Brewers Leave Cubs Offense in a Stupor at Fitch Park
Dustin Houle and Jalen Harris smacked back-to-back RBI doubles in a two run 4th, Francisco Castillo collected three singles (including a run-scoring hit in the 9th), and RHP Zach Quintana tossed five innings of one-run ball with five strikeouts, as the Brewers defeated the Cubs 3-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
The Cubs scored their one run in the bottom of the 1st inning, when Albert Almora ripped a two-out triple into the left-centerfield gap, and then scored on a Xavier Batista line-drive double into the LF corner.
Almora was 2-4 for the day, including the 1st inning triple, an L-7 line-out in the 3rd. a strikeout (swinging) in the 6th, and a two-out single in the 8th. In five Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (22 PA), Almora is hitting 273/273/500 with three singles, a double and two triples, no walks, and four strikeouts.
While the Cubs and Brewers were playing their game on Field #3, RHPs Chang-Yong Lim and Daury Torrez and LHPs Angel Mejias and David Villegas faced-off in a "sim" game on Field #2. Among the position players participating was Steve Clevenger, who was seeing his first game action of any kind since being placed on the Cubs MLB 60-day DL with a strained oblique on April 14th.
Clevenger hit a couple of squared-up rocket line-drives, including one that almost took Daury Torrez's head off. He certainly didn't show any ill effects from the injury, and I would think he will likely get some ABs as a DH in Cactus League Extended Spring Training games beginning sometime next week, before going out on a rehab assignment at either Tennessee or Iowa. (He isn't eligible to be reinstated from the DL until June 13th).
Here is the abridged box score from today's Cactus League Extended Spring Training game (Cubs players only):
1a. Jeffrey Baez: 1-3 (K, 1-3, 1B, SB)
1b. Jose Dore, RF: 1-1 (1B)
2. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 0-4 (6-3, 5-3, 6-3, 6-4 FC)
3. Albert Almora, CF: 2-4 (3B, L-7, K, 1B, R)
4a. Xavier Batista, LF: 1-3 (2B, K, F-7, RBI)
4b. Rashad Crawford, LF: 0-1 (K)
5a. Shawon Dunston Jr, DH: 0-3 (K, F-8, 1-3)
5b. Garrett Schlecht, PH: 0-1 (K)
6. Trevor Gretzky, 1B: 0-4 (F-7, P-5, K, K)
7. Mark Malave, 3B: 1-4 (L-8, K, F-9, 1B)
8a. Lance Rymel, C: 1-2 (1B, 4-3)
8b. Alberto Mineo, C: 0-2 (L-5, F-9)
9. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 1-3 (1B, 5-3, K)
1. Duane Underwood: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K, 46 pitches (25 strikes), 4/1 GO/FO
2. Corbin Hoffner: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 17 pitches (11 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
3. Tyler Bremer: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 27 pitches (16 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
4. Mike Hamann: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 20 pitches (16 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
5. Larry Suarez: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 12 pitches (8 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
6. Chad Martin: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 13 pitches (8 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: 1
SS Francisco Sanchez - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Lance Rymel: 1-1 CS
2. Alberto Mineo: 0-2 CS
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 80's
Other than the NL East (Dusty!), not much cookin' on division races. I am fine with that.
I love winning! It's, like, better than losing?
You lollygag the ball around the infield. You lollygag your way down to first. You lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you? Larry!
Its too bad Warren didnt get to pitch. He would have saved us.
Whoa -- that Contreras play in the 8th looked too much like a "Schwarber" -- nearly crashed into the wall going full speed, with Heyward doing the same.
New rule: if you are a catcher playing LF, and find yourself sprinting after a fly ball in the gap -- stop, let the CF go after it and get ready to play it off the wall.
Cubs have no spark and no life. Pretty boring to watch these days.
I thought trips to Miami were supposed to be fun. This one sucked.
The bottom half of the bullpen now turns close games into blowout losses. Not good.
Once Fowler went to the DL, the team went into the tank. Wonder if he'll get any love this offseason? Probably not.
6IP, 2ER. The last one scored because of another botched Zobrist DP turn.
And now, a bad throw by KB. Sloppy.
What is it with Hammel always starting well and sucking after a couple months?
Ahhh...sad. Lke a few of you here, I saw him play during the '69-'71 seasons. He was the "hot Zobrist" for the club in August/September of '69 while everyone else was fizzling out...
I predict: "They will play hard and if they give the same effort every day, they'll win a lot of games."
OK, boys -- find a way to win today.
There's some BA is missing too, here's all signing bonus BA doesn't have some:
-6 Hockin $241,000 (slot price), 7 Cruz $75,000 (saved $110,00), 8 Ridlings $120,000 (saved $53,800), 9 Robinson $30,000 (saved $132,300), so far the Cubs have saved an extra $297,100
Zobrist (2B), Hayward (CF), Bryant (3B), Rizzo, Contreras (LF), Montero, Russell, Coghlan (RF), Hammel
Also -- despite losing 6 of their last 10, the Cubs picked up a game on both STL and PIT during that period. Weird, given that they swept PIT and were swept by STL.