A's Late Rally Tops Cubs at Papago Park
Luis Baez stroked two run-scoring doubles (one to tie the game in th 6th and another to put the A's ahead in the 9th) and knocked-in three runs, helping to rally the Athletics to a 6-4 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Papago Park Field #2 (AKA "Connie Mack Field") in Phoenix, AZ.
Jesse Hodges smacked an RBI double and a solo HR, Albert Almora singled, doubled, and scored a run, and Paul Blackburn hurled three shutout innings for the Cubs in a losing cause.
The game was pre-planned as a ten-inning affair, so when the A's scored three runs in the bottom of the 9th to take a 6-4 lead, the Cubs still had a chance to mount a comeback. But they left the bases loaded in the top of the 10th.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
1. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 0-3 (BB, F-9, K, BB, 1-3, CS)
2. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-3 (K, BB, BB, 4-3, 1B, R, SB)
3. Albert Almora, CF: 2-5 (4-3, F-9, 2B, 6-3, 1B, R)
4. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 1-5 (4-1, 4-3, 1B, K, F-8, RBI)
5. Yasiel Balaguert, LF: 1-5 (F-9, P-3, 4-6 FC, F-8, 1B, RBI, CS)
6a. Reggie Golden, DH: 0-2 (K, BB, K, R)
6b. Rony Rodriguez, PH-DH: 0-2 (K, F-9)
7. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 2-3 (HBP, 2B, HR, 5-3, R, 2 RBI)
8. Erick Castillo, C: 2-4 (6-3 DP, P-4, 1B, 1B)
9. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-4 (K, P-3, 6-4 FC, F-8)
1. Paul Blackburn: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 PO, 46 pitches (25 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
2. Erick Leal: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 56 pitches (37 strikes), 3/3 GO/FO
3. Jasvir Rakkar: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 29 pitches (16 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
4. Carlos Martinez: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 9 pitches (5 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
5. Matt Iannazzo: 1.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 25 pitches (16 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: 1
3B Jesse Hodges - E-5 (two-base throwing error allowed batter to reach 2nd base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Erick Castillo: 0-1 CS
WEATHER: Partly cloudy & very breezy with temperatures in the 90's
NOTE: It wasn't a Cactus League Extended Spring Training game, but the Cubs did play an intrasquad game at Fitch Park yesterday (Thursday).
Kevin Encarnacion singled twice, walked, and clubbed a two-run HR, Jose Dore doubled and tripled and drove-in three runs, Francisco Sanchez singled twice, doubled, and scored two runs, Reggie Golden doubled twice (both off the LF fence) and scored two runs, and RHP Alexander Santana threw three innings of no hit ball (one walk & three strikeouts), but he did allow an unearned run thanks to a Danny Lockhart three-base throwing error.
Here is the box score from yesterday's intrasquad game:
SQUAD "B" LINEUP:
1. Kevin Encarnacion, CF: 3-4 (1B, 1B, BB, P-6, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, CS)
2. Danny Lockhart, 3B: 2-4 (K, F-7 SF, 1B+E1, P-5, 1B, 2 R, RBI)
3a. Justin Marra, C: 0-3 (K, 3-1, F-9)
3b. Neftali Rosario, C: 1-2 (K, 1B, R)
4a. Xavier Batista, 1B: 0-2 (F-9, K, F-8 SF, RBI)
4b. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 1-2 (1B, F-7, R)
5. Jose Dore, RF: 2-5 (K, 3-1, K, 3B, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI)
6. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 2-5 (K, 3B, K, K, 1B+E8, R, RBI)
7. Erick Castillo, DH #1: 1-4 (6-3, HBP, P-6, 1B, 6-3, R, RBI)
8a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST FOUR TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
8b. Shawon Dunston Jr, DH #2: 0-1 (K)
9. Frandy de la Rosa, 2B: 2-3 (1B, 1B, K, BB, R, RBI)
10. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 3-4 (1B, 2B, 1B, 5-4 FC, 2 R)
SQUAD "A" LINEUP:
1a. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-3 (1-3, F-8, K)
1b. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 1-2 (1B, K, RBI, PO)
2. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-4 (3B, E-5, 5-3, F-8, BB, R)
3a. Trevor Gretzky, LF: 0-3 (6-3, K, F-7)
3b. Roberto Caro, LF: 0-2 (4-3, 1-3)
4. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 0-4 (F-8, FC, L-3, 6-3, RBI)
5. Mark Malave, 3B: 1-3 (L-8, BB, K, 1B)
6a. Lance Rymel, C: 0-3 (P-4, F-8, K)
6b. Wilfredo Petit, C: 0-1 (F-7)
7. Alberto Mineo, 1B: 1-4 (1B, K, K, E-4, R)
8a. Garrett Schlecht, DH: 0-1 (BB, 3-1)
8b. Reggie Golden, PH-DH: 2-2 (2B, 2B, 2 R)
9. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 0-3 (BB, F-7, E-6, 6-3, RBI, SB, CS)
SQUAD "B" PITCHERS:
1. Loiger Padron: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 31 pitches (17 strikes), 2/4 GO/FO
2. Alexander Santana: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 38 pitches (25 strikes), 2/4 GO/FO
3. Ethan Elias: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 PO, 31 pitches (20 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
4. Juan Francisco: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 2 WP, 31 pitches (18 strikes), 4/1 GO/FO
SQUAD "A" PITCHERS:
1. Anthony Prieto: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 24 pitches (16 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
2. Hunter Ackerman: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 27 pitches (16 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
3. Jorge Diaz: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 31 pitches (20 strikes), 0/3 GO/FO
4. Orbandy Rodriguez: 1.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R (5 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 1 WP, 34 pitches (21 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
NOTE: Top of the 8th inning was stopped with two outs when O. Rodriguez reached his pre-planned max pitch limit for the game
5. Luis Villalba: 1.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 31 pitches (21 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
SQUAD "B" ERRORS: 3
1. 3B Danny Lockhart - E-5 (three-base throwing error allowed batter to reach 3rd base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
2. SS Francisco Sanchez - E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
3. 2B Frandy de la Rosa - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
SQUAD "A" ERRORS: 2
1. P Jorge Diaz - E-1 (throwing error on bunt single allowed batter & two runners to advance one extra base each)
2. CF Rashad Crawford - E-8 (fielding error allowed batter to take extra base on single)
SQUAD "B" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Neftali Rosario: 0-1 CS
SQUAD "A" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Lance Rymel: 1-1 CS
SQUAD "A" OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
RF Yasiel Balaguert - threw out baserunner (Erick Castillo) 9-5 trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on single
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?
Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump
Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.
j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.
felix pena, your turn.