Morelli and Guyer Clutch Hits Save the Day at Extended Spring Training
Jesus Morelli drilled a two-run single to right with two outs in the top of the 9th to plate the tying run, and Brandon Guyer followed with an RBI double off the CF fence to drive in Morelli with what turned out to be the game-winning run, as the EXST Cubs rallied for four runs in the 9th to edge the EXST Angels 6-5 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Diablo Park Field #3 at the Tempe Buttes this morning.
The Angels had taken a 5-2 lead with a three-spot in the bottom of the 8th before the Cubs mounted their game-winning 9th inning rally. Runey Davis got things started, bouncing a single through the box into CF. Then with one out, Sergio Burruel and George Matheus singled to load the bases. Ping-Chieh Chen plated one run with a ground out, moving Matheus and Burruel up to 2nd and 3rd , and setting the stage for the Morelli and Guyer clutch knocks.
Guyer is at Fitch Park on a rehab assignment (he was hitting 262/400/431 in 21 games at AA Tennessee when he was placed on the Smokies DL for the second time this season on May 15th), and is playing with a pressure-sleeve that extends the length of his left arm. He was limited to playing defense (LF) only on Saturday (and he threw out a runner at home), but apparently received clearance to hit prior to today’s game. And hit he did, too, crushing two doubles, and hitting two long fly balls to the warning track in five ABs. Based upon the way Guyer swung the bat today, I doubt that he will be spending very much more time at Extended Spring Training.
Morelli also had a nice day at the plate, extending his hitting streak to 12 games and upping is batting average to .386 and OBP to .461 while reaching base three times (two singles and a walk) in five PA, and Brandon May (three singles and an RBI) and Sergio Burruel (a double, a single, and two runs scored, in addition to cutting down one runner trying to steal, and picking another runner off 1st base) also contributed to the victory.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, DH #1: 1-5 (6-3, F-7, 1B, L-6, 4-3, 2 RBI)
2. Jesus Morelli, RF: 2-4 (K, K, BB, 1B, 1B, R, 2 RBI, SB)
3. Brandon Guyer, CF: 2-5 (K, 2B, F-8, F-8, 2B, R, RBI)
4. Brandon May, 3B: 3-5 (1B, 1B, L-4, 1B, 6-3, RBI)
5a. Xavier Batista, 1B: 0-3 (K, F-8, K)
5b. Albert Hernandez, 1B: 0-1 (P-8)
6. Bobby Wagner, DH #2: 0-2 (K, BB, BB, K)
7. Runey Davis, LF: 1-4 (F-9, K, L-8, 1B, R)
8. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 1-4 (4-3, 1-3, 1B, K, SB)
9. Sergio Burruel, C: 2-4 (K, 2B, K, 1B, 2 R)
10. George Matheus, 2B: 2-4 (1B, F-8, F-7, 1B, R)
1. Tarlandus Mitchell – 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 34 pitches (20 strikes)
2. Austin Kirk – 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 3 BB, 3 K, 1/4 GO/FO, 61 pitches (37 strikes)
3. Andres Quezada - 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 3/1 GO/FO, 29 pitches (20 strikes)
4. Jesse Ginley - 0.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 17 pitches (10 strikes)
5. Corey Martin - 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 2/2 GO/FO, 28 pitches (21 strikes)
SS Arismendy Alcantara E-6 (two-base overthrow at 1st base with two outs in bottom of the 5th allowed batter to reach 2nd base and runner at 2nd base to score unearned run)
SS Arismendy Alcantara E-6 (throwing error at 1st base with two outs in the bottom of the 9th allowed batter to reach base safely – did not score)
Sergio Burruel: 1-2 CS, 1 PO
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy, with temperatures in the 70’s
The Cubs have released RHRP Scott Frazier (2013 7th round dfraft pick - Pepperdine).
A Cubs pitching coach told me in Spring Training 2014 that he thought Frazier had the best pure stuff in the organization. Absolutely electric fastball & breaking ball combo. Other pitchers would gather behind the screen just to watch him throw "live" BP. That's how amazing he was.
Got a chance to see Diamondbacks RHSP Zack Greinke (15-day DL - strained oblique) throw a rehab start at Sloan Park Friday night. Four of the first seven AZL Cubs hitters singled and the Cubs did score an unearned run in the bottom of the 1st inning, but then Greinke got serious and struck out five in a row.
ZACK GREINKE: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 5 K, 4/0 GO/AO, 49 pitches (34 strikes)
Eloy Jimenez grand slam tonight. Hoping Soler power returns and gets hot but future looks bright in the outfield regardless.
Have fun - It may be good for Arrieta to be facing a team that doesn't know him as well as the NL teams. A nice shutout would do wonders for his confidence. He is confident in public but baseball is hard and he could use a boost, I'm sure.
Me too. I'll be at the game tomorrow and would love to see Good Arrieta.
Last few games have been the April version of the Cubs that disappeared completely the past two months.
Hope they can sustain it.
Don't sell yourself short, Judge.
I love this team.
Looks like Mother Nature is trying to call this fight.
Hey! I remember this team!
The key for Heyward's offense: get early leads. Heard a stat on Mike & Mike on the way to work that his avg/power much better this year when the Cubs have the lead. And true to form he gets the two run dinger with Cubs winning 3-0 ...
I'm sorry - I was probably not looking at the correct line, or spot, or...who knows!
I could blame it on the weed, but I stopped smoking many years ago.
Fortunately, I can rely on the rest of you sober and astute folks to bring the correct info forth.
Oh yeah! It just felt like one for some reason.
Agreed. I was not including Fowler or Heyward.
I'm just not a fan of 2016 Coghlan.....
@Dusty Contreras if it's a Lester or Arrieta start. TLS is good PH too. You also forgot about Heyward, assume Fowler is CF.
I expect Soler to get optioned as well when activated and Cahill to replace Grimm. It wouldn't surprise me if Coghlan and/or Soler is included in a trade.
Maybe Coghlan is up to see if he can get on track before someone acquires him.
This move could also be to assure that we have as much OF depth as possible to maximize Joe's ability to rest players in September once we've clinched.
Maddon basically said as much...Fowler still kind of sore, they're being proactive, etc.