Rockies Stone Cubs with Long Ball Bonanza
Jaron Shepherd and Correlle Prime smacked solo home runs to highlight a three-run 1st inning, 2012 1st round pick David Dahl blasted a two-run HR to key a three-run 4th, Jared Simon singled, tripled, walked twice, and scored two runs, and Jeff Popick singled twice, doubled, and drove-in a run, leading the Rockies to an 8-2 victory over the Cubs in Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #4 (formerly known as "Field #3") in Mesa, AZ.
Garrett Schlecht drilled a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the 2nd inning and Trevor Gretzky crushed a 420+ ft solo HR over the right-centerfield fence with two outs in the bottom of the 9th to account for the two Cub runs.
The defensive play of the day was a run-saving diving catch of a sinking line-drive by Rashad Crawford in short CF.
Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):
1a. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-3 (1B, 3-U, P-6, SB)
1b. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 1-1 (2B)
2. Justin Marra, DH #1: 0-2 (K, BB, F-7, BB)
3. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 1-4 (5-3, 1B, P-4, L-8)
4a. Erick Castillo, C: 0-1 (4-3, BB)
4b. Neftali Rosario, C: 0-2 (K, P-6)
5. Carlos Escobar, DH #2: 1-4 (2B, K, K, P-3, R)
6a. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 0-2 (5-3, K)
6b. Trevor Gretzky, LF: 1-2 (K, HR, R, RBI)
7. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-4 (K, K, P-2, K)
8. Garrett Schlecht, RF: 1-3 (1B, L-9, 1-3, RBI)
9. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 2-3 (4-3, 1B, 1B, PO)
10. Xavier Batista, 1B: 0-3 (6-3, 6-4 FC, K)
1. Paul Blackburn: 2.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 2 HR, 1 PO, 53 pitches (28 strikes), 4/2 GO/FO
2. Corbin Hoffner: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 43 pitches (20 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
NOTE: Top of the 4th inning was stopped with two outs when Hoffner reached his pre-planned max pitch limit for the day
3. Loiger Padron: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 26 pitches (16 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4, Chad Martin: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 33 pitches (23 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
5. Mike Hamann: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 20 pitches (16 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: 2
1. 3B Jesse Hodges - E-5 (fielding error with two outs allowed batter to reach base safely & unearned run to score from 3rd)
2. C Erick Castillo - E-2 (overthrow at 3rd base allowed baserunner to score)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Erick Castillo: 0-2 CS, 1 E (see above)
2. Neftali Rosario: 1-2 CS
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
1. RF Garrett Schlecht - batter thrown out 9-4-5 trying to strectch double into triple
2. RF Garrett Schlecht - batter thrown out 9-4 trying to stretch single into double
WEATHER: Partly cloudy and breezy with temperatures in the 80's
Wow -- no Soler today, despite begin short of OF. As Baez's star rises, Jorge's has dimmed considerably.
"OTL: More PED busts coming from Major League Baseball"
Don't be a Cub, don't be a Cub, don't be a Cub!!!
Sorry typing too fast.
I think while I get what you're saying with moving around a lot of baseball is very rhythm based and for many players moving around a lot could disrupt that. It's the same reason many players aren't cut out for phing or dhing since they need to be in the rhythm of the game to hit.
Of course then you have players like LaStella who are terrible as starters and should only PH. Really hope Madden doesn't get enthralled with him starting too much.
The players are required to perform with minimal thinking, relying on reflex, reaction, and muscle memory (or, as you say, rhythm). I think this point of view doesn't lend itself well to changing things up. Wearing Zany suits, on the other hand, does sound like fun and definitely keeps things interesting.
Scared me for a minute with your anagram for "Almora".
KKVG: Among the players at Extended Spring Training, Isaac Paredes is the most-impressive position-player from the Cubs 2015-16 IFA class (I'm not including OF Eddy Julio Martinez, because he skipped EXST and began the season at South Bend). Paredes has legit game power and handles himself well at SS, although I think he will likely eventually end-up at 2B or 3B (maybe not this year, but down-the-line). It is possible that Paredes will get assigned to Eugene (and skip AZL) next month, and I would say he's the only one of the Cubs 2015-16 IFA position players who could.
Having been a mediocre HS player, I would think at a professional level - and in their 20's - doesn't it sound actually FUN to have a chance to play different positions in a 162-Game, uber-long season?
It has to take some of the monotony out of the job and keep you on your toes.
In fact, the best manufacturing floor job satisfaction training theories include job rotation as a way to improve employee satisfaction.
I hope Maddon can keep it going.
(It's usually KK, because his DNA is more like ours.)
Not just Maddon, but the organization as a whole. If the rumors are to be believed, they did a good job of letting Baez learn that he needed to change his approach, and Baez has done a good job listening to their instructions an adapting. Hopefully the same is true of Alomar, who is ripping up AAA.
Previous management teams haven't been as good at this (e.g. Corey Patterson).
Man, this team makes you greedy. Going into Pittsburgh -- with Cole vs. Hammel Game 1 -- I was hoping for 2 out of 3. After winning the first 2 games 14-3, I now want a sweep. Same thing happened in STL. Very, very fun.
Repeating myself, but I give Maddon a lot of credit for Baez's success. Instead of talking about monster HRs and high K totals, he has talked up his defense, versatility and being a "special" player. The kid seems to have responded.
BOB: The attendance has taken a big hit since you left.
K-DUB: I think the Cubs might consider skipping Dylan Cease past South Bend and starting him at Myrtle Beach next season, especially if he gets some time at South Bend this season and pitches well there. As a southern kid with TJS history, pitching at Myrtle Beach in April is probably a lot more attractive than pitching in South Bend, but Cease can't go to Myrtle Beach if he isn't ready for Hi-A.
His story makes him someone I completely root for to succeed but it's interesting that he's not succeeding in the way anyone thought when he was just a prospect. Great defense and contact instead of power. I think failing so glaringly and getting sent back down might have been the best thing for him and his ego.
He still swings at too many balls out of the strike zone but he's making a lot more contact on them which I think is helped by the less violent swing. So we might not get all the HRs we were expecting but I'll gladly take what he's giving.
"KingKongVsGodzilla"? So - was there a winner?