Cubs Pitchers Almost But Not Too Wild About Diablo Park
Yaniel Cabezas drove-in four runs and five pitchers combined to throw a three-hitter, as a split squad of EXST Cubs thumped the EXST Angels 13-5 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Diablo Park in Tempe this morning.
Meanwhile, the other squad of EXST Cubs was defeated by the EXST Rockies 13-8 at Fitch Park Field #3, despite a three-run HR by Blair Springfield.
Although I am able to watch and score two games played simultaneously on adjacent fields, I have not yet mastered the art of being at two games played simultaneously ten miles apart (although I am working on it), so I will only be able to provide the recap from the Cubs-Angels game played at Diablo Park…
Bats were silent and the team looked dead, as the Cubs trailed 3-0 with two outs and nobody on base in the top of the 5th. But then Kyung-Min Na blooped a single over the second-baseman’s head, Dustin Geiger reached base on an infield single (dribbler down the 3rd base line), and Yaniel Cabezas hammered an opposite-field RBI single through the 3.5 hole and into RF, scoring Na with the Cubs first run. Hector Suarez followed with a two-run triple off the left-centerfield fence to score Geiger and Cabezas, and Gregori Gonzalez finished the inning’s scoring, clubbing an RBI double down the LF line to plate Suarez, as the Cubs took a 4-3 lead.
Still up 4-3, the Cubs scored five times in the top of the 7th as Dustin Harrington lined a lead-off single to LF, Kyung-Min Na was hit by a pitch, and Dustin Geiger lined an RBI single to RF to score Harrington, and send the speedy Na to 3rd. Yaniel Cabezas tripled over the centerfielder’s head to knock-in Na and Geiger, and then Cabezas scored on a Hector Suarez F-8 SF. But the Cubs were not finished. Gregori Gonzalez singled, advanced to 2nd base on a ground out, and scored on a two-out two-base throwing error by the Angels SS, giving the Cubs a 9-3 lead.
Now up 9-5, the Cubs put the game away with three more runs in the top of the 8th. Reggie Golden, Dustin Harrington, and Kyung-Min Na all singled to load the bases with no outs, and then Golden scored (and the other two runners moved up a base) on a wild pitch. Dustin Geiger bounced a single to left to score Harrington and move Na to 3rd, and then Na scored on a FC.
The Cubs scored one last run in the top of the 9th, once again loading the bases to start the inning (consecutive singles by Jose Valdez, Wes Darvill, and Jesus Morelli). After Reggie Golden struck out (swinging and grunting), Dustin Harrington lofted a sacrifice fly to CF to score Valdez with the Cubs 13th and final run.
While the Cubs pitchers allowed only three hits, they did walk nine (three scored), hit a batter, and threw two wild pitches. Also, the Angels stole seven bases (no CS), and the Cubs infield defense was not exactly air-tight, committing three throwing errors (two by 2B Gregori Gonzalez and one by SS Wes Darvill) that led to two unearned runs scoring. (Although he made a costly throwing error that resulted in an unearned run scoring, shortstop Darvill also made two outstanding stops & throws that saved at least two runs).
Here is today’s abridged box score from the game played at Diablo Park (Cubs players only):
1. Jose Valdez, CF-DH: 1-5 (4-3, F-9, 6-3, 3-U, 1B, R)
2. Wes Darvill, SS: 1-5 (6-3, 4-3, K, E-6, 1B)
3. Jesus Morelli, LF: 1-5 (K, F-9, F-9, F-8, 1B)
4. Reggie Golden, RF: 1-4 (BB, K, 4-3, 1B, K, R)
5. Dustin Harrington, 3B: 2-4 (F-9, K, 1B, 1B, F-8 SF, 2 R, RBI, SB)
6. Kyung-Min Na, DH-CF: 2-4 (6-3 DP, 1B, HBP, 1B, 4-3, 3 R)
7. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 3-4 (F-9, 1B, 1B, 1B, 2 R, 2 RBI)
8. Yaniel Cabezas, C-DH: 2-4 (F-7, 1B, 3B, 4-6 FC, 2 R, 4 RBI)
9. Hector Suarez, DH-C: 2-3 (1B, 3B, F-8 SF, K, R, 3 RBI)
10. Gregori Gonzalez, 2B: 2-4 (6-4 FC, 2B, 1B, 6-4 FC, R, RBI)
1. Joe Zeller: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 45 pitches (22 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
2. Hunter Ackerman: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 3 BB, 3 K, 48 pitches (25 strikes), 4/1 GO/FO
3. Rafael Diplan: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 25 pitches (12 strikes), 4/0 GO/FO
4. Willengton Cruz: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 29 pitches (17 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
5. Starling Peralta: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 16 pitches (9 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
1. 2B Gregori Gonzalez E4 – throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely – eventually scored unearned run
2. 2B Gregori Gonzalez E4 – throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely
3. SS Wes Darvill E6 – throwing error attempting 6-4 FC allowed runner to reach 2nd base safely and unearned run to score
1. Yaniel Cabezas: 0-5 CS
2. Hector Suarez: 0-2 CS
ATTENDANCE: 1 (that would be me)
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 80’s
Here are the ERAs for the last five starting pitchers:
At what point does the manager note it's not the "other pitcher"?
And why does he start Montero in the middle of a downturn?
Some perspective (mostly for my own benefit): Dan Straily beat MadBum 2-1 today as the Reds took 2 of 3 in SF. Giants are 2-9 since the break and their lead over LA is down to 2.5 games. So, yeah...baseball. It'll drive ya nuts.
McNutt / Archer didn't work out well for us.
The floor is more valuable than the ceiling. It's the same reason we drafted Kris Bryant instead of Jon Gray.
Apparently the Yankees had the choice of either Gleyber Torres or Eloy Jimenez in the Chapman deal, and they chose Torres.
Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.
Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.
He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.