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
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?
#Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.
Fun with FIP
- J. Hammel 3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
- J. Arrieta 2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
- J. Lester 2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
- K. Hendricks 2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
- J. Lackey 3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k
he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.
JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.
My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.
Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...
joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1
not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.
really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.
Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.
Classic Scully - great stuff.
Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)