Cubs Use Their Cabezas to Beat Kazmir
Yaniel Cabezas singled twice, doubled, scored two runs, and threw out two opposing base-stealers, and four Cubs pitchers combined to throw a four-hitter, as a split squad of EXST Cubs edged the EXST Angels 2-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #2 in Mesa this morning.
The game was extended an extra inning to allow Cubs and Angels pitchers to get their scheduled work.
Cubs pitchers Austin Reed and Luis Liria combined to throw six no-run, no hit innings to get things started, retiring 18 of the first 19 men they faced. When Reed is good (that is, when he throws strikes), he is VERY good, and Liria should probably be at Peoria.
It seems to help the younger pitchers when experienced catchers like Chad Noble (played four years of Big Ten baseball at Northwestern) and Yaniel Cabezas (catcher for Cuban Junior National Team) are behind the plate.
Meanwhile, the Cubs were facing MLB LHP Scott Kazmir (15-day DL – back) for the second time in a week, in what was probably his final Extended Spring Training rehab outing. Kazmir threw 5.1 IP (75 pitches), allowing one run (earned) on three hits, a walk, and two HBP, with two strikeouts and a 7/6 GO/FO.
The Cubs scored their only run off Kazmir in the bottom of the second. Yaniