Martin & Hodges Are Batman 1-A & 1-B in 10-8 Cubs Victory
Trey Martin laced three doubles (one line-drive into the LF corner, one line-drive off the left-field fence, and one line drive into the left-center alley), walked, drove-in two runs, and scored another, Jesse Hodges singled twice, doubled, collected two RBI, and scored twice, and Michael Wagner threw three innings of one-hit shutout ball, as the Cubs outlasted the Angels 10-8 in AZ Instructional League action this morning at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa.
Martin also commited two tactical baserunning gaffes as the result of being over-aggressive, making the third out at 3rd base in the bottom of the 3rd inning while trying to stretch one of his doubles into a triple, and then getting thrown out 6-5 trying to advance from 2nd base to 3rd base on a routine ground ball to the SS in the bottom of the 6th.
The lanky 20-year old from Georgia missed most of the 2013 season after undergoing shoulder surgery (non-throwing shoulder) in April, and he is just now rounding back into playing shape. Known more as a defensive whiz than an offensive force, Martin has been driving the ball with authority throughout Instructs, a possible indication that the chronic shoulder problem he had may have kept him from reaching his full potential as a hitter.
Cubs 2013 19th round draft pick Will Remillard (Coastal Carolina U.) made his professional game debut today, serving as a DH and going 1-3 with a single and an HBP. Remillard signed with the Cubs right at the July deadline (receiving a $150K "overslot" bonus), but was unable to play during the minor league regular season because of a back injury. FWIW, Remillard was Josh Conway's catcher in college (Conway was the Cubs 4th round draft pick in 2012, and is presently rehabbing from a fractured elbow suffered in an EXST game last May).
RHP (ex-OF) Johermyn Chavez got hammered in his one inning of work, allowing three runs on two doubles, a triple, a single, and a walk. Chavez was converted to a pitcher this past Summer and will be a Rule 55 minor league free-agent (so-called "six-year minor league free-agent") after the World Series, unless he & the Cubs agree to a 2014 minor league successor contract in the meantime.
Kirby Pellant tripled, singled, walked, and scored two runs for the Angels in a losing cause.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
1. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 1-4 (K, 2B, 3-U, 4-3, R)
2. Will Remillard, DH #1: 1-3 (5-3, 1B, HBP, K)
3. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 0-3 (K, F-9, L-6, BB, R, SB)
4. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 0-4 (E-5, 6-4 FC, F-9, P-3, 2 R, RBI)
5. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 3-4 (1B, 1B, 6-4 FC, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI)
6. Trey Martin, LF: 3-3 (2B, 2B, 2B, BB, R, 2 RBI)
7. Jordan Hankins, DH #2: 1-3 (F-7 SF, 1B, K, K, R, RBI)
8. Kelvin Freeman, 1B: 1-4 (K, 1B, 6-5 FC, L-9, R)
9. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-2 (1B, F-9 SF, BB, E-6, R, 2 RBI, SB)
10a. Mark Malave, C: 1-2 (K, 1B)
10b. Erick Castillo, C: 2-2 (1B, 1B, 2 RBI, CS)
1. Michael Wagner: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 1/5 GO/FO, 36 pitches (25 strikes)
2. David Garner: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 2 WP, 1/0 GO/FO, 41 pitches (18 strikes)
3. Erick Leal: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 4/3 GO/FO, 29 pitches (20 strikes)
4. Johermyn Chavez: 1.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 0/1 GO/FO, 25 pitches (13 strikes)
5. Trey Lang: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 12 pitches (6 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 2
1. SS Carlos Penalver - E-6 (two-base throwing error on relay throw to 2nd base on RBI double allowed batter to score unearned run)
2. 2B Gioskar Amaya - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Mark Malave: 0-1 CS
2. Erick Castillo: 1-1 CS
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
RF Yasiel Balaguert - threw out baserunner 9-5 trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on a single
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80's
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).
BOB: I doubt very much that Matt Szczur will be on the Cubs LDS roster.
If he wasn't on the Wild Card roster (when the Cubs went with 15 position players), he won't be on the LDS roster (when the Cubs will go with 13 or 14 position players).
As it is, at least one of the three RH hitting outfielders who were on the Cubs WC roster (Denorfia, Jackson, and Soler) could get bumped off the LDS roster (probably Soler).