Splitsville in Scottsdale for Cubs and Giants
Robert Hernandez was clubbed for seven runs in a nightmarish bottom of the 1st inning and the EXST Giants cruised to 9-3 victory over the EXST Cubs on Indian Bend Park Field #4 in Scotsdale this morning, but not to worry too much, because Logan Watkins and Matt Cerda drove-in two runs apiece and Su-Min Jung and Toby Matchulat combined to throw six innings of two-hit shutout ball, as the another squad of EXST Cubs defeated another squad of EXST Giants 5-1 at Indian Bend Park Field #3, in a game played simultaneous to the one on Field #4. And I was able to watch both games simutaneously, too.
Dwayne Kemp returned to the lineup (he was a DH on Field #4) after missing a week-plus of games while nursing a sore quad, and he looked rusty, too, striking out in each of his first three ABs.
And the Cubs didn't bring enough position players along to fill the normal two DH slots. Outfielders Jae-Hoon Ha and Francisco Guzman did not make the trip to Scottsdale today. I know Ha is injured (he has been in shorts and t-shirt for several days now), but I don't why Guzman was absent.
So then here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):
SQUAD "A" PLAYING ON FIELD #3:
1. Jose Valdez, CF: 3-4 (1B, 1B, 5-3 SH, 1B, 6-3 - 1 R, 1 SB,1 CS)
2. Logan Watkins, SS: 2-3 (L-8, 1B, BB, 1B - 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB)
3. Matt Cerda, 2B: 2-4 (F-7, 1B, 2B, F-7 - 2 RBI)
4. John Contreras, 1B: 0-3 (6-3, 5-3, BB, K)
5. Jericho Jones, RF: 0-2 (BB, BB, K, 3-U - 1 R)
6. Chris Weimer, LF: 0-4 (L-6, L-6, K, F-8)
7. Juan Medina, C: 1-4 (1B, F-7, K, F-9 - 1 R)
8. George Matheus, 3B: 1-4 (F-8, 2B, 3-1, F-9)
9. Jose Guevara, DH: 0-1 (F-8)
NOTE: #9 spot in order was skipped until the 8th inning, when hard-workin' Jose Guevara was finally able to get an AB after being assigned to warm-up pitchers (from both Cubs squads) in the bullpen for most of the game.
1. Su-Min Jung - 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 5/2 GO/FO
2. Toby Matchulat - 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 2/3 GO/FO
3. Yohan Gonzalez - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP,1 WP, 2/2 GO/FO
SS Logan Watkins had two errors (one throwing error and one fielding error, both allowing the batter to reach base safely), and 3B George Matheus had one fielding error allowing batter to reach base, although the batter was immediately thrown out 7-4 (LF Chris Weimer to 2B Matt Cerda) when he tried to take 2nd on the play.
SQUAD "B" PLAYING ON FIELD #4:
1. Hak-Ju Lee, SS: 1-4 (F-8, 1B, F-7, 6-3 - 1 RBI)
2. Dwayne Kemp, DH: 0-4 (K, K, K, 5-3)
3. Kevin Soto, CF: 1-2 (1B, 6-3, BB - 1 R, 1 SB)
4. Sean Hoorelbeke, 1B: 1-3 (6-4 FC, F-8, 1B - 1 R, 1 SB)
5. Alvaro Sosa, C: 0-3 (K, 6-3, K)
6. Robert Bautista, 3B: 2-3 (K, 1B, 2B - 1 RBI)
7. Jesus Morelli, RF: 0-3 (K, F-8, P-4)
8. Sean Williams, LF: 0-3 (K, 4-3, 5-3)
9. Jose Made, 2B: 0-1 (BB, K, BB - 1 R, 2 SB)
1. Robert Hernandez - 2.1 IP, 9 H, 7 R (7 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 1 HR, 3/4 GO/FO
2. Dionis Nunez - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 4/1 GO/FO
3. George Pineda - 1.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 4/0 GO/FO
P George Pineda had one fielding error (dropped throw covering 1st base) leading to two unearned runs scoring later in the inning, and 1B Sean Hoorelbeke had one fielding error (two base error, batted ball caromed off his glove and into right-field foul territory, allowing batter to reach 2nd base)
Alvaro Sosa: 0-2 CS
WEATHER: Temperature got up into the 90's by the end of the games, but it was also partly cloudy
ATTENDANCE: 13 (including Hak-Ju Lee's family visiting from South Korea)
Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]
ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.
cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.
a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...
it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...
Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.