Cubs & Giants Split at Fitch
The EXST Cubs and EXST Giants split a simultaneous doubleheader played at Fitch Park this morning, one game on Field #1 and one game on Field #3. Both games went seven innings.
Unfortunately, I watched the game that was played on Field #3, and that was the one the Cubs lost 9-1.
I don't have much information about the game played on Field #1, other than the Cubs won, Cedric Redmond threw one shutout inning, Josh Lansford Gian Guzman, and a 4th pitcher threw two effective innings each, Chris Weimer blasted a HR, Robert Bautista hit an inside-the-park HR, and Jae-Hoon Ha smacked a triple over the centerfielder's head.
In the game played on Field #3, three of the four Cubs pitchers struggled, and the only Cubs run scored on a bases-loaded walk, while the Cubs could not score after loading the bases with one out in one inning, and with runners at 1st & 3rd and one out in another inning.
Also, catcher John Contreras had a really bad day defensively. (Contreras was converted to catcher at Minor League Camp, and although he also still plays 3B and 1B on occasion, he's really a DH who is dangerous no matter what position he plays in the field). .
The (good) defensive play of the day on Field #3 was shortstop Dwayne Kemp's spectacular diving stop & throw from behind 2nd base, cutting down the batter 6-3. Kemp has shown he has the range and arm to play SS and 3B in addition 2B (his "natural" position), and he can play LF, too (he played there some last season), which means the Cubs could move Kemp up to Peoria if they decide to promote "supersub" IF-OF Josh Harrison to Daytona at some point in the near future.
Here is the abridged box score from the game played on Field #3 (Cubs players only)
SPLIT SQUAD - FIELD #3
1. Hak-Ju Lee, DH: 0-4 (K, 1-2 FC, E-4, 1-6 FC)
2. Dwayne Kemp, SS: 1-4 (1B, 5-4 FC, 6-3, K)
3. Matt Cerda, 2B: 0-3 (BB, 4-3, F-8, 1-3)
4. John Contreras, C: 1-3 (5-3, 1B, F-8)
5. Sean Hoorelbeke, 1B: 1-3 (6-3, 1B, P-6)
6. Jesus Morelli, LF: 2-3 (1B, 6-4-3 GIDP, 1B + 1 R)
7. Kevin Soto, CF: 0-2 (BB, K, K)
8. George Matheus, 3B: 0-2 (BB, F-9, 3-1)
9. Sean Williams, RF: 0-1 (BB, 3-U, BB + 1 RBI)
1. Cody Hams - 2.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1/3 GO/FO
2. Adam Spencer - 2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 4/1 GO/FO
3. George Pineda - 0.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 3 WP, 1 BALK
4. Rogelio Carmona - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 2/2 GO/FO
1. 2B Matt Cerda - errant throw to 1st base, allowing runner to reach base safely, eventually leading to unearned run scoring.
2. 1B Sean Hoorelbeke - attempted pick-off throw bounced off glove and into right-field foul territory, allowing runner to advance to 3rd base.
John Contreras: 0-3 CS, 3 PB
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.
It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.
I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.
I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.
This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:
Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!
Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.
Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.
Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.
Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.
Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.
Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.
He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.
He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.
Weird home stand -- 3-1, with 2 rainouts, vs. two teams that will lose 100 games. Feels oddly disappointing.
Miserable baseball weather all week -- hopefully better weather will get the bats going. Not just walking, but actually hitting.
That strike call on LaSterlla was terrible
I was hearing some talk that John Mallee is trying to change Heyward's swing. Wonder if that is lending itself to the slow start.
at least it wasn't a "nobody showed up" stomping.
anytime you wanna jumpstart your season would be nice, heyward.