It's May Day in Maryvale
Brandon May had a double and two singles, three RBI, and a run scored, and Arismendy Alcantara cranked a solo home run, leading the EXST Cubs to a 9-2 drubbing of the EXST Brewers in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Maryvale Park Field #7 in Phoenix this morning.
While Brandon May had a big day at the plate, he had a bad day in the field, committing errors on consecutive at bats resulting in an unearned run scoring against John Mincone in the 5th. (Mincone surrendered just a bunt single in three innings of work). The two errors were May’s first of the year, ending his consecutive-games errorless streak at 17. May has been (and remains) the EXST Cubs most-reliable and versatile infield defender, capable of playing 1B, 2B, and 3B equally well (he also has played LF).
Bobby Wagner has been donning the “tools of ignorance” in recent days, warming up pitchers in the bullpen when he isn’t playing 1B or 3B. (In fact his slot in today’s lineup was skipped in the 9th inning because he was busy warming up Carlos Rojas in the bullpen). This could be a pre-cursor to Wagner making the full conversion to catcher, since he has yet to find a permanent defensive position (he played 3B in college, mostly LF last year at Boise, and mostly 1B so far this year at Minor League Camp and Extended Spring Training). Wagner is presently tied with Arismendy Alcantara for the EXST Cubs team lead in home runs (both have two).
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Vismeldy Bieneme, 2B: 1-4 (F-7, BB, 1B, 4-3, 6-3, RBI)
2. Alvaro Ramirez, CF: 3-5 (1B, 1B, 1B, K, E-4, R)
3a. Jesus Morelli, RF: 1-2 (1B, HBP, HBP, 4-3, 2 R, SB)
3b. Carlos Romero, 1B: 0-1 (K)
4. Brandon May, 3B: 3-5 (2B, K, 4-6-3 GIDP, 1B, 1B, R , 3 RBI)
5. Runey Davis, LF-RF: 1-3 (F-8 SF, BB, 1B, F-9, F-7, R, RBI)
6a. Bobby Wagner, DH #1: 1-3 (F-8, P-2, 3B, RBI)
6b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED IN THE TOP OF THE 9th
7. Luis Flores, C: 0-3 (P-2, F-9, BB, F-9)
8. Albert Hernandez, 1B-LF: 0-4 (K+WP, 6-3, F-9, 6-3, R, SB)
9. Wes Darvill, SS: 1-4 (1B, K, 4-3, K, RBI)
10. Arismendy Alcantara, DH #2: 1-4 (HR, E-3, K, E-1, 3 R, RBI)
1. Marcus Hatley – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/FO, 16 pitches (10 strikes)
2. Luis Liria – 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 4/2 GO/FO, 46 pitches (32 strikes)
3. John Mincone - 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 2/4 GO/FO, 30 pitches (20 strikes)
4. Jose Rosario - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 10 pitches (8 strikes)
5. Carlos Rojas - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 8 pitches (6 strikes)
1. 3B Brandon May E-5 (overthrow at 1st base on bunt single allowed batter to reach 3rd base – eventually scored unearned run)
2. 3B Brandon May E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely – did not score)
Luis Flores: 1-1 CS
BASERUNNING MISADVDENTURES: Wes Darvill was thrown out 9-6 trying to stretch a single into a double, and Vismeldy Bieneme was thrown out 8-5 trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on a two-out single to CF.
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80’s
So many memories from this game -- Javy's HR, Grimm's Ks, Soler's throw, Schwarber's ridiculous bomb, Strop overcoming his demons, Lackey screaming at himself after giving up the hit to Hammel....just awesome stuff.
dodgers win...1 more game of pitcher use on the mets and dodgers (degrom + greenkey)
maddon is easily one of the best managers out there, that's why he's getting paid huge for someone that doesn't have to rent/own in NYC/LA.
for the most part there's 2-3-5 of guys on that level, and 25-28 other teams trying to find a guy who's capable. they can also go out of favor rather quickly (m.sciossa recently). last year's NL MOY didn't make it a full year into 2015 before getting fired.
no matter how one feels about how it could have been done cheaper with less commitment, we only know how this way is working out. it's been awesome so far.
Agree. It could not be more perfect that we beat the Cardinals in this ascendant season of all seasons, and in the first postseason series we ever saw them in.
I think all we can say is, "Okay, let's go on to the next series and see what happens." And how indescribably awesome is it to be able to say that on this date in this year.
Thanks, O&B. So funny about our age. Let's just say- I have always wondered why Durocher didn't give Hundley a few days off when he had Gene Oliver and John Boccabella on the bench.
Strop K'ing Peralta to start the 8th, given their history -- what a fantastic moment! And Javy bouncing back -- big time -- form yesterday's games.
Contributions from literally everyone in this series -- Soler and Schwarber were off the charts -- Miggy's pick-off was awesome.
This team is just so much damn fun.
Wish I knew how to post a pic. Both CUBSTER & I in attendance. I finally feel like some demons have been vanquished, and there is some magic here.
Joe Maddon is far and away the best manager I have seen work for my team.
pretty much this. also, a magician.
Madden brought it in some lions and sharks to Wrigley Field and let them eat people
What did I miss?
I think Strop deserves a very special mention. He had so many struggles against the Cardinals but pitched two successful and very high pressure innings the last two games against them and looked nasty doing so.
How about this, the Cubs are 10-1 over the last 3 weeks.
I was thinking about it earlier that the Cubs are 101-66 and the Cards 101-65...but, does anyone outside of the two of us ever calculate records including post season? Don't think I've seen that ever before.
With today's victory, the Cubs are just 1/2 game behind (0.5 GB) the Cardinals for the best record in MLB in 2015.
If they win the LCS and the World Series and go no worse than 8-4 in the process, the Cubs will be World Champions AND they will have the best record in MLB in 2015 (CUBS 109-70 .6089 versus STL 101-65 .6084).
Well, I can say this...Cardinals fans certainly hate the Cubs right now...about as much as Pirates fans.
Our bullpen was friggin brilliant this series...even if their ERA doesn't look good.