Cubs Defense & Bullpen Falter in 9th

Down to their last strike, the Cubs rallied for three runs in the top of the 9th to take a 5-3 lead, only to see the Giants take advantage of a two-base throwing error in the bottom of the 9th and score two runs to tie the game, as the EXST Cubs and EXST Giants played to a 5-5 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Indian School Park Field #2 in Scottsdale this morning.  



The Giants got off to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st when Giants clean-up hitter Michael Sandoval roped a line-drive two-run homer down the LF line off Cubs starter Eduardo Figueroa.


Shut out and shut down with only two hits and three baserunners to show for their efforts through the first five innings, the Cubs came back in the top of the 6th, as Vismeldy Bieneme grounded a single to CF and Kyung-Min Na bounced a single past the shortstop with one out. Bieneme used his speed (he had 42 SB in the DSL last season) to take an extra base on Na’s single, sliding safely into 3rd on a bang-bang play as the speedy Na (rated the fastest HS baseball player in South Korea last year) alertly motored into second base. Arismendy Alcantara then hit a sacrifice fly to CF to score Bieneme with the Cubs first run of the day.


Trailing 3-1 going into the 8th, the Cubs narrowed the gap to 3-2 as Manuel Pestana reached base on an infield single, and advanced to 3rd when Melvin Camarena fisted a bloop single down the RF line. Pestana then scored on a Vismeldy Bieneme sacrifice fly to CF.


Down 3-2 going into the top of the 9th, Jose Guevara lined a single to left and Charles Thomas looped a single to CF with no outs. Xavier Batista dropped a beautiful sacrifice bunt down the third base line (that he nearly beat-out) to advance the runners up one base each, but Blair Springfield struck out with one out and the tying run at 3rd (Springfield’s third whiff of the day). Pin-Chieh Chen then swung and missed on a 1-2 pitch in the dirt for what should have been the game-ending out, but the ball bounced past the catcher for a wild pitch, allowing Chen to reach base and Guevara to score. Then with Chen running on a 3-2 pitch, Manuel Pestana blooped a single into CF, as Thomas scored from 3rd and Chen (running all the way) scored from 1st to give the Cubs a 5-3 lead.


RHP Carlos Rojas came into the game in the bottom of the 9th with a two run lead and a chance at a save, but he got into trouble right away when shortstop Pin-Chieh Chen threw a ball over the head of Charles Thomas (and with Thomas being 6’4 225+, that’s not easy to do) and into the Cubs dugout for a two-base error (Chen’s second errant throw of the game). A triple, a walk, and an RBI single later, and the game was tied. Rojas did retire the last two batters (F-7 and a K-swinging) with the potential winning run at 2nd base, but the damage was done.


One day after OF Albert Hernandez made his U. S. debut for the EXST Cubs, three more right-handed hitting outfielders who recently arrived at Fitch Park from the Cubs Dominican Academy saw their first Extended Spring Training game action. 18-year old 6’3 190 Dominican Xavier Batista (241/333/409 with a team-leading 8 HR for DSL Cubs #1 in 2009) got the start in RF and hit 5th, 20-year old 5’11 155 Venezuelan Manuel Pestana (239/340/315 for DSL Cubs #1 in 2009) played LF and hit 8th, and 20-year old 6’4 225 Dominican Melvin Camarena (271/319/376 for DSL Cubs #2 in 2009) was DH #2 and batted 9th, and each contributed in some way to run-scoring innings.


Here is today’s abridged box score (EXST Cubs players only):


LINEUP:
1. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 1-4 (F-7, P-5, 1B, K)
2. Arismendy Alcantara, 2B: 1-3 (1B, 6-3, F-8 SF, 4-3, RBI)
3a. Sergio Burruel, C: 0-3 (4-3, K, K)
3b. Jose Guevara, C: 1-1 (1B, R)
4. Charles Thomas, 1B: 1-2 (BB, 4-3, BB, 1B, R, SB)
5. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-3 (K, 5-3, K, 5-4 SH)
6. Blair Springfield, DH #1: 0-4 (K, 5-3, K, K)
7. Pin-Chieh Chen, SS: 1-4 (F-9, 1B, 4-3, K, R)
8. Manuel Pestana, LF: 2-4 (L-5, 6-4 FC, 1B, 1B, R, 2 RBI)
9. Melvin Camarena, DH #2: 1-4 (K, K, 1B, 5-3, SB)
10. Vismeldy Bieneme, 3B: 1-2 (K, 1B, F-8 SF, R, RBI)


PITCHERS:
1. Eduardo Figueroa – 3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 1 PO, 2/5 GO/FO, 39 pitches (26 strikes)
2. Frank Batista – 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1/5 GO/FO, 31 pitches (20 strikes)
3. Danny Keefe – 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 2/2 GO/FO, 26 pitches (16 strikes)
4. Carlos Rojas – 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 22 pitches (14 strikes)


ERRORS (2):
1. SS Pin-Chieh Chen E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base with one out in the bottom of the 5th)
2. SS Pin-Chieh Chen E-6 (two-base throwing error leading off bottom of the 9th, eventually leading to unearned run scoring)


OUTFIELD ASSIST:
CF Kyung-Min Na threw out baserunner 8-5 trying to advance from 2nd to 3rd base on a fly out to CF


ATTENDANCE: 10


WEATHER: Mostly sunny with temperatures in the 70’s

Comments

Phil, looks like the roster keeps expanding. I am waiting for Joel Altagracia to show up.

