ManRam & Eloy Drop Bombs on Papago Park
Brett Vertigan laced an RBI double and an RBI single, Yairo Munoz ripped an RBI single and a double and scored a run, Joe Bennie drilled an RBI single and a double, and Dayton Alexander smacked a solo HR, as the Athletics drubbed the Cubs 10-5 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morining on Field #2 (AKA "Connie Mack Field") at the Papago Baseball Complex in Phoenix, AZ.
Eloy Jimenez clobbered a three-run home run, Manny Ramirez celebrated his Cub debut with a tape-measure solo HR, and Gleyber Torres belted an RBI double to account for the five Cub runs.
Signed by the Cubs as a minor league player-coach ten days ago, the 42-year old Ramirez saw his first game action of 2014 today, serving as a DH and hitting 2nd in each of the first four innings. Having last played in August 2013 with AAA Round Rock (Texas Rangers affiliate in the PCL) where he hit a lackluster 259/328/370 with three HR in 30 games, you would think ManRam might be a bit rusty, but he did not appear to be today. The veteran slugger drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch his first time up, flied out to right-center in his second AB (a fly ball that was deep enough to allow a baserunner to advance from 2nd to 3rd after the catch), flied out to the 385 sign in LF his 3rd time up (A's left-fielder caught the ball with his back up against the wall), and blasted a 400+ foot HR (with an accompanying major league bat-flip) over the LF fence and out into the desert in his 4th and final PA in the top of the 4th inning.
Ryan Sweeney (on the Cubs 15-day DL after suffering a hamstring injury on May 2nd) also served as a DH in today's game and (like Manny) batted four times, once in each of the first four innings. He struck out (swinging) on a 1-2 pitch in the top of the 1st, drew a walk on a 3-1 pitch in the 2nd, and popped out (P-5, and P-6) in his final two AB.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
X-1. Manny Ramirez, DH #1: 1-3 (BB, F-8, F-7, HR, R, RBI)
NOTE: Ramirez batted 2nd in the top of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings
X-2. Ryan Sweeney,DH #2: 0-3 (K, BB, P-5, P-6, R)
NOTE: Sweeney batted 3rd in the top of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings
1. Gleyber Torres, SS: 1-3 (K, 2B, 3-1, RBI)
2. Bryant Flete, 2B: 0-3 (P-5, E-6, 4-3)
3. Shamil Ubiera, RF: 2-3 (2B, 6-4 FC, 1B, R, SB)
4. Eloy Jimenez, DH #3: 1-3 (HR, 1-3, K, R, 3 RBI)
5. Roney Alcala, 1B: 0-3 (3-1, F-9, 4-6-3 DP)
6a. Eufran Vargas, C: 0-2 (F-7, K)
6b. Antonio Valerio, C: 0-1 (4-3)
7. Adonis Paula, 3B: 1-3 (1B, F-8, K, CS)
8. Arnaldo Calero, LF: 0-3 (F-7, K, K)
9. Charcer Burks, CF: 1-2 (2B, 4-3, R)
1. Josh Conway: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 1/1 GO/FO, 37 pitches (24 strikes)
2. Zac Rosscup: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 16 pitches (9 strikes)
3. Ryan McNeil: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 BALK, 0/2 GO/FO, 36 pitches (22 strikes)
NOTE: McNeil's first inning was stopped with one out and runners at 1st & 3rd
4. Jesus Castillo: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1/3 GO/FO, 35 pitches (19 strikes)
5. Victor Salazar: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 22 pitches (10 strikes)
6. Greyfer Eregua: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 14 pitches (8 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 2
1. 3B Adonis Paula - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
2. SS Gleyber Torres - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Eufran Vargas: 2-2 CS
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
CF Charcer Burks - runner thrown out 8-6-2 trying to score from 1st base on double
WEATHER: Sunny & hot with temperatures 100+
May their next game go 26 innngs..and get suspended.
So many memories from this game -- Javy's HR, Grimm's Ks, Soler's throw, Schwarber's ridiculous bomb, Strop overcoming his demons, Lackey screaming at himself after giving up the hit to Hammel....just awesome stuff.
dodgers win...1 more game of pitcher use on the mets and dodgers (degrom + greenkey)
maddon is easily one of the best managers out there, that's why he's getting paid huge for someone that doesn't have to rent/own in NYC/LA.
for the most part there's 2-3-5 of guys on that level, and 25-28 other teams trying to find a guy who's capable. they can also go out of favor rather quickly (m.sciossa recently). last year's NL MOY didn't make it a full year into 2015 before getting fired.
no matter how one feels about how it could have been done cheaper with less commitment, we only know how this way is working out. it's been awesome so far.
Agree. It could not be more perfect that we beat the Cardinals in this ascendant season of all seasons, and in the first postseason series we ever saw them in.
I think all we can say is, "Okay, let's go on to the next series and see what happens." And how indescribably awesome is it to be able to say that on this date in this year.
Thanks, O&B. So funny about our age. Let's just say- I have always wondered why Durocher didn't give Hundley a few days off when he had Gene Oliver and John Boccabella on the bench.
Strop K'ing Peralta to start the 8th, given their history -- what a fantastic moment! And Javy bouncing back -- big time -- form yesterday's games.
Contributions from literally everyone in this series -- Soler and Schwarber were off the charts -- Miggy's pick-off was awesome.
This team is just so much damn fun.
Wish I knew how to post a pic. Both CUBSTER & I in attendance. I finally feel like some demons have been vanquished, and there is some magic here.
Joe Maddon is far and away the best manager I have seen work for my team.
pretty much this. also, a magician.
Madden brought it in some lions and sharks to Wrigley Field and let them eat people
What did I miss?
I think Strop deserves a very special mention. He had so many struggles against the Cardinals but pitched two successful and very high pressure innings the last two games against them and looked nasty doing so.
How about this, the Cubs are 10-1 over the last 3 weeks.
I was thinking about it earlier that the Cubs are 101-66 and the Cards 101-65...but, does anyone outside of the two of us ever calculate records including post season? Don't think I've seen that ever before.