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
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
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.