Angels Snatch Tie from Jaws Of Cubs Victory
Pin-Chieh Chen had three hits and drove-in two runs, but the EXST Cubs could not hold a five-run lead in the 9th, as the EXST Angels rallied (BB, 1B, WP, E-4, 2B, P-7, 3B, F-8 SF) to tie the game at 7-7 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training play at Diablo Park Field #3 at the Tempe Buttes this morning. The game was stopped with two outs in the bottom of the 9th after the Angels tied the game on a SF.
The 6’1 lanky 18-year old lefty swinging Chen (signed to a $300K bonus out of Taiwan last June) has been relegated to DH duty for the past couple of weeks at Extended Spring Training due to a sore throwing arm, but his hitting certainly has not been adversely affected. Through the EXST Cubs first 24 games, Chen is hitting 372/426/395, and leads the team in BA (minimum 24 PA) and OBP, and is tied for the team lead in stolen bases and RBI. While Chen almost always bunts at least once in every game (he laid down a beautiful bunt for a hit leading off the game today), he also has good bat speed and can hammer a line-drive when needed. When his arm was healthy, it was strong enough to play SS, but scatter-gun to the extent that the farther the throw, the more off-line (same problem Eric Patterson had as a Cub prospect). As a result, Chen is a better fit at 2B. Offensively, Chen is a lot like Hak-Ju Lee and Logan Watkins, using speed to his advantage on the bases, and capable of playing either “small ball” as a lead-off hitter, or getting the big line-drive to the outfield with men in scoring position (as he did twice today).
Here is today’s abridged box score (EXST Cubs players only):
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, DH #1: 3-4 (1B, K, 1B, 1B, 2 RBI)
2. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 1-4 (4-6-3 GIDP, 2B, 4-3, 3-2 FC, R)
3. Brandon May, 1B 1-4 (1-3, K, K, 1B, RBI)
4. Charles Thomas, 3B: 1-4 (4-3, 5-3, F-8, 2B, R)
5a. Luis Flores, C: 1-3 (P-5, 6-3, 3B, R)
5b. Sergio Burruel, C: 0-0 (BB)
6. Albert Hernandez, LF: 2-3 (1B, 1B, L-6, F-8 SF, R, RBI)
7. Alvaro Ramirez, CF: 1-3 (P-6, 5-3 SH, 1B, L-7, RBI)
8. Xavier Batista, RF: 1-4 (2B, P-5, 5-4-3 GIDP, K, R)
9. Blair Springfield, DH-2B: 0-3 (6-3, K, 3-1, RBI)
10. Rafael Disla, 2B-DH: 1-2 (K, 3B, HBP, 2 R, SB)
1. Tarlandus Mitchell – 3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1/4 GO/FO, 55 pitches (37 strikes)
2. Jose Rosario – 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 GIDP, 4/2 GO/FO, 41 pitches (23 strikes)
3. Drew Rundle – 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 PO, 1/2 GO/FO, 22 pitches (12 strikes)
4. Rogelio Carmona - 1.1 IP, 3 H, 5 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 0/2 GO/FO, 33 pitches (23 strikes)
1. 2B Rafael Disla E-4 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely – did not score)
2. 2B Blair Springfield E-4 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely – eventually scored unearned run)
Luis Flores: 2-3 CS
Sergio Burruel: 0-1 CS
WEATHER: sunny & cloudless with temperatures in the 80’s
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?
Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump
Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.
j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.
felix pena, your turn.