before getting to his feet and making an accurate throw to 1st).
Both Albert Almora and Javier Baez had RBI singles, but Baez also made a careless throwing error that resulted in an unearned run scoring, lolly-popping an easy toss to 1st base (the throw sailed over the first-baseman's head).
Because he was on the Active List for Monday night's MLB Cubs-Padres game at Cubs Park, Jacob Hannemann did not make the trip to Goodyear with the Daytona squad. Instead he remained in Mesa and was temporarily assigned to the Iowa squad, and he got a PH AB (bunt single) and scored a run in the AAA game.
Some of the Latin American players who will be assigned to Extended Spring Training have arrived from the Cubs Dominican Academy, and Varonex Cuevas and Dalfis Ortiz (both speedy switch-hitting infielders) made their U. S. game debuts on Monday, pinch-hitting in the AAA contest. Cuevas drew a walk and Ortiz laced a two-run single in a "tack-on" bottom of the 9th.
Here are the abridged box scores from Monday's games (Cubs players only):
X. Junior Lake, DH #1: 1-7 (K, K, P-6, K, 3B, K, 5-3, R)
NOTE: Lake hit 2nd in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd,4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th innings
1a. Zeke DeVoss, LF: 0-2 (4-3, 1-6 FC, CS)
1b. Bijan Rademacher, LF: 1-1 (2B, R)
2. Albert Almora, CF: 1-3 (1-3, K, 1B, RBI)
3. Stephen Bruno, 2B: 0-2 (K, K, HBP)
4. Dustin Geiger, DH #2: 0-3 (L-4, F-7, P-3)
5. Jonathon Mota, 3B: 0-3 (K, P-3, K)
6a. Willson Contreras, C: 0-1 (6-3)
6b. Taylor Davis, C: 0-2 (F-9, F-8)
7. Anthony Giansanti, RF: 0-2 (K, 6-3)
8. Matt Scioscia, 1B: 1-2 (P-5, 1B)
9. Walter Ibarra, SS: 1-2 (K, 1B)
10. Chadd Krist, DH #3: 1-2 (1B, K, RBI)
1. Lendy Castillo: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 3/0 GO/FO, 37 pitches (21 strikes)
2. P. J. Francescon: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 29 pitches (20 strikes)
3. Starling Peralta: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 43 pitches (23 strikes)
4. Zak Hermans: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/FO, 13 pitches (8 strikes)
5. Frank del Valle: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/FO, 20 pitches (13 strikes)
6. Zach Cates: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 19 pitches (8 strikes)
TENNESSEE ERRORS: 3
1. 3B Jonathon Mota - E-5 (overthrow at 1st base on infield single allowed batter to advance to 2nd base)
2. 3B Jonathon Mota - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
3. 2B Stephen Bruno - E-4 (dropped throw on attempted 6-4 FC allowed baserunner to reach 2nd base safely)
TENNESSEE OUTFIELD ASSIST:
LF Zeke DeVoss - threw out baserunner 7-2 trying to score from 2nd base on single
X-1. Starlin Castro, SS-DH: 2-6 (F-9, F-9, K, 5-3, 1B, 1B, RBI)
NOTE: Castro hit 3rd in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th innings, and 4th in the bottom of the 5th inning
X-2. Carlos Pimentel, P: 0-0 (1-4 SH)
NOTE: Pimentel hit 3rd in the bottom of the 5th inning
X-3. Yoanner Negrin, P: 0-2 (5-6-3 DP, P-2, 1-3 SH)
NOTE: Negrin hit 2nd in the bottom of the 6th, 7th, and 8th innings
1a. Rubi Silva, CF: 1-2 (BB, F-9, 3B, R, RBI)
1b. Varonex Cuevas, PH: 0-0 (BB)
2a. Brett Jackson, RF: 0-1 (K, BB, BB, 2 R)
2b. Dalfis Ortiz, PH: 1-1 (1B, 2 RBI)
3. Javier Baez, DH-SS: 1-3 (F-9, K, 1B, RBI)
4. Matt Szczur, LF: 1-2 (L-6, BB, 1B, RBI)
5. Christian Villanueva, 3B: 1-3 (1B, F-9, 6-U FC)
6. Logan Watkins, 2B: 1-3 (K, 1B, F-8, R, SB)
7. Rafael Lopez, C-DH: 1-2 (4-3, 1B, BB, R, RBI)
8a. Luis Flores, DH #2: 0-2 (K, F-8)
