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+
if they dont win at least 130 games this season they can pack it all up, turn wrigley into a concert venue, and move the damn team to san jose.
I see where catcher Cael Brockmeyer was promoted to Tennessee a couple of days ago, to fill a roster spot vacated by David Freitas, recently promoted to Iowa. Caratini is the other catcher at Tennessee.
They've already clinched a minimum winning percentage of .607 for the month, and that's only if they lose the last 2 games. If they win both, they can push that up to .679. So much for "stumbling" in May. When you're winning over 60% of your games, you're doing baseball well.
If the best walk-off hit possible is a solo home run in a zero-zero game--Eloy did it tonight!
(But maybe it's a grand slam when your team is down three? He didn't do that.)
Number eight for Jimenez. His team is 31-17. Yesterday they scored 17 runs against Lansing. Two weeks ago it was 15 runs against the same team. This is a nice team, South Bend. The Cubs must have had a good draft last year.
Tonight the pitchers were Sands, Brooks and Effross.
He'll be fine. He's not some wimpy young pup.
In all seriousness the Cubs have the fewest amount of games played in the NL which means they're gonna be facing quite the grind later on including 24 games in a row at the end of June and beginning of July so I hope he does get a few days off.
Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?
Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]
ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.
cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.