Iowa Cubs Get Stung by Bees
I had so much fun watching the Iowa Cubs yesterday at Fitch Park, I decided to follow the Cubs' AAA affiliate to neighboring Tempe today as they took on the Angels AAA affiliate (the PCL Salt Lake Bees) at the Angels Minor League Complex at Diablo Park.
While it isn't unusual for one or more Cubs major leaguers to play in a AAA game (esprcially when the big club has a night game), that wasn't the case today
Kyle Reynolds smashed a two-run homer and Doug Deeds blasted a solo shot, but that's all the runs the Cubs could muster. And since tthe four Cubs pitchers were (mostly) ineffective, the I-Cubs lost, 7-3.
Here is today's abridged box score (Iowa Cubs players only). Some of the more observant among you might note that most all of the I-Cubs who played today were at big league camp not too long ago...
1. Sam Fuld, CF: 0-5 (4-3, 6-3, P-6, P-5, 3-U)
2. Luis Rivas, 2B: 1-3 (1B, BB, Ks, 6-4-3 DP)
3. Bobby Scales, 3B: 1-3 (BB, Ks, 6-3, 1B)
4. Jake Fox, 1B: 0-4 (FC, FP-3, F-7, Ks)
5a. Jason Dubois, LF: 0-3 (Ks, Ks, 5-3)
5b. Richie Robnett, LF: 0-1 (P-6)
6. Doug Deeds, RF: 2-4 (Ks, SOLO HR, Ks, 2B)
7a. Welington Castillo, C: 1-2 (2B, 4-3, BB + R)
7b. Chris Robinson, C: 0-1 (4-3)
8. Kyle Reynolds, DH:1-4 (1-3, F-9, TWO-RUN HR, Ks)
9. Matt Camp, SS: 1-3 (BB, L-7, 1B, 2-3)
1. Jesse Estrada - 3.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 HR (61 pitches - 33 strikes, 0/6 GO/FO)
2. Brian Schlitter - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K (30 pitches - 18 strikes, 1/1 GO/FO)
3. Justin Berg - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K (19 pitches - 11 strikes)
4. Jeff Stevens - 0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K (24 pitches - 12 strikes)
NOTE: Two very lengthy innings were terminated early (prior to three outs).
Welington Castillo: 0-1 CS
Chris Robinson: 0-2 CS
Welington Castillo - bounced throw past second base on SB attempt, allowing baserunner to take 3rd.
Sam Fuld (runner at 3rd)
WEATHER: EXTREMELY windy. Absolutely ridiculous.
The Cubs AA affiliate (Tennessee Smokies) played the Angels AA affiliate on an adjoining field at Diablo, and while I am unable to provide the abridged box score for that game, I did observe CF Brandon Guyer hit a garagantuan solo HR over the LF fence.
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.
It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.
I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.
I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.
This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:
Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!
Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.
Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.
Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.
Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.
Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.
Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.
He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.
He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.
Weird home stand -- 3-1, with 2 rainouts, vs. two teams that will lose 100 games. Feels oddly disappointing.
Miserable baseball weather all week -- hopefully better weather will get the bats going. Not just walking, but actually hitting.
That strike call on LaSterlla was terrible
I was hearing some talk that John Mallee is trying to change Heyward's swing. Wonder if that is lending itself to the slow start.
at least it wasn't a "nobody showed up" stomping.
anytime you wanna jumpstart your season would be nice, heyward.