8b. Jacob Hannemann, PH: 1-1 (1B, R)
9. Edgar Gonzalez, 1B: 0-3 (K, K, K)
10. Charlie Cutler, DH-C: 1-3 (K, 1B, P-6, R)
1. Carlos Pimentel: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K, 3/3 GO/FO, 57 pitches (41 strikes)
2. Yoanner Negrin: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 6/3 GO/FO, 46 pitches (24 strikes)
3. Marcos Mateo: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 19 pitches (12 strikes)
IOWA ERRORS: 2
1. C Charlie Cutler - E-2 (overthrow on attempted PO at 1st base allowed runner at 2nd base to score unearned run)
2. SS Javier Baez - E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely and unearned run to score)
IOWA CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Charlie Cutler: 0-1 CS, 1 E (see above)
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80's
Schlitter still pitching for Iowa? Guess nobody wanted him?
JOHN B: Pierce Johnson and Rob Zastryzny were likely 2015 AFL candidates (I mentioned them as likely candidates to get assigned to the AFL in an article about the AFL last month) because they are starting pitchers who missed part of the season due to injuries and they need to accrue more innings.
Also - what did Bosio say when we went to talk to Rondon? "OK, Hector, tie game, 9th inning, 2 outs, 2-0 count on the hottest hitter in the game. Let's try the ol' fastball right down the middle and see how that works, hmmm?" Terrible pitch. I've never been a fan of using closers in non-save situations -- they are used to pitching with adrenaline pumping and celebrating the last out of the inning. I realize it was a a swinging bunt and an error that caused the problem, but that may have been the worst pitch I have seen Rondon throw in a long time.
Ugly series save a few clutch Homeruns. 2 first inning Homeruns allowed. 2 complete innings (out of 27) with a lead (8th and 9th game 2). 6 Leads/Ties given up top half of the inning after scoring. 9 9th inning unearned runs. Brutal roadtrip coming up while SF plays 22 straight against teams with losing records. Like the Cubs odds, obviously, but long way to go.
No more f'n Pajama Parties, Joe! Losing a series at home to the Reds (who have a worse record than the Brewers) in September is not what we are looking for, gentlemen. 3 series losses in a row -- let's get that fixed immediately. Bad error by KB as Crunch describes -- almost like he was surprised the ball was hit to him. I think if he makes that play we win the game.
solid smack to him...right through his legs. he wasn't even in motion, totally stationary. no bad bounce, either. it was hit very hard, but also squarely wiffed...not even any glove contact. it happens...not a good time for it to happen with 2 outs, though. that was the inning ender, easy.
Can someone tell me about Bryant's error who saw the play? You cannot give the Reds (or most teams) 4 outs. In this case with Joey Votto coming up.
un...fucking...believable... tie a game in the bottom 8th, give up 3 runs in the top 9th...why the hell not. awesome.
DAT TIE THO.
Ugh Hammel...the new Haren. The 3-5 starters have imploded and killed yet another series.
Just about to type the same thing.....Augh!
5 times in the last 3 games, Cubs have taken the lead or tied the game in the bottom half, only to give up runs in the top half.
<p>I'd like to see stats on opposing pitcher batting average. It's probably not real, but seems like we give up hits all the time to f-ing pitchers. </p>
Tony Four Sacks # 27
Hammel has k'd Votto twice. /baseball