Cubs Romp over Angels at Riverview Park
Kevin Brown ripped an RBI triple and two singles and scored a run, Varonex Cuevas drilled a two-run triple and an RBI single, Jesse Hodges reached base four times (HBP, 2B, 2B, and BB), scored two runs, and drove-in another, Alberto Mineo collected three singles and scored a run, and five pitchers combined to throw a three-hitter, as the Cubs overwhelmed the Angels 10-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #1 at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.
19-year old 6'2 Dominican stringbean LHP Jose Paulino was the most-impressive Cub hurler today, tossing four innings of one-hit shutout ball. If any of the Cubs teenaged Latin pitchers making their U. S. debut in 2014 make the Boise Opening Day roster, it would probably be Paulino. (I'm not counting RHSP Erick Leal because he was in the U. S. last year at AZL Cubs, and although RHRP Francisco Carrillo and LHRP Alberto Diaz will be making their U. S. debut this season, both pitchers are in their 20's).
Manny Ramirez served as a DH and batted five times in the game (once in each of the first five innings), going 1-5 with three ground outs, a fly out to RF, and a single off the LF wall (ManRam can still hit, but he just doesn't run as well as he once did).
Ryan Sweeney (Cubs MLB 15-day DL - hamstring) played CF for five innings and batted four times, going 1-3 with a walk, a single and a run scored. Sweeney seems to be running just fine, so I would think he will probably get moved-up to AAA Iowa very soon to continue his rehab (just like Justin Ruggiano did a couple of weeks ago), before being reinstated from the DL sometime next week (barring any setbacks).
RHRP Kyuiji Fujikawa (Cubs MLB 60-day DL - 2013 TJS rehab) threw an inning and allowed one run on a HBP and an RBI double. He did strike out two batters, however (both swinging). His rehab has gone kind of slow, but he really needs to get out of here ASAP, even if it's just a minor league rehab assignment at Kane County or Daytona.
In EXST Cubs roster news, INF Tim Saunders has been sent to Extended Spring Training from Daytona and he played 2B in today's game, so expect Saunders to be on the Boise Hawks Opening Day roster. RHP Trevor Graham also was returned to Extended Spring Training from Daytona, so he should join LHP Tyler Ihrig, RHP Erick Leal, and RHP Trevor Clifton (plus one more starter TBA, could be Jose Paulino) in the Boise starting rotation. And RHP Josh Davis has been moved up to Kane County from Extended Spring Training, in what will be his second tour with the Cougars this season. (Davis has logged some time with the Daytona Cubs in 2014, too).
Additionally, 2013 28th round draft pick RHP Brad Renner has had a UCL elbow ligament transplant (TJS), so he will miss the 2014 season. (2012 5th round draft pick LHP Anthony Prieto had TJS last month).
Today's game was pre-planned as a ten-inning contest so that all of the pitchers who were scheduled to throw today could get enough innings, but the game was called by mutual agreement with two outs in the top of the 10th after the Angels ran out of pitchers (the Cub attack was relentless) and all of the Cub pitchers who were scheduled to throw in the game completed their work.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
X-1 Manny Ramirez, DH #1: 1-5 (6-3, 6-4-3 DP, F-9, 1B, 5-3, R)
NOTE: Ramirez batted 2nd in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings
X-2 Ryan Sweeney, CF: 1-3 (BB, 4-3, 3-6 FC, 1B, R)
NOTE: Sweeney batted 3rd in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings
1. Tim Saunders, 2B: 1-3 (HBP, F-9 SF, K, 1B, F-8, 2 RBI, SB)
2. Giuseppe Papaccio, SS: 0-4 (P-4, F-9, K, F-9)
3. Danny Canela, 1B: 1-3 (1-U, 2B, BB, F-7, R)
4. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 2-2 (HBP, 2B, 2B, BB, 2 R, RBI)
5. Alberto Mineo, C: 3-4 (1B, K, 1B, 1B, R)
6. Kevin Brown, LF: 3-4 (K, 1B, 3B, 1B, R, RBI)
7. Rashad Crawford, RF-CF: 0-3 (K, F-9, BB, K, R)
8. Varonex Cuevas, DH #2: 2-3 (3B, BB, P-3, 1B, R, 3 RBI)
9a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
9b. Oliver Zapata, RF: 1-2 (2B, K, R, RBI)
1. Erick Leal: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 3/2 GO/FO, 25 pitches (15 strikes)
2. Kyuji Fujikawa: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 0/1 GO/FO, 18 pitches (14 strikes)
3. Jose Paulino: 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 7/3 GO/FO, 49 pitches (28 strikes)
4. Jasvir Rakkar: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 12 pitches (8 strikes)
5. Luis Hernandez: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 0/4 GO/FO, 21 pitches (13 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 1
P Jose Paulino - E-1 (missed 1st base on attempted 3-1 put-out allowing batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Alberto Mineo: 0-2 CS
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures 100+
That was good!
Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.
My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.
Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.
Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.
How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?
Call me lost.
Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.
I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:
Carl Crawford $20MM
Brandon McCarthy $17MM
Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
Darwin B $2.2MM
Dan Haren $10MM
Matt Kemp $18MM
Brian Wilson $10MM
Ryan Webb $2.2MM
Dee Gordon $2.5MM
So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.
And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):
i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.
there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.
I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.
O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already.
I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.
I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.
Enjoyable read on David Ross.
Er, they won the first one. My bad. Carry on.
With last night's win in Pittsburgh, the Cubs have tied the Pirates with 98 wins, and are only 2-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. No reason why the Cubs can't finish the post-season with the best winning percentage in baseball (regular season & post-season combined).