EXST Cubs Face Kelvim Escobar at Diablo Park

Dwayne Kemp drove in the go-ahead runs with a line drive two-run single to right-center in the top of the 11th, but the EXST Cubs could not hold the lead, as the EXST Angels rallied with two runs of their own in the bottom of the frame, as the Cubs and Angels played to a 4-4 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at the Angels Minor League Complex at Diablo Park in Tempe this morning.

The other offensive highlight for the Cubs was provided over the course of an inning by speedy Dominican lead-off hitter Jose Valdez, who reached base after being hit by a pitch to lead-off the top of the 5th, and then proceeded to steal 2nd, 3rd, and home.

For all you Angels fans out there (and you know who you are), RHSP Kelvim Escobar (on the 60-day DL after undergoing shoulder surgery) made a rehab start for the EXST Angels, throwing 1.2 IP (30 pitches) and retiring all five men he faced on three ground outs, a line drive, and a strikeout. 

Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only)...

LINEUP:
1. Jose Valdez, CF: 0-3 (K, HBP, 1-3, 1-3 - 1 R, 3 SB)
2. Hak-Ju Lee, DH #1: 0-3 (L-6, BB, 6-3, L-4 DP - 1 SB)
3. Matt Cerda, C - DH #2: 2-4 (4-3, F-7, 1B, 2B - 1 R)
4. Chris Weimer, 1B: 1-4 (5-3, P-3, K, 1B - 1 R)
5. Jericho Jones, LF: 0-3 (6-3, 6-3, 4-3, HBP - 1 R)
6. Logan Watkins, SS: 2-4 (K, F-7, 1B, 1B - 1 RBI, 1 PO)
7. Dwayne Kemp, 2B: 1-2 (BB, E-6, SH, 1B - 2 RBI)
8. Kevin Soto, RF: 0-3: (K, 6-3 GIDP, 6-3)
9. George Matheus, 3B: 0-2 (BB, 5-3, 3-U)
10. Juan Medina, DH #2 - C: 1-3 (FC, 6-3, 1B)

PITCHERS:
1. Jon Nagel - 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 7/1 GO/FO
2. Tarlandus Mitchell - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 3/0 GO/FO
3. Eduardo Figueroa - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 3/2 GO/FO
4. Yohan Gonzalez - 2.0 IP, 2 H. 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 6/0 GO/FO
5. Marcos Perez - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 3/0 GO/FO
6. Josh Lansford - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 WP   

ERRORS (1):
SS Logan Watkins bobbled a grounder allowing batter to reach base with one out in the bottom of the 3rd inning, eventually resulting in an unearned run.   

CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Juan Medina - 0-2 CS

ATTENDANCE: 16 (including retired MLB LHP Bruce Hurst, who was there to watch his son Kyle pitch for the EXST Angels) 

Comments

Thanks, as always, Arizona Phil.

I was wondering if you had any thoughts on Nagel. I know he's coming back from Tommy John surgery before he was drafted.

Thanks for the report AZ Phil......the Angels pitchers got a lot of ground ball outs and our pitchers weren't giving up walks and hbp like they have been lately.That's incouraging.

Submitted by Raisin101 on Tue, 05/12/2009 - 5:16pm.
Thanks, as always, Arizona Phil.

I was wondering if you had any thoughts on Nagel. I know he's coming back from Tommy John surgery before he was drafted.

=====================================

RAISIN: Jon Nagel pounds the lower part of the strike zone with a hard sinker, sort of a younger version of Randy Wells. He is a big guy (widebody), but he doesn't throw real hard. His sinker is a real good pitch, though. He just keeps pumping it over the plate and gets ground ball after ground ball. So Nagel needs his infielders to make routine plays, but at EXST, the infield defense isn't very consistent.

BTW, the Royals have released RHP Ryan Acosta (Cubs 2007 12th round pick who got 4th round money to give up his NLI to the U. of Georgia), who was somewhat unexpectedly released by the Cubs prior to the start of Spring Training 2009 after struggling with personal demons the past couple of years. Ryan is the son of the one-time Cubs pitching coach Oscar Acosta, who died in a car crash when Ryan was in HS.

AZ Phil: Do you know what kind of demons that Acosta was dealing with? I had been wondering what had happened to him, as I thought he was going to have a bright future with the club after he was signed in 2007.

IIRC, I think his mom got sick or something like that.

I could be way off, though.

The Cubs down early again. Man it would be nice for them to get a nice lead early.

Yahtzee goes yard!!! A-Fonse the other day and now Monopoly today with big HR's. That is the way for the other big bats to pick up ARam and Lee. Now we need to bullpen to hold it...

And now, pinch hit home run for Bobby Scales!

I predict that he will be the next player to have his name spelled with an exclamation point. (Bobby Scales!)

Only Ne!f! can have that. It is the only thing he has left...:)

I think it would be Sca!es.

time to start paying attention...

