Morelli Strikes Out A's
RF Jesus Morelli threw a strike to catcher Matt Cerda with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, nipping the potential tying run at the plate and preserving the victory, as the EXST Cubs edged the EXST A's 4-3 in Extended Spring Training action at Papago Park Field #2 in Phoenix this morning.
18-year old Australian RHP Adam Spencer entered the game in the bottom of the 9th after the Cubs had come back to tie and then take the lead with two outs in the top of the 9th, thanks to a two-base error by the A's shortstop and a clutch RBI single by Jose Guevara.
Spencer gave up a lead-off triple into the left-field corner, before getting the first out of the 9th on a pop-up to short CF, with the runner holding at third. The next A's hitter lofted a lazy fly ball to medium deep RF, and Morellii got a good read on it, getting himself into position to throw by circling behind the ball, and getting all of his momentum moving forward, before throwing the game-ending strike home to just barely nab the runner trying to score.
Morelli has struggled with the bat, so I'm sure he feels great having contributed to a victory with his defense. The 19-year old Dominican was all smiles as he high-fived his teammates milling round the pitchers mound after the game ended.
RHP "Big Jon" Nagel got the start for the Cubs today, and allowed one run in three innings of work. He was not as sharp as he had been in his previous couple of outings, as his sinker just wasn't sinking like it usually does, but he still managed to get four punchouts along the way with a nasty slider.
The Cubs tied the game in the 4th and then took the lead 2-1 in the 6th, with 18-year old Australian LF Sean Williams scoring both of the runs after getting on base to lead off both frames. once by walk and once by single. Like Morelli, Williams has struggled with the bat, so he has to feel good about reaching base three times and scoring twice today.
But the A's rallied for two runs in the bottom of the 7th when Cubs lefty reliever Marcos Perez had control issues, and the A's took the one-run lead into the 9th.
John Contreras led off the Cub 9th with a line-drive double into the left-center alley, but PR Alvaro Sosa couldn't move up as Jericho Jones fanned and George Matheus popped up weakly to the second-baseman.
Then Sean Hoorelbeke hit what should have been a routine game-ending 6-3 grounder, but the ball caromed off the shortstop's glove into short LF, allowing Sosa to score (just barely) from 2nd base with the tying run. Morelli was hit by a pitch, and then Guevara lined his game-winning RBI single to CF.
In EXST Cubs injury news, 18-year old Korean OF Jae-Hoon Ha is listed as "day-to-day" with a sore wrist.
Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Jose Valdez, CF: 1-2 (1-3, 5-3 SH, 1B, BB)
2. Logan Watkins, 2B: 2-4 (1B, 1B, 4-6 FC, K - 1 RBI)
3. Matt Cerda, DH-C: 0-4 (L-3 DP, 6-4 FC, 4-3, 1-3)
4a. John Contreras, 3B: 1-4 (P-3, 6-4 FC, L-7, 2B)
4b. Alvaro Sosa, PR-3B: 0-0 (1 R)
5. Jericho Jones, DH #2: 2-4 (6-3, 1B, 1B, K - 1 PO)
6a. Hak-Ju Lee, SS: 0-2 (F-8, 5-4 FC)
6b. George Matheus, SS 1-2 (1B, P-4)
7. Sean Hoorelbeke, 1B: 0-4 (F-7, L-5, 4-6 FC, E-6 - 1 R)
8. Jesus Morelli, RF: 0-2 (4-3, K, BB, HBP - 1 SB)
9. Jose Guevara, C-DH: 1-4 (K, 6-3, K, 1B - 1 RBI)
10. Sean Williams, LF: 1-2 (1B, BB, BB, F-9 - 2 R)
1. Jon Nagel - 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 3/2 GO/FO
2. Rogelio Carmona - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 2/2 GO/FO
3. Marcos Perez - 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 2/0 GO/FO
4. Melvin Vasquez - 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/2 GO/FO
5. Adam Spencer - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 0/3 GO/FO
Matt Cerda - 1 PB
WEATHER: Hot & sunny, temperature in the high 90's
been like that everytime I've been there too including Jack Murphy/Qualcomm Stadium. Cubs travel well. It was pretty loud for Angels/Cubs this year and decent for Dodgers/Cubs but Dodger fans definitely turn out better than the Padre fans.
When I went in the 2007-2008 range, it was at least 75% Cubs fans.
Jeff Sullivan on Kris Bryant's lack of clutch hitting in 2016. Very good stuff, unsatisfying conclusion (it's probably random).
I was at Tuesday's game in San Diego. It looked like half of Chicago was at Petco. We were much louder than Padres fans.
We may have a chance to catch one in October. Although hell, I couldn't deal with my co-workers if we lose to them.
think I have to miss this series too (also was at the Arrieta game last year). But in my case, just had a busy weekend with work and kids have a bunch of activities and we made it to Opening Day in Anaheim and a couple of games in Wrigley this year which we normally don't get too...so not feeling like I'm missing out this year.
I hope the Cubs play three good teams.
First year I'm not going to a Cubs/Dodgers game in a long time. 4 month old baby kinda changes plans around. But the no-hitter I was at last year can last in the memory banks for awhile.
I think Dodger Dogs are awful. I love hot dogs, but those are crap.
ayyyy...get a doyer dog, then.
I'm going to be at this one! Am told a Dodger Dog is just a long hot dog. Disappointing.
If my math is correct, if the Cubs play .500 baseball for the rest of the season, they will finish with 99 wins. I only just confirmed through Baseball Reference that 97 wins last year (and 2008) were the most Cubs wins in my lifetime. I think that last year while Arrieta was pitching better than Cy F. Young I didn't really get or appreciate what he was doing. I'm trying to try to grasp in the moment just how fucking remarkable this season is.
This is awesome.
(CSN Chicago will air Vin Scully's call of the Sunday Cubs vs. Dodgers game...well for an inning at least)
I figured this was going to be the most meaningless regular season in Cubs history...and it is pretty much on point, although I certainly didn't think we'd have close to a 14 game lead.
But, one bad hop in game 1 in October could change absolutely everything we will remember about this year.
oh he's great, there's like 10 great pitchers in the NL right now that can flat out dominate though. Picking #2 (behind Kershaw) doesn't matter much to me right now. Much like whom the Cubs will play in the playoffs won't matter much, they're gonna be good teams.
The Cubs great pitching has a lot more to do with their great defense this year and plenty of good luck (#1 in ERA, #4 in FIP behind Nats, Mets and Dodgers with a rather ridiculous .258 BABIP against Cubs' pitchers).
Cubs pitchers do strike out more hitters than Giants pitchers and do walk more hitters than Giants pitchers so that's a few more balls in play. Cubs' pitchers actually have a higher groundball rate though. Crawford is just really good and baseball happens.