Alcala Helps Cubs Gain Split with Giants at Riverview

Roney Alcala singled, doubled, and tripled, drove-in two runs, and scored another, Gleyber Torres reached base three times on a triple, a single, and an HBP, and scored a run, Zak Blair ripped an RBI single and an RBI triple, and LHSP Jose Paulino tossed three innings of no run/no hit ball, leading the Cubs to a 9-6 victory over the Giants on Field #6, and Craig Massoni singled and scored in the 7th and clubbed a two-run home run in the 8th as the Giants rallied for four runs over the final three innings to beat the Cubs 4-2 on Field #5, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader played this morning at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ. 

RHP Zak Hermans threw three innings of one-hit shutout ball and Eloy Jimenez knocked-in both Cub runs (RBI double in the 1st and RBI single in the 6th) in a losing cause on Field #5. 


The 2013 VSL Batting Champion, Roney Alcala is now hitting 461/481/692 in 27 EXST PA, with five doubles and a triple and only two K.  

Outfielder Jeffrey Baez collected two more stolen bases today and now has 10 in 10 attempts (0 CS) in just eight EXST games. He also is hitting 322/424/322 (all singles so far, but he tied for the team lead in HR last year at EXST). The 20-year old Baez is bult like an NFL linebacker, with plus-speed, outstanding outfield defense (he can play CF or RF), basestealing acumen, and a good eye at the plate (five walks in 33 PA so far). He could be a star with the Boise Hawks this summer.   

Here are the abridged box scores from today's games (Cubs players only):

FIELD #6:

CUBS SQUAD "A" LINEUP:
1. Gleyber Torres, SS: 2-4 (3B, 1B, HBP, F-8, F-9, R, CS)
2. Kevin Brown, DH: 2-5 (1B, 3-1, 1B, P-3, F-7, 2 R, RBI, SB)
3. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 2-5 (1B, 1B, K, P-4, F-9, R, 2 SB)
4a. Tyler Alamo, C: 1-2 (3B, L-7, HBP, R, RBI)
4b. Justin Marra, C: 1-1 (BB, 1B, R)
5. Roney Alcala, 1B: 3-5 (3B, L-7, 1B, 2B, 4-3, R, 2 RBI)
6. Arnaldo Calero, LF: 2-4 (K, 6-3, 1B, 1B, R, RBI)
7. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 1-3 (4-3, 1B, F-8, HBP, R)
8. Zak Blair, 2B: 2-4 (3-1, 3B, 3-U, 1B, 2 RBI)
9. Charcer Burks, CF: 0-3 (F-9, 3-1, E-6, BB)

CUBS SQUAD "A" PITCHERS:
1. Jose Paulino: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 4/2 GO/FO, 40 pitches (23 strikes)  
2. Trey Lang: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 3/3 GO/FO, 35 pitches (17 strikes)
3. Victor Salazar: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 0/5 GO/FO, 33 pitches (18 strikes)
4. Alberto Diaz: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 0/5 GO/FO, 41 pitches (22 strikes)

CUBS SQUAD "A" ERRORS: 5
1. 3B Jesse Hodges - E-5 (fielding errror allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. 3B Jesse Hodges - E-5 (throwing error on infield single allowed a baserunner to advance from 2nd base to 3rd)
3. 2B Zak Blair - E-4 (throwing error on attenpted 4-6 FC allowed baserunner to reach 2nd base safely)
4. P Alberto Diaz - E-1 (two-base throwing error on pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed baserunner to advance to 3rd base)
5. LF Arnaldo Calero - E-7 (throwing error after catching pop fly allowed baserunner to score from 3rd base)

CUBS SQUAD "A" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Justin Marra: 0-1 CS

FIELD #5:

CUBS SQUAD "B" LINEUP
1. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-4 (3-U, 4-3, 4-3, K)
2. Dalfis Ortiz, 2B: 0-3 (BB, 1-3, 5-3, 4-3, R)
3. Shamil Ubiera, RF: 1-3 (6-3, 5-3, 1B, BB, R)
4. Eloy Jimenez, DH: 2-4 (2B, K, 1B, K, 2 RBI)
5a Alberto Mineo, C: 1-2 (4-3, 2B)
5b. Mark Malave, C: 0-2 (4-3, K)
6. Adonis Paula, 3B: 0-4 (5-3, K, 6-3, K)
7a. Ricardo Marcano, LF: 1-3 (6-3, F-8, 1B)
7b. Erick Castillo, PH: 1-1 (1B)
8. Matt Scioscia, 1B: 1-4 (2B, 6-3, 6-3, K)
9. Bryant Flete, SS: 0-3 (4-3, K, F-8)

CUBS SQUAD "B" PITCHERS:
1. Zak Hermans: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 3/4 GO/FO, 32 pitches (22 strikes)
2. Carlos Llano: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1/3 GO/FO, 27 pitches (13 strikes)
3. Yomar Morel: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 43 pitches (22 strikes)
4. Greyfer Eregua: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 1 WP, 2/0 GO/FO, 57 pitches (31 strikes)
NOTE: Eregua's second inning was stopped with two outs and runners at 1st & 2nd

CUBS SQUAD "B" ERRORS: 2
1. P Carlos Llano - E-1 (errant throw on pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed baserunner to advance to 2nd)
2. SS Bryant Flete - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)

CUBS SQUAD "B" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Mark Malave: 1-1 CS

ATTENDANCE: 7

WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 80's

Comments

w.wright finally pitched again today...only his 7th appearance of the month (and 3 have been 1-batter appearances).