Am I crazy or were the wrigley nuts chanting MILTON BRADLEY just after his shot.

anyone there?

I mean how Cubs fan is that????

So did you guys talk about Brenley's observation that Soto is still hurt? His hand has always slipped off the bat handle as he swings. Is he fucked? Dr. Hechct?

haven't heard this lately about Soto. He did get a single and a walk tonight...so we're just waiting on power and rbi's.

Seems that his shoulder is OK and that was an earlier malady for him.

sorry if I spelt the good doctor's name. :-)

Quick question to MLB.

DVR is temporarily una fucking vailable????????????

My divorce lawyer, who is the meanest bastard on earth, will be in touch with you. And he'll make the Cloverfield monster look like a rose in your fucking ass.

Thanks.

I like Kemp, but man, he's got a stacked deck in front of him at 2nd base.

AzPhil - How's Watkins looking defensively overall? The error comment piqued my interest, and obviously, one error does not make a conclusion, but I am just curious if you think he moves well enough for the position and has the reactions to potentially try to develop there long run. IIRC, some folks were thinking 2nd/CF for him (maybe even you, my memory is a bit shoddy these days). Does it look like Watkins could stick at short? I'm just curious, because IIRC a previous post of yours, you said that Hak-ju might outgrow short.

Two other quick questions - Cerda and his defense, and how has Jericho's bat been? Has he been making good contact?

juanpierrewood. classic.

Submitted by toonsterwu on Wed, 05/13/2009 - 1:46am.
I like Kemp, but man, he's got a stacked deck in front of him at 2nd base.

AzPhil - How's Watkins looking defensively overall? The error comment piqued my interest, and obviously, one error does not make a conclusion, but I am just curious if you think he moves well enough for the position and has the reactions to potentially try to develop there long run. IIRC, some folks were thinking 2nd/CF for him (maybe even you, my memory is a bit shoddy these days). Does it look like Watkins could stick at short? I'm just curious, because IIRC a previous post of yours, you said that Hak-ju might outgrow short.

Two other quick questions - Cerda and his defense, and how has Jericho's bat been? Has he been making good contact?

===========================================

TOONSTER: Logan Watkins is an "athletic" defender who has the range to play middle infield, and he has plenty of arm, too, but he throws almost sidearm, so he probably will end up at 2B rather than SS or CF.

Matt Cerda is still working on his defense behind the plate, but he didn't look good when he was moved to 2B last month, so I doubt that the Cubs will move him again to 2B even if he continues to struggle at catcher. They'll likely just give him as much time as he needs to develop, even if it means spending two or three years in Mesa. He's sort of a long-term investment.

Jericho Jones got sick at the end of Minor League Camp and although he's healthy now, he still looks sluggish at bat and in the field. Hopefully he will get it going soon, but he's definitely really struggling right now.

Chris Weimer and Dwayne Kemp have been the team's hottest hitters so far, while Jae-Hoon Ha shows the most promise as a hitter.

AZ Phil was right about Jericho getting sick but he is back hitting over .400 for the spring and has been working on pitch recognition; increasing his walks and decreasing his strikeouts.He has been hitting off a machine that throws 96mph from 52 feet to fine tune his pitch recognition and bat speed.He reports early everyday to get in extra work and says his arm strength is better than ever.( he's thrown out several runners from lf this spring )He got to hit in a simulated game vs "animal" ( Julio Castillo)a week or so ago and ripped his 95-97mph fastball for several hits including one off the wall and one gapper.For those who don't know who Julio Castillo is.....he is the pitcher who got suspended after the brawl in Peoria last season. He is allowed to work out but not allowed to participate in the EXTST games.I also heard that after yesterdays game the players were surprised to find one of their two team vans had been stolen out of the parking lot during the game. They had to wait an extra 30 minutes to get another van from Mesa.

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  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    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.

    Rob G. 5 hours 31 min ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #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

    Rob G. 5 hours 36 min ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    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.

    Rob G. 5 hours 41 min ago view
  • great defense

    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.

    Rob G. 5 hours 53 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 6 hours 4 min ago view
  • #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)
    Rob G. 6 hours 29 min ago view
  • 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.

    crunch 7 hours 9 min ago view
  • 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.

    Jackstraw 8 hours 21 min ago view
  • Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...

    billybucks 8 hours 38 min ago view
  • 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.

    crunch 8 hours 43 min ago view
  • 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.

    Eric S 9 hours 27 min ago view
  • Classic Scully - great stuff.

    Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)

    Eric S 14 hours 18 min ago view
  • 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."

    VirginiaPhil 15 hours 32 min ago view
  • When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.

    VirginiaPhil 15 hours 35 min ago view
  • If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.

    Jackstraw 16 hours 54 min ago view
  • cubs win...bryant with 7HR in his last 8 games.

    crunch 1 day 6 min ago view