Rivas Leads Cubs to Victory at Fitch
Luis Rivas singled, doubled, and homered, scored twice, and drove-in four runs, and Ryan Freel reached base four times and scored three runs, leading the EXST Cubs to a 7-4 victory over the EXST A's at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning in Mesa.
Two Chicago Cubs (Ryan Freel and Aaron Miles) and one Iowa Cub (Luis Rivas) rehabbing from injuries at Fitch Park hit 1-2-3 in each of the first four innings, and were responsible for most of the Cubs scoring.
And all three rehabbers looked to be 100% healthy, too. Freel and Rivas (both rehabbing from hamstring injuries) looked just fine running hard around the bases, and Freel (in particular) was running with unbridled abandon
Notre Dame outfielder A. J. Pollock played CF for all nine innings and got eight plate appearances, as the Cubs Scouting Department tries to figure out who they will select with the team's 1st round pick (#31 overall) in next week's Rule 4 Draft.
19-year old Venezuelan bonus baby (and Carlos Zambrano clone) RHP Larry Suarez got the start on the mound for the Cubs, and appeared to be overthrowing a bit, as he was pitching in front of practically the entire Cubs Scouting Department and Minor League Pitching Coordinator Mark Riggins. (Both Riggins and Cubs Minor League Hitting Coordinator Dave Keller have been at Fitch Park all week).
Suarez labored throughout his entire outing, and was relieved before he could complete three innings. Although he struck out the side, Suarez surrendered an unearned run in the top of the 1st on a double, a single, and an E-3 by 1B Sean Hoorelbeke on a pick-off attempt, and then the big right-hander gave up an earned run in the top of the 2nd on back to back doubles. He was removed from the game with runners at 2nd and 3rd and two outs in the top of the 3rd when he reached his max pitch count.
The Cubs offense, however, was up for the challenge, and scored six runs in the first three innings.
Freel reached base on a catcher's interference (E-2) leading off the bottom of the 1st, and advanced to 3rd on a one-out double by Rivas. After a walk loaded the the bases, Sean Hoorelbeke struck out, but then Matt Cerda walked with the bases loaded to force-in the 1st Cubs run.
The Cubs scored three more runs in the 2nd, when Freel and Miles led-off the inning with consecutive singles (with both runners advancing an extra base on Miles' single when the A's left-fielder bobbled the ball), and then both runners scored on an RBI single to center by Rivas. After Rivas moved up to 2nd base on a balk, Juan Medina drove him in with a line single to center.
The Cubs plated two more runs in the bottom of the 4th on a lead-off single by Freel followed by a one-out towering two-run homer onto 8th Street by Rivas, and then the Cubs completed their scoring in the 8th.
Tomorrow's Extended Spring Training game at the A's camp at the Papago Baseball Complex in Phoenix has been canceled because the Cubs want to have a closed "Camp Day" work-out for potential draft picks for their scouts at Fitch Park So today's game concluded the Cubs Extended Spring Training schedule.
Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only). Note that the Cubs took their at bats in the bottom of the 9th even though they already had won the game, because the A's pitcher needed another inning of work, Freel-Miles-Rivas-Pollock hit 1-2-3-4 in each of the first four innings, Pollock led-off innings 5-6-7-8-9, and Soto remained in the game defensively in LF after he was replaced in the batting order by Guevara.
1a. Ryan Freel, DH #1: 2-2 (E2-CI, 1B, BB, 1B - 3 R, 1 PO)
1b. Jose Made, DH #1: 1-2 (L-7, 1B)
2a. Aaron Miles, 3B: 1-4 (F-7, 1B+E-7, F-8, F-7 - 1 R)
2b. Dwayne Kemp, 2B: 0-2 (E-5, F-9)
3a. Luis Rivas, 2B: 3-4 (2B, 1B, P-4, HR, - 2 R, 4 RBI)
3b. George Matheus, 3B: 1-2 (1B, FC+E4)
4. A. J. Pollock, CF: 1-6 (BB, P-6, BB, K, F-8, K, 1B, F-8 - 1 R, 1 SB)
5. Sean Hoorelbeke, 1B: 0-3 (K, L-8, K)
6. Matt Cerda, DH #2: 0-1 (BB, K, BB - 1 RBI)
7. Juan Medina, C-DH #3: 2-2 (1B, 1B - 1 RBI, 1 CS)
8a. Kevin Soto, LF: 0-2 (K-DP, 4-3)
8b. Jose Guevara, PH-C: 0-2 (K, P-3)
9a. Robert Bautista, SS: 0-1 (BB, F-8 - 1 CS)
9b. Logan Watkins, SS: 1-1 (1B)
10. Sean Williams, RF: 0-2 (L-7, K)
1. Larry Suarez - 2.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 2/1 GO/FO
2. Eduardo Figueroa - 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 4 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/FO
3. Yohan Gonzalez - 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 PO, 1/3 GO/FO
4. Melvin Vasquez - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 4/0 GO/FO
1B Sean Hoorelbeke - ball bounced off his glove on pick-off attempt at 1st base, allowing runner to advance to 3rd base and eventually score unearned run.
P Yohan Gonzalez - threw attempted pick-off at 2nd base into CF, allowing runner to advance to 3rd base.
Juan Medina - 1 PB
Yay! KB at 3B!
Molina in the Cards lineup.
Fowler (CF), Schwarber (RF!), Bryant (3B), Rizzo (1B), Castro (2B), Coughlan (LF), Russell (SS), Ross (C), Lester (P)
If the baseball gods would guarantee that result, I'd take it :-).
I wonder if it is about numbers specifically against the Mets. But, it could also be because Kershaw can go 9 innings everytime, while Grienke very rarely makes it through the game. They don't want to expose their weak bullpen.
I have trouble getting past the extraordinary 1.66 ERA, but I don't know what the heck will happen with the Cy Young vote this year.
So Kershaw is opening the series for the Dodgers. How, then, does Greinke get the Cy Young? Not even the best pitcher on his team!
You have angered the baseball gods. Now Lester will lose and Hendricks will win.
Cubs go home 1-1, with Arrieta starting game 3, I like our chances in this series. Tomorrow's pitching matchup is lousy on paper, so today is obviously crucial.
Will be fun to watch. My two keys are scoring early, and keeping Lester's pitch count below 15 per inning.
Hopefully Der Kaiser won't be doing this until December
So, yes, I have been quoting your, "mediocre pitcher" label all year in jest - good or bad.
He has been pretty filthy against the Cards, and this is the game they need to "steal".
I am hoping against hope that Pedro Strop only sees the mound if the Cubs are up 8 in a game.
I've been pretty harsh with Lester here at various times but that's how it is when you pull in that kind of money, and besides, it's not like he reads my posts or would care what I have to say if he did read them for some reason. If I was him, the first thing out of my mouth would be, what level have you played this game at, pal?
Anyway, he's really looked good lately, and overall his body of work turned out pretty good, too. I'm glad his worst struggles were in April. This is such an easy team to like that I even like the overpaid free agent.
Gordo's lede today:
ST. LOUIS – Whether it’s a year early or right on time, Jon Lester’s $155 million moment arrives just after 5:45 p.m. Friday.
*checks pulse again*
Who are you? Andy Rooney?
Colbert has our backs
K-DUB: I get a chance to see the other MLB clubs Player Development operations out here and I have talked to scouts and other baseball people about it, and I can tell you that the Cubs Player Development program has gone from being almost a joke to one of THE best.