Golden Sparkles for Cubs at Talking Stick
Reggie Golden drilled a two-run single, an RBI double, and a triple, Mark Malave singled, doubled, walked, and scored two runs, Jeffrey Baez singled twice, walked, stole a base, and scored a run, and James Pugliese hurled four innings of shutout baseball, leading the Cubs to a 6-4 victory over the Rockies in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort, east of Scottsdale, AZ.
After beginning the Cactus League Extended Spring Training schedule mired in a 1-22 slump (045/276/091 in 29 PA over the course of 11 EXST games), Cubs 2010 2nd round draft pick Reggie Golden has been on fire, hitting 423/483/692 over his last nine games (29 PA), bringing his season slash-line up to a more-respectable 250/438/479. Golden suffered two torn ligaments in his left knee a year ago while running the bases as a member of the Peoria Chiefs, and missed the rest of the 2012 season. He is just now rounding back into playing shape.
James Pugliese has been pitching "lights out" over his last four Cactus League EXST appearances (two GS), allowing no runs on four hits and four walks with 11 strikeouts in 10.1 IP. With Josh Conway out for the season and Dillon Maples having been promoted to Kane County, Pugliese is putting in a claim on one of the open starting rotation slots at Boise.
Wilfredo Petit returned to action today, catching for six innings and getting three AB. Petit suffered a bruise on the back of his left hand last week after being struck by a bat on a Catcher's Interference error, and although it initially appeared to be a serious injury, x-rays were negative.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
1a. Albert Almora, CF: 0-4 (6-3, 6-3, F-8, K, RBI)
1b. Kevin Encarnacion, CF: 0-1 (4-3)
2. Jeffrey Baez, DH: 2-4 (1B, K, 1B, K, BB, R, SB)
3. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-5 (6-3-5 DP, P-3, K, F-9, 1B, SB)
4. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 1-4 (F-9, K-WP, BB, 1B, K, R)
5. Reggie Golden, LF: 3-4 (3B, 4-6-3 DP, 1B, 2B, R, 3 RBI, CS)
6a. Garrett Schlecht, RF: 0-1 (HBP, K, BB, PO)
6b. Jose Dore, RF: 1-1 (1B)
7. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 0-4 (6-3, F-8, F-8, P-4)
8. Mark Malave, 3B: 2-3 (BB, K, 1B, 2B, 2 R)
9a. Wilfredo Petit, C: 0-3 (3-U, E-3, K, R)
9b. Erick Castillo, C: 0-1 (6-3)
1. James Pugliese: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 GIDP, 42 pitches (31 strikes), 5/2 GO/FO
2. Carlos Rodriguez: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 27 pitches (14 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
3. Larry Suarez: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 43 pitches (26 strikes), 3/3 GO/FO
4. Matt Iannazzo: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 PO, 27 pitches (17 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: NONE
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Wilfredo Petit: 1-1 CS
2. Erick Castillo: 0-1 CS
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
RF Jose Dore - potential tying run thrown out 9-2 trying to score from 2nd base on single
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90's
ESPN game tonight, btw.
Cardinal way #48
"negligent transmission of STDs"
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Twitterverse reporting that Heyward is dealing with a sore right wrist
Cardinal way #47
See ya on parrot chat
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST...
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex:
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.
It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.
I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.
I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.
This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:
Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!
Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.
Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.
Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.
Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.
Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.
Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.
He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.
He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.