Wang the Drum Slowly
Runey Davis reached base twice on a double and a walk and scored two runs, leading the EXST Cubs to a 7-2 victory over the EXST A’s in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Papago Park Field #2 in Phoenix this morning.
The game was a pre-planned 7-1/2 affair with the Cubs playing as the “home” team even though the game was played at the A’s minor league complex, because the A’s only had enough healthy and rested pitchers available to throw seven innings, while the Cubs needed at least eight opponent's innings to get their scheduled pitchers enough work.
Rebel Ridling (appendectomy with complications) once again was a DH, getting five Plate Appearances in the first six innings. He struck out twice and bounced out weakly two other times, before ripping an RBI single to left in his fifth and final AB.
19-year old 6’0 180 Taiwanese RHP Yao-Lin Wang made his first EXST appearance, going three innings and allowing one run on six hits and a walk. He helped himself by getting a clutch strikeout after the A’s loaded the bases in the 1st inning, and his teammates helped him in the 3rd inning, turning an inning-ending 5-4-3 DP with two runners on base.
There are two Wangs from Taiwan at Extended Spring Training with the Cubs. Yao-Lin (today’s pitcher) is slightly younger and a LOT shorter. (Both Wangs were signed last summer by ex-Cub LHP Steve Wilson, who is now the Cubs Pacific Rim Scouting Coordinator).
Here is today’s abridged box score (EXST Cubs players only):
NOTE: DH #1 Rebel Ridling batted in five of the first six innings, getting five Plate Appearances total in the game.
X. Rebel Ridling, DH #1: 1-5 (4-3, K+WP, K, 1-3, 1B, R, RBI)
1. Francisco Guzman, CF: 0-2 (1-3, 6-3, BB, R, RBI)
2. D. J. Fitzgerald, LF: 1-3 (F-9, K, 1B, 2 RBI)
3. Bobby Wagner, 1B: 0-3 (K, K, K)
4. Brandon May, 3B: 1-3 (L-4, 2B, K)
5. Jonathan Mota, C-DH: 0-3 (P-5, 6-3, P-6)
6. Runey Davis, RF: 1-1 (2B, BB, 2 R)
7. Jae-Hoon Ha, DH-C: 1-1 (F-7 SF, 1B, R, RBI)
8. Wes Darvill, SS: 1-2 (P-5, 1B, R)
9. Rafael Disla, 2B: 1-2 (K, 1B, R, RBI)
10a. Cody Shields, DH #3: 0-0 (BB)
10b. Albert Hernandez, PH: 0-0 (BB)
1. Yao-Lin Wang – 3.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 3/4 GO/FO, 50 pitches (31 strikes)
2. Jesse Ginley – 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/4 GO/FO, 28 pitches (17 strikes)
3. Rogelio Carmona – 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1/5 GO/FO, 34 pitches (21 strikes)
4. Yohan Gonzalez – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 12 pitches (6 strikes)
SS Wes Darvill E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base – did not score)
Jae-Hoon Ha – 2 PB
ATTENDANCE: 2 (but the other guy left early, probably because he wanted to beat the traffic out of the parking lot)
WEATHER: Overcast and blustery, temperatures in the 60’s (obviously held the crowd down)
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?
#Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.
Fun with FIP
- J. Hammel 3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
- J. Arrieta 2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
- J. Lester 2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
- K. Hendricks 2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
- J. Lackey 3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k
he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.
JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.
My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.
Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...
joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1
not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.
really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.
Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.
Classic Scully - great stuff.
Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)
Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:
"And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."
When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.
If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.