Stewart Stick Helps Cubs Whip A's at Fitch Park
Ian Stewart singled, doubled, drove-in a run, and scored another, Jacob Rogers singled twice and scored twice, Garrett Schlecht hammered an RBI double and walked, and Justin Marra ripped an RBI single, walked, and scored a run, leading the Cubs to a 7-4 victory over the Athletics in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
Continuing his Extended Spring Training rehab assignment, Stewart played 3B for six innings and batted five times (once in each of the first five innings), going 2-5. He grounded out 3-U in his first AB, struck out swinging in his 2nd and 5th PA, roped a line-drive single to right in his 3rd AB, and crushed an RBI double into the RF corner his 4th time up. He didn't handle any chances at 3rd base, but he ran the bases at full tilt, showing no ill effects from the quad strain that sidelined him for most of MLB Spring Training.
The Defensive Play of the Game featured (once again) CF Rashad Crawford, who sprinted at full speed toward the infield and then made a diving catch in short center of what would otherwise have been a bloop single.
Slapped with a five-game suspension following an on-the-field incident in a game at Clearwater a couple of days ago, Daytona Cubs RF Jorge Soler is now at Fitch Park. He took BP on Field #1 with the recent-arrivals from the Dominican Academy (Acosta, Caro, K. Encarnacion, and F. Sanchez) during the EXST game. Whether he will remain in Mesa beyond the five-game FSL suspension remains to be seen...
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
X. Ian Stewart, 3B: 2-5 (3-U, K, 1B, 2B, K, R, RBI)
NOTE: Stewart batted five times, hitting 2nd in each of the first five innings
1a. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 0-2 (6-3, 6-U FC, HBP)
1b. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-0 (BB)
2a. David Bote, 2B: 1-2 (K, 3B, SH-E1, R)
2b. Mark Malave, 3B: 0-0 (BB)
3. Danny Lockhart, DH-2B: 0-3 (BB, 4-3, 4-6-3 DP, F-8)
4. Xavier Batista, DH #2: 1-4 (1B, 4-3, 5-3, P-3)
5a. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 0-2 (K, 6-3)
5b. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-1 (BB, 5-3, R)
6a. Jose Dore, 1B: 0-2 (F-9, P-3)
6b. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 2-2 (1B, 1B, 2 R)
7a. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 0-2 (F-8, K)
7b. Garrett Schlecht, LF: 1-1 (BB, 2B, RBI)
8. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-4 (K, 2B, 6-4-3 DP, P-3, R)
9a. Lance Rymel, C: 0-0 (HBP)
9b. Justin Marra, C: 1-1 (1B, BB, R, RBI)
1. Duane Underwood: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 43 pitches (23 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
2. James Pugliese: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 32 pitches (18 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
3. Daniel Adrian: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 28 pitches (18 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4. Tyler Bremer: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 35 pitches (22 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
5. David Cales: 1.0, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 10 pitches (7 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: 1
1B Jose Dore - E-3 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE
1. Lance Rymel: 0-2 CS
2. Justin Marra: 0-1 CS
WEATHER: Mostly sunny & a bit breezy with temperatures in the 80's
I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.
Awesome stuff, Phil.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.
Brooksbaseball.net has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.
As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?
AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?
Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.
AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.
I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.
But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.
Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.
Jason deGrom -- oh, my.
Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.
Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.