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.
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.
You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.
To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.
So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?
First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!