Cubs and Giants Split the Difference at Indian School Park

Marco Hernandez hit a solo HR, drove-in another run with a sacrifice fly, singled, stole a base, and scored three runs, to lead a 13-hit attack as one squad of EXST Cubs coasted to a 10-3 victory over one squad of EXST Giants on Field #1, while over on Field #2 the other squad of EXST Giants scored six runs in the first two innings en route to a 9-3 victory over the other squad of EXST Cubs, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Indian School Park in Scottsdale this afternoon.

Both games were seven-inning affairs, and they were played simultaneously on adjacent fields.

Iowa Cubs OF Brad Snyder (strained oblique) continued his injury rehab, playing LF for five innings and getting four ABs with the EXST Cubs squad on Field #2. Snyder drew a walk in the top of the 1st, was called out on strikes on a 3-2 pitch in the 2nd (and Snyder did NOT like the call), grounded out 4-3 in the top of the 4th, and singled and scored in the 5th. From what I have seen of Snyder so far, he has been hitting the ball with authority, he is running very well, and he is making all the necessary catches and throws in the outfield. I doubt that he will be down here much longer.

After getting shutout 7-0 yesterday at Fitch Park, the EXST Cubs bats showed some life today, especially in the game on Field #1.

The Cubs played “small ball” to plate two runs in the top of the 1st, as Vismeldy Bieneme singled, advanced to third when Marco Hernandez reached base on an E-4 (ball was kicked into RF by the Giants second-baseman), and scored on a 1-3 RBI GO. Then with two outs, Hernandez stole 3rd base, and came around to score on an overthrow by the Giants catcher that had so much juice on it that it ended up in the LF corner. Hernandez clubbed a solo HR over the RF fence leading off the 3rd, and then the Cubs scored four more times in the 5th.

Speedy 21-year old Dominican INF Gregori Gonzalez (making his U. S. debut) reached base on an error, stole 2nd, advanced to 3rd on a SH, and then scored on a Marco Hernandez SF. Wilson Contreras rifled a single to CF, and then Dong-Yub Kim smashed an RBI double off the RF fence to score Contreras. (DY Kim reminds me of a young pre-juicer Jose Canseco). Hector Suarez and Eduardo Gonzalez followed with RBI singles to cap the inning’s scoring.

The Cubs scored three more times in the 7th, as Marco Hernandez singled and scored on a Wilson Contreras RBI triple, with Contreras himself scoring on a throwing error by the Giants CF. Hector Suarez (switch-hitter - batting LH) then swatted a solo HR over the RF fence to finish the day for the Cub offense on Field #1.

The squad on Field #2 scored three runs, all coming in the 5th. Wes Darvill and Brad Snyder walked, and Johan DeJesus drove-in one run with an RBI single. Then Kyung-Min Na knocked-in Snyder and DeJesus with a two-out bloop double on a 3-2 pitch that fell between three Giants fielders in short left-center.

Both EXST Cubs starting pitchers struggled today, with 2010 4th round draft pick LHP Hunter Ackerman allowing three runs on two singles, a double, and three walks (and no strikeouts and only 53% strikes) and two WP in two innings of work on Field #1, while RHP Alvido Jimenez allowed five runs (although only two were earned, thanks to a critical fielding error by 2B Pin-Chieh Chen on what should have been an inning-ending 5-4-3 DP) on four hits and a walk (plus two WP) in 1.2 IP on Field #2.

For a guy who was a 4th round draft pick the previous June, Hunter Ackerman has really been a disappointment so far. An 8.00 ERA and 2.02 WHIP in 15.1 IP (19 H and 12 BB) at AZL Cubs after he signed, then an 8.00 ERA and 2.00 WHIP in 9.0 IP at AZ Instructs post-2010, and now a very poor first outing at Extended Spring Training. Ackerman is only 20 and lefties do sometimes take a while to find success, but I haven't seen anything in Ackerman (yet) to justify him being a 4th round draft pick.     

RHP Matt Loosen (2010 23rd round pick out of the U. of Jacksonville) had the best outing among the Cubs pitchers who threw today, tossing 3.2 IP of shutout ball. And LHP Casey Harman (2010 29th round pick out of Clemson) got four outs on only nine pitches to finish things for the squad on Field #1. I would think that Loosen and Harman are probably at the top of the list should a replacement pitcher be needed at Peoria (Harman was the last pitcher cut from the Peoria squad at Minor League Camp).

18-year old Marco Hernandez (he who had the big day today) made his U. S. debut last September at AZ Instructs, hitting 250/275/278 in 14 games while learning to switch-hit, after putting up a 294/364/405 line for DSL Cubs #1 during the 2010 regular season. He is a natural left-handed hitter, and the HR he hit today was clubbed from the left-side.

One interesting thing about the young Cubs presently at Fitch Park is that most of them have plus-speed, while the big league Cubs may be the slowest team in baseball.

