Cubs & Brewers Fit to Be Tied

Francisco Guzman singled three times, stole three bases, scored two runs, and drove-in another, but it wasn’t quite enough, as the EXST Cubs and EXST Brewers played to a 6-6 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Maryvale Park Field #7 in Phoenix this morning.

The Cubs have added a lot of speed to the organization over the past three years, and 22-year old lefty swinging Francisco Guzman (55 SB in 130 career minor league games) is just one example. Batting in the lead-off slot today, he reached base on a bunt single to the shortstop on the first pitch of the game, stole second, and then scored on a two-out RBI double by Brandon May. Then with the scored tied 2-2, Guzman led-off the top of the 6th with a line single back through the box that almost emasculated the Brewers pitcher, stole 2nd, advanced to 3rd base on a fly out, and scored on a wild pitch. And then finally with runners at 2nd & 3rd and two outs in the top of the 7th, Guzman pushed a picture-perfect bunt up the 3rd base line to score Rafael Disla from 3rd with the Cubs fourth run of the game. Guzman also made a fine running catch in CF.

In addition to Guzman’s fine day, Brandon May smacked two doubles, and Jonathan Mota (who is at Extended Spring Training learning to catch) reached base three times on a single, a double, and a walk, scored a run, and drove one in. On the negative side, Mota was doubled-off 1st base on a line-drive to the 2nd baseman and picked-off second base by the catcher, and he committed a throwing error while trying to nab a Brewers baserunner who was trying to steal 2nd base, allowing the runner to advance to 3rd.

Matt Spencer (acquired from OAK in the Jake Fox deal) saw his first Extended Spring Training game action today, hitting 3rd in the order as a DH and getting four ABs. Spencer, who is rehabbing from a broken toe suffered in Minor League Camp last month, hit the ball hard three times (F-8, a line single to CF, and a line-drive out to the 2nd baseman), and also walked once. He ran just fine, too, showing no evidence of any lingering negative after-effects of the toe injury. So I would think that he will probably be reporting to AA Tennessee very soon.

RHP Tarlandus Mitchell got the start for the EXST Cubs today, and struggled with his control, although he walked only one and gave up only one run. But he had a three-ball count on several hitters. RHP (ex-SS) Gian Guzman was even wilder than Mitchell, walking the bases loaded in the 7th, with all three runners eventually scoring.

LHP Austin Kirk (the Cubs 2009 3rd round pick out of Owasso HS in Oklahoma) threw two innings and allowed a run on two hits (a double followed by an RBI single), but he also struck out four (including the first three men he faced) and didn’t walk anybody. And LHP Marcos Perez and RHP Rogelio Carmona (who also threw an inning on Monday) retired nine of the last ten Brewers to preserve the tie.

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

1. Francisco Guzman, CF: 3-4 (1B, K, 1B, 1B, 2 R, RBI, 3 SB)
2. Runey Davis, RF: 0-4 (5-3, F-7, F-8, K)
3. Matt Spencer, DH #1: 1-3 (F-8, 1B, BB, L-4)
4. Brandon May, 3B: 2-4 (2B, F-9, F-9, 2B, R, RBI)
5. Bobby Wagner, 1B: 0-4 (K, K, F-8, P-5)
6. D. J. Fitzgerald, LF: 1-3 (K, 5-3, BB, 1B, R, RBI)
7. Jonathan Mota, 2B-C: 2-3 (BB, 1B, 2B, F-8, R, RBI, PO)
8a. Jae-Hoon Ha, C: 1-2 (L-4 DP, 1B)
8b. Rafael Disla, 2B: 0-1 (BB, K, R)
9. Albert Hernandez, DH #2: 0-3 (BB, 4-3 GIDP, 5-3, K, CS)
10. Wes Darvill, SS: 1-3 (1B, 4-3, BB, K, SB)

1. Tarlandus Mitchell – 2.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 4/0 GO/FO, 51 pitches (30 strikes)
2. Austin Kirk – 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 30 pitches (22 strikes)
3. Gian Guzman – 1.1 IP, 1 H, 4 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 1/2 GO/FO, 35 pitches (16 strikes)
4. Marcos Perez – 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 3/2 GO/FO, 16 pitches (12 strikes)
5. Rogelio Carmona – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 15 pitches (12 strikes)

2B Rafael Disla E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base)
RF Runey Davis E-9 (overthrow at 3rd base allowed baserunner to score)
C Jonathan Mota E-2 (throwing error on stolen base attempt at 2nd base allowed baserunner to advance to 3rd base)

Jae-Hoon Ha: 1-4 CS
Jonathan Mota: 0-1 CS, 1 E (see above)


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 70’s


Cashner has a no-hitter through six tonight. No walks, ten strikeouts.

Cashner has K'd the world so far in his two starts this season.

With the big league bullpen in shambles, how long will it be before he comes to the Cubs to try out for the setup role? Marshall's doing great now, but he's been the fireman that Marmol used to be, so we will either have a hole at fireman or 8th inning to go along with the rest of the holes in the bullpen.

I suppose there's no need to rush him, but he could be contributing to the team the way he's pitching now.

As what was said from another poster recently, Lou i being forced to try the "Throw it at the wall and see what sticks..." approach.

He had a chance to make the team out of ST and had no control. I'd say give him at least 6 starts down there.

Recent comments

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  • it's day old news, and it's got nothing to do with the cubs, but ichiro signed a $2m deal with MIA (with a $2m option for 2017).

    neat. 41 years old and damn close to 3000 hits.

    also, rain delays suck.

  • take that giants

  • I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.

  • Per Jesse Sanchez at, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus. 

  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.

    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.