Let's Play Twelve!
The EXST Giants defeated the EXST Cubs 4-1 in a pre-planned 12 inning Extended Spring Training game at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning in Mesa.
Prior to this season, the EXST Cubs had one "Camp Day" per week (usually on Thursday), where the team would have a special workout to practice various drills, followed by an intrasquad game. This gave pitchers needing work an opportunity to throw as many innings in a game setting as deemed necessary.
But there are no "Camp Days" this season (EXST games are now scheduled every day Monday through Saturday, and players get Sundays off), so it's been a bit of a struggle to get all 24 of the EXST pitchers (plus rehab guys) enough opportunities for game action. Therefore, we have seen such things as simultaneous double-headers played on adjoining fields, or games extended beyond nine innings to allow a pitcher from one of the two teams to get an inning of work, or (like today) a pre-planned "extra inning" game.
Among the pitchers getting work today were two position players turned pitchers, RHP (ex-3B) Josh Lansford and LHP (ex-OF) Ryan Sontag. Also, RHP Julio Pena threw two inning of relief, since he was working on only three days rest after starting one of the games in Scottsdale last Monday. (So that means Su-Min Jung will probably get the start tomorrow).
Dwayne Kemp got a start at 3B today (the third different position he has played in his last three games), an indication that he is likely being groomed as a "super-sub" utility guy. Unfazed by constantly getting moved around in the field, Kempy continued his hot hitting, smashing a triple off the right-centerfield fence, although he followed that with a brain-fart baserunning gaffe, getting thrown out at the plate 4-2 trying to score on a grounder to 2B with no outs.
And Iowa Cubs RHP Justin Berg (at Fitch Park rehabbing from a sore shoulder the last couple of weeks) left EXST today, presumably en route to rejoin the I-Cubs. Berg looked good throwing an inning yesterday in Phoenix, getting four ground balls (his bread & butter).
Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Hak-Ju Lee, DH #1: 1-5 (4-3, F-7, 2B, 1-3, K)
2. Jose Valdez, LF: 1-5 (5-3, 1B, F-7, 4-3, K - 1 R)
3. Matt Cerda, DH-C-2B: 1-4 (K, E-7 SF, 1B, F-9, F-8 - 1 RBI, 1 CS)
4. Jericho Jones, 1B: 0-5 (K, 6-5 FC, K-DP, F-9, K)
5. Logan Watkins, 2B-SS: 1-3 (E-4, 1B, BB, BB, 4-3)
6. Jae-Hoon Ha, CF: 2-5 (1B, 6-4 FC, 1B, 6-4-3 GIDP, 3-U - 1 SB)
7a. Jesus Morelli, RF: 0-2 (1-3, BB, K)
7b. Sean Williams, RF: 0-1 (K)
8. Alvaro Sosa, C-DH: 0-4 (3-U, 4-3, K, 4-3)
9a. Dwayne Kemp, 3B: 1-3 (3B, F-9, E-5)
9b. Jose Made, 3B: 0-0
9c. Juan Medina, C: 1-1 (1B)
10a. Robert Bautista, SS: 0-2 (4-2 FC, F-8 - 1 CS)
10b. George Matheus, SS-3B: 0-2 (K, 1-3)
1. Jeffry Antigua - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1/4 GO/FO
2. Josh Lansford - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 2 GIDP, 4/1 GO/FO
3. Ryan Sontag - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1/3 GO/FO
4. Cody Hams - 1.0 IP, 0 H,0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 0/3 GO/FO
5. Julio Pena - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 1/1 GO/FO
6. Rogelio Carmona - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 1/1 GO/FO
7. Eduardo Figueroa - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 3/2 GO/FO
1. C Alvaro Sosa threw ball into CF (E-2) while trying to nab runner advancing to 2nd base on Passed Ball in top of the 5th allowing runner to advance to 3rd base, and runner eventually scored unearned run on SF.
2. 3B George Matheus made errant throw to 1st base allowing batter to reach safely with two outs and bases empty in the top of the 9th, and runner scored unearned run on RBI double by next batterr.
1. Alvaro Sosa - 1-1 CS, 1 PB, 1 E-2
2. Matt Cerda - 1-1 CS
3. Juan Medina - 0-4 CS
1. Dwayne Kemp led off bottom of the 3rd with a triple, and then was thrown out on a 4-2 FC trying to score on ground ball to 2B with no outs. Kemp also was thrown out at 2B trying to take an extra base after reaching on an E-5 throwing error with one out in the bottom of the 7th.
2. Matt Cerda was thrown out on a 6-5 FC while trying to advance trom 2nd base to 3rd base on a ground ball to SS with no outs in the bottom of the 4th.
deno ended the season well even though ajax heavily cut into a lot of his chances to play. it's either him or ajax. i'm a bit partial to deno, but whatever...at least ajax isn't hitting 2nd.
Agreed. And, with Hendricks on the mound, Cubs will probably need to score some runs to win -- why not start Soler for his bat and bring in Ajax for defense later?
NEVER MIND....just re-read the lineup.
If the Cubs have the lead in the 8th, who pitches? Rodney? Travis? Yikes.
The Cubs had some good runs and nice winning streaks that propelled them to the playoffs. Austin Jackson wasn't part of that. I don't quite understand what it is about Jackson that they are so enamored with.
I think the strike zone was very inconsistent, but it's hard to blame the loss on the ump. They had chances and mistake pitches and just couldn't cash in. Lackey ran the ball inside and outside very effectively.
Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.
Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell
if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.
I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth
Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.
Wtf is up w/that?!
Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...
I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.
Awesome stuff, Phil.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.