...and veras pitched (badly) again today...only his 2nd time since the 11th and 6th appearance overall.

both wright and veras have gone 9 day stretches between outings in separate time frames.

grimm has 12 appearances, rondon 11, strop 10 (even though he went 8 days without pitching for a stretch), russell 10...

there's been a slew up guys up/down taking each other's places...parker, rosscup, schlitter, and now n.ramirez (i'm not gonna count rusin).

what is going on with this pen management?

Early in the season. Maybe he's just trying to see who he can depend on. The list grows shorter.

I can see the box score now.
J.Baez 4 hits, 4 HR 12 RBI 0SB
J.Baez 4 hits 1HR 1RBI 4SB

Yup, not a problem

Because of the Blackhawks game and the Bulls game the Cubs are being bumped off regular Comcast Friday night.

Cubs-Milwaukee Brewers game will air on NBC 5 Chicago’s 5.2 digital channel Cozi TV.

b.wilson blowing a tie game vs philly...4 runs in...in line for his 2nd loss.

single, line out, single, double, walk, and a hbp to load the bases. out of the game with 1 out...j.wright gives up another couple of runs to add to his line.

4ip 8h 4bb 4k 2hbp, 8r/7er in 6 appearances (3 decent, 3 bad)...15.75era 3.00whip

...and he's getting paid $10m a year to do it...with a -player- option for $9m next year. not a bad contract for a guy who threw a total of 15.2 innings the 2 years before, combined. the West Coast Yankees and their money...fun times. ...at least they have money to waste, though...sigh.

To close games, you don't have to throw 95 miles per hour and have a wicked slider. Todd Jones did a serviceable job in his late 30s because he threw strikes, didn't get rattled, and kept the pitch down. It's a simple formula- you don't need a flashy pitcher to close games.

Joe Borowski

Mostly, just get the ball over the plate, and if you're good enough to be in the big leagues, that should do the trick. But walking guys, I just really hate that. Hated it with Mitch Williams, hated it with Marmol, and as much as I like Strop's potential, I'll hate it with him, too. Luckily, I think Renteria hates it too. I see people have been complaining about how he handles the bullpen but I like that he has a zero tolerance policy towards late inning walks, and it's fine with me that he's playing musical chairs with the bullpen here early in the season. He's just trying to find guys who can not give away games. Nothing wrong with that.

We've heard a lot from other managers about "fundamentals" but Renteria actually seems to be walking the walk. I'm sure he'll do annoying things as a manager, all of them do, but I can't fault him too much so far, other than my early complaints about not playing Olt. But I'm even buying into his "easing him in" thing for now. I might not agree with it, but I'm trying to give him the benefit of the doubt.

I picture Gregg sitting at kitchen table wearing his goggles and staring at his phone .

Well done sir.

Let's forget about Gregg. The Cubs are reaching the point where they're going forward with youth.

They do have Vizcaino, don't forget. He pitched in 17 games at the major-league level three years ago. The only reason he's at Daytona is that it's warm down there. Soon it will be warm everywhere.

after the hissy fit gregg threw last season after being taken off the closer role i doubt the cubs would consider it anyway...and it probably didn't help his search for a mlb contract this season with other teams.

gregg almost got released late last september for airing out the management/bosses to the media.

You're not taking Cubbery into account. What can go wrong, will.

C.J. Edwards news:

tests revealed there was no structural damage detected in the examination. The problem is simply fatigue and soreness.

The Cubs have said that Edwards will rest and allow the inflamed shoulder to cool down for two weeks before he starts a throwing program.

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/04/25/levine-cubs...

Recent comments

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  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 15 min 13 sec ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 28 min 40 sec ago view
  • They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?

    QuietMan 1 hour 52 min ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.

    What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.

    (All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 53 min ago view
  • Lester will probably be all right.

    I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.

    Seriously.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 59 min ago view
  • I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.

    billybucks 2 hours 3 min ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 6 min ago view
  • He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.

    But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.

    billybucks 2 hours 15 min ago view
  • The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 17 min ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 2 hours 23 min ago view
  • QuietMan 2 hours 31 min ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 2 hours 50 min ago view
  • O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.

    The E-Man 3 hours 28 min ago view
  • Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 12 min ago view
  • I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 23 min ago view
  • You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.

    To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 25 min ago view