Here are today’s abridged box scores (Cubs players only):


1. Vismeldy Bieneme, 2B: 2-3 (1B, 1B, SH+E3, L-7, R, CS)
2. Marco Hernandez, SS: 2-3 (E-4, HR, F-9 SF, 1B, 3 R, 2 RBI, SB)
3. Wilson Contreras, 1B: 2-4 (1-3, K, 1B, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI)
4. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 1-3 (K, HBP, 2B, F-8, R, RBI)
5. Hector Suarez, DH #1: 2-4 (K, F-9, 1B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI)
6. Oliver Zapata, CF: 1-4 (P-6, K, 1B, E-4)
7. Eduardo Gonzalez, RF: 3-4 (1B, 4-3, 1B, 1B, RBI, SB)
8. Blair Springfield, DH #2: 1-4 (1B, F-7, K, K)
9. Max Kwan, C: 0-3 (K, K, L-6)
10. Gregori Gonzalez, 3B: 0-2 (HBP, E-5, 5-3, R, SB)

1. Hunter Ackerman: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 2 WP, 38 pitches (20 strikes), 5/1 GO/FO
2. Matt Loosen: 3.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 37 pitches (26 strikes), 3/3 GO/FO
3. Casey Harman: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 9 pitches (6 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO

1B Wilson Contreras E3 – missed catch on what should have been a 6-3 GO allowed batter to reach base safely

Max Kwan: 1-1 CS


NOTE: Brad Snyder played LF and was the third batter in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th innings

X. Brad Snyder, LF: 1-3 (BB, K, 4-3, 1B, R)
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 0-2 (BB, 6-3, L-8, SB)
2. Reggie Golden, DH: 0-3 (K, K, 6-3)
3b. Jesus Morelli, LF: 1-1 (2B)
4. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-3 (F-7, F-7, K)
5. Wes Darvill, SS: 0-2 (K, BB, 3-1)
6. Dustin Harrington, 3B: 0-3 (K, 4-6 FC, 6-3, R)
7a. Johan DeJesus, C: 1-2 (F-7, 1B, R, RBI)
7b. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 0-1 (K)
8. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 0-3 (3-U, 1-3, F-7)
9. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 1-2 (3-1, 2B, 2 RBI)

1. Alvido Jimenez: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 5 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 2 WP, 35 pitches (19 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
2. Ryan Hartman: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 16 pitches (7 strikes), 4/0 GO/FO
3. Dustin Fitzgerald: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 32 pitches (22 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
4. Alvaro Sosa: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 4 K, 2 WP, 52 pitches (30 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO

1. 2B Pin-Chieh Chen E4 – missed catch on attempted 5-4 FC allowed baserunner to reach 2nd base safely and then advance to 3rd – led to three unearned runs scoring
2. 3B Dustin Harrington E5 – fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely

1. Johan DeJesus: 0-3 CS
2. Yaniel Cabezas: 0-1 CS, 2 PB


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 70’s


Look at how many ads are on the Chicago Tribune website for their Cubs stories...

It's been like that the entire season. That Ford dealer has at least 5 ads on the page, plus there are at least 8 other ad locations on the page, plus this time I had two pop-overs that had to float across the page and come to a stop before they could be clicked closed. That's 15 ads on one page, from a major U.S. newspaper, plus, if you happen to move the mouse over the Ford dealer's video ad, it expands and covers the top of the story.

Newspapers can't go out of business fast enough if this is how they think they should run their business.

The article accounts for about 10% of that web page.

Az Phil, thanks for the updates as always. I am wondering if the the Cubs investment in Larry Suarez is looking any better? he doesnt seem to be making much progress.

Submitted by Hagsag on Wed, 04/13/2011 - 6:29am.
Az Phil, thanks for the updates as always. I am wondering if the the Cubs investment in Larry Suarez is looking any better? he doesnt seem to be making much progress.


HAGSAG: Larry Suarez is at the make-it or break-it point in his pro career. Right now he is a borderline "A"-ball middle reliever, and he will have to be a lot better than that, or I suspect he'll be released by this time next year (if not sooner).

Thanks a ton for these updates. After what was arguably the worst game I have seen the Cubs ever play, I needed some more minor league news.

Two quick questions though, and forgive me if you mentioned these somewhere else, but why is Su-Min Jung still at EXST, and is Wilson Contreras still getting any reps as a catcher? I know when we shelled out $800+K to sign Contreras he was a catcher. Not sure if the 50 game PED suspension has anything to do with this or not.

Submitted by Hrubes20 on Wed, 04/13/2011 - 11:26am.
Thanks a ton for these updates. After what was arguably the worst game I have seen the Cubs ever play, I needed some more minor league news.

Two quick questions though, and forgive me if you mentioned these somewhere else, but why is Su-Min Jung still at EXST, and is Wilson Contreras still getting any reps as a catcher? I know when we shelled out $800+K to sign Contreras he was a catcher. Not sure if the 50 game PED suspension has anything to do with this or not.


HRUBES: I don't know why Su-Min Jung is at Extended Spring Training, and I have not seen Wilson Contreras don catcher's gear either this year or last year at AZ Instructs.

Any news on the two Cubans that were signed in the offseason?

Rubi Silva is doing very well in Peoria. Plays center and right, along with Szczur.

Cabezas (the catcher) is in Extended Spring Training.

Rubi Silva is off to a fast start at Peoria.

Recent comments

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  • it's day old news, and it's got nothing to do with the cubs, but ichiro signed a $2m deal with MIA (with a $2m option for 2017).

    neat. 41 years old and damn close to 3000 hits.

    also, rain delays suck.

  • take that giants

  • I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.

  • Per Jesse Sanchez at, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus. 

  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.

    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.