Angels Net Nada from Pierce, Kyuji, and Rosscup at Riverview Park
RHP Pierce Johnson (AA Tennessee 7-day DL - calf - hadn't thrown in a game since May 19th), RHP Kyuji Fujikawa (Cubs MLB 60-day DL - 2013 TJS - hadn't thrown in a Cactus League EXST game since last Monday), and LHP Zac Rosscup (Cubs 15-day DL - shoulder - hadn't thrown in a game since May 9th) combined to toss 3.2 IP of two-hit shutout ball and Danny Canela belted a double and a triple for the Cubs, and LHP Jonah Wesely threw three innings of one-hit shutout ball with five strikeouts for the Angels, as the two teams played to a 2-2 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #4 at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.
42-year old OF Manny Ramirez (signed by the Cubs last week to be a player-coach at AAA Iowa) has arrived at Riverview Park to get into playing shape, and so security has been increased. There was a definite uptick in attendance today (most-likely related to Manny's expected arrival), although ManRam did not play in the EXST game.
17-year old OF Eloy Jimenez was at Riverview Park today, too, watching the game from the bleachers (he hasn't played in a game since last Tuesday). Whether his trip to the DSL has been indefinitely postponed or just temporarily delayed remains to be seen. It would be nice if Eloy could play in at least one or two more Cactus League EXST games, though, since he leads the EXST Cubs in RBI and is (was) in the middle of a hot streak (hitting 360/385/640 since May 14th).
LHP Andin Diaz (who was assigned to the DSL Cubs last Friday) was not present at Riverview today and presumably has reported to the DSL Cubs, although (who knows?) maybe he'll pop up again, too.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
1. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-3 (K, 4-6-3 DP, HBP, K)
2a. Mark Malave, DH #1: 1-3 (3B, F-8, K, R)
2b. Rony Rodriguez, PH-1B: 0-1 (K)
3a. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 0-2 (5-3, BB, F-9)
3b. Oliver Zapata, RF: 0-1 (K)
4a. Danny Canela, 1B: 2-4 (2B, F-7, 3B, E-3)
4b. Charcer Burks, PR: NO AB (R)
5. Justin Marra, C: 1-3 (3-U, 1B, K, BB)
6. Jesse Hodges, DH #2: 0-3 (K, L-8, K, BB)
7. Kevin Brown, LF: 1-2 (1B, 3-U, BB, F-8 SF, RBI)
8. Giuseppe Papaccio, 3B: 0-3 (F-9, 5-3, L-9, BB)
9. Zak Blair, 2B: 0-3 (3-U, BB, F-7, 4-3)
10. Varonex Cuevas, SS: 2-3 (1B, F-9, 1B)
1. Pierce Johnson: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 24 pitches (15 strikes)
2. Kyuji Fujikawa: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 3/1 GO/FO, 13 pitches (11 strikes)
3. Zac Rosscup: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 14 pitches (11 strikes)
4. Trevor Clifton: 4.1 IP, 1 H, 2 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 6/3 GO/FO, 45 pitches (28 strikes)
5. Josh Davis: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 4/1 GO/FO, 17 pitches (15 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 3
1. 3B Giuseppe Papaccio - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
2. P Trevor Clifton - E-1 (errant throw on pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed runner to advance to 2nd base)
3. SS Varonex Cuevas - E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored uinearned run)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Justin Marra: 0-1 CS, 1 PB
ATTENDANCE: 27 (ManRam Fever! Catch It!)
WEATHER: Sunny & hot with temperatures 100+
JOHN B: Pierce Johnson and Rob Zastryzny were likely 2015 AFL candidates ( I mentioned them as likely candidates to get assigned to the AFL in an article about the AFL last month) because they are starting pitchers who missed part of the season due to injuries and they need to accrue more innings. Guys who have been pitching regularly as starters have thrown too many innings to be considered, so it probably came down to Johnson, Zastryzny, and Duane Underwood Jr, with Underwood odd man out because he hasn't pitched above Hi-A.
Schwarber stays back and hammers a 3-2 change-up that was down and away. Very impressive.
And a good job to drive the ball to RF to advance the runner in the 8th. Encouraging.
It looks like the Cubs "post-season clinch number" is 25 right now: http://lyle.smu.edu/~olinick/riot/national_league.html
Is the magic number 25 or 26?
Agreed, to my untrained eyes he does look better than last season. Not a finished product yet and hopefully he will continue to improve, but if he plays solid middle infield defense he will stick in the majors.
Phillips smiled at Strop and gave him a thumbs up.
That pitch Schwarber hit is the kind he's been missing a lot of lately. When Schwarber struggles it reminds me of how hard it is to hit baseballs at that level. It doesn't seem like they've found a weakness, just that he isn't seeing the ball that great and just missing. Same with Rizzo the last few days.
I missed it. What did he do?
extremely classy. i didn't see his reaction until the replay after the break. baseball needs more fun in some areas and less of some 'unwritten rules' violations leading to angst.
Nice bounce back game for Grimm, and "well done" Dan Haren. We'll take that (almost) every time.
I have never been a Brandon Phillips fan, but that was a very classy way to handle Strop yelling at him after the K.
go cubs go
You know you like it
AZ Phil: Any thoughts on the AFL Cubs? Some names on the list caught me by surprise.