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+
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?
#Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.
Fun with FIP
- J. Hammel 3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
- J. Arrieta 2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
- J. Lester 2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
- K. Hendricks 2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
- J. Lackey 3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k
he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.
JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.
My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.
Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...
joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1
not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.
really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.
Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.
Classic Scully - great stuff.
Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)
Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:
"And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."
When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.
If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.
cubs win...bryant with 7HR in his last 8 games.