Cubs Drop 5-3 Decision to Brewers in Mesa
The Cubs left the bases loaded in the bottom of the 7th and in the bottom of the 8th, as a split squad of Milwaukee Brewers hung-on for a 5-3 Cactus League victory in front of a sparse crowd at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in cool & sunny Mesa, AZ, this afternoon.
Randy Wells got the start for the Cubs, and he pitched well, throwing two shutout innings (23 pitches - 14 strikes 3/2 GO/FO). He struck out one while allowing just two harmless singles, with one of the runners being erased when Wells induced Ryan Braun to rap into an inning-ending DP.
Competing with several others for a job in the starting rotation, Andrew Cashner followed Wells to the hill and struggled with his command, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk in 2.0 IP (42 pitches - 25 strikes). Cashner did not rack up any strikeouts today, but he did throw one wild pitch, and he also commited a throwing error on an errant pick-off attempt at 1st base.
Jay Jackson had an easy 1-2-3-4 inning (he had to get four outs thanks to a Jeff Baker dropped infield pop-up that prolonged the inning).
Kerry Wood had a poor outing, allowing two runs on three hits (a single, a double, and a triple) in one inning (19 pitches - 13 strikes). Wood's control was a bit out of whack in his "live" BP session at Fitch Park last week, and he just didn't look comfortable on the mound today, either.
Both John Gaub and (especially) Chris Carpenter had control issues. Gaub allowed a run on two hits, a walk, and a WP in the 6th, and while Carpenter did pitch a shutout inning in the top of the 7th, he walked two and threw 22 pitches (but only nine for strikes).
Sean Marshall had a 1-2-3 9th that featured outstandng defensive plays by SS Augie Ojeda (ranging behind 2nd base to corral a grounder seemingly headed for CF before making a strong throw to 1st to cut down the batter-runner) and CF Fernando Perez (a diving catch in right-center).
There wasn't a whole lot of Cub offense today. Tyler Colvin ripped a triple into the RF corner to score Reed Johnson (who had led-off the bottom of the 1st with a single) with the Cubs first run, Alfonso Soriano doubled and scored on a two-out line-drive RBI single by Scott Moore in the 6th, and pinch-hitter Bobby Scales walked with the bases loaded to force-in a run in the bottom of the 7th. (Bryan Lahair followed Scales to the plate and had a chance to perhaps tie the game or maybe even give the Cubs the lead, but he struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch to close the inning and leave the bases loaded).
The Cubs loaded the bases again in the bottom of the 8th. Scott Moore and Welington Castillo lined singles to the outfield (both Moore and W. Castillo had two hits today), and after Fernando Perez walked with two outs, Augie Ojeda was robbed of what would have been a bases-clearing extra-base hit when Brewers speedy CF D'Vontrey Richardson made a fine running catch in right-center to close out the inning. The Cubs then went down quietly in the bottom of the 9th.
The Cubs play the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium tomorrow.
AZ PHIL- Is Clayton Richard a free agent or not? One site I see he is, on another no. MLB has him listed as a free agent, Cot's contracts says he is a FA, baseball-reference says he's not, but Cubs have him on active roster. I know that he is just short of MLB 6 years service by just like 15 days, but that doesn't always matter.
Except that he gave up Russell and McKinney for a half-season of Hammel...
Beane cam at least point and laugh at Hammel.
The genius Angelo traded Olsen at Martzs request
Maybe Theo will sign Shark just so he can call Billy Beane and say: "Let's see...Russell? Check. McKinney? Check. Hammel? Check. Ninja? Check. Any other deals?"
To be fair to Emery and Trestman the foreshadowing of last year started happening well before them with the failure or mismanaging of multiple draft classes forcing the team to overspend in a free agency market that is even worse than baseball. Kyle Long seems like a good pick but they traded away another good one in Olson because of Martz's stupidity and inability to change his offense to fit the team talent.
HAGSAG: I think Domonic Brown does fit the criteria of a reclamation project, but unless he is willing to accept a minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training, I don't think the Cubs would be interested given where the Cubs are right now. A couple of years ago? Yes. But probably not now.
Brown would be better-off going to a club that is rebuilding and re-establish his value there, like Chris Coghlan did with the Cubs. And if he can re-establish his value, he could get traded to a contender at the trade deadline and take it from there.
"they just fade away"
(Except in the cases of no-fade lefties like Moyer, Orosco and Rich Hill.)
Amazing to me how quickly it fell apart under Trestman. Year 1, they were a Chris Conte brain fart away from making the playoffs. Year 2 -- coach, staff and GM all fired.
I am sure Jonathon Mota will be signed next.
AZ Phil, what is your thoughts on Domonic Brown as a reclamation project?
He also played LF in deference to Curtis Granderson.
Meh... other moves to make...hope to see a move or two soon.
I haven't seen much Bears football this year - difficult to watch the games out here, but the game I saw the week before I was watching in shock as I saw them actually make tackles. And Cutler has looked really good, too.
I guess people can quibble about play calling, but the team I saw is way more than 50% better coached (my only very minor disagreement with your comment).
Under Trestman, the team didn't do anything right. This team played like a well coached team when I saw them play the Rams.
"What is sometimes overlooked about Vogelbach because of his "bad body" and because he has struggled so much defensively is that he is a hard worker, has a great attitude, loves to play the game, and is very well-liked by his teammates, and while that may not seem important, teams do actually value stuff like that. "
As well they should. Replace a word here and there and you are describing any worker someone would hire.
Hak-Ju Lee signs a minor league contract with SF Giants.
Some closure on the 6 degrees of Separation for Matt Garza/Chris Archer