Phil,

Just wondering if you've had any Dong-Yub Kim sightings? He seemed to me to be the most promising Asian signing from last year. Is he here in the states yet and simply not playing, or has he not even arrived yet?

And thank you very much for these updates, btw. I literally would have no idea about these prospects if it weren't for your reports.

Submitted by Hrubes20 on Tue, 04/13/2010 - 4:00pm.
Phil,

Just wondering if you've had any Dong-Yub Kim sightings? He seemed to me to be the most promising Asian signing from last year. Is he here in the states yet and simply not playing, or has he not even arrived yet?

And thank you very much for these updates, btw. I literally would have no idea about these prospects if it weren't for your reports

===========================================

HRUBES20: Dong-Yub Kim is injured and is not presently active, although he is at Fitch Park. He has been out of action for at least two weeks, maybe three. I don't know what exactly is wrong with him, and I don't know when he is expected back.

Ricky Romero no-no against WSox w/ 2 outs in the 7th

and Aj Pierzinski fakes getting hit in the foot, hopping on the wrong foot but the umps still buy it...followed by a Al Rivers HR, sheesh.

1-2-3 inning for Gregg striking out the first 2 batters...

Gregg? Where was Frasor? I thought he was Toronto's closer. Frasor is still listed as the closer on Toronto's depth chart.

Frasor had a BS last night on a Teehan HR.

I think the Jays have had a save chance in every game.

Sore elbow.

Jeff Gray recaled.

(Radio report)

The Trib says fore-arm strain for Caridad.

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2010/04/...

I suspect this injury didn't just crop up in the last day or two.

Okay, so who had Caridad as the first to the DL in our pool?

And Gray as the first callup? I had a tough time deciding between Gray and Gaub. I chose poorly.

Is there a link anywhere to the filled-in contest grid?

I think I chose Gray... but I may have been a moron and chosen Sam Fuld.

I doubt anyone had Caridad first to the DL. He's supposed to be our rubber arm in the pen!

I had Silva, and I don't think it will be long for him. This is definitely a fictional injury.

I had Gray, too. I was hoping for the two-fer

What in the world was I thinking with most of those answers? Baker first to the DL and most plate appearances in the #8 spot as part of the short side of a platoon? Sam Fuld first callup with our bullpen? I gotta quit drinking.

Thanks for the report, Phil.

1. I thought I had missed something and the MLB Cubs had played yesterday, judging from your headline.

2. I hope Arismendy Alcantara and Vismeldy Bieneme make the Cubs, preferably before Santo retires from the broadcast booth!

CarrieMuskat: #cubs lineup wed is ss theriot, rf fuke, 3b ramirez, cf byrd, 1b nady, lf soriano, 2b font, c soto, p wells

she also has the Gray-Caridad roster move on twitter

uh oh no dlee

"Chicago Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee will be held out of Wednesday's game against the Milwaukee Brewers. Lee is still suffering from inflammation in his right thumb, which he aggravated in Monday's 9-5 win over the Brewers."

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/st...

MIAMI (AP)—Dusty Baker was in mid-sentence, discussing the Cincinnati Reds’ second successive extra-inning victory, when he lost his train of thought and stammered to a halt.

“I can’t even think,” he said

It's because he's a managing genius.

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  • Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.

    billybucks 18 min 10 sec ago view
  • ...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.

    I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.

    He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.

    billybucks 22 min 7 sec ago view
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    videographer 2 hours 16 min ago view
  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 4 hours 4 min ago view
  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 4 hours 39 min ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 4 hours 52 min ago view
  • 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?

    QuietMan 6 hours 16 min ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

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    (All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)

    VirginiaPhil 6 hours 17 min ago view
  • 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.

    Seriously.

    VirginiaPhil 6 hours 23 min ago view
  • 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.

    billybucks 6 hours 27 min ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 6 hours 30 min ago view
  • 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.

    billybucks 6 hours 39 min ago view
  • 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.

    VirginiaPhil 6 hours 41 min ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 6 hours 47 min ago view
  • QuietMan 6 hours 55 min ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 7 hours 14 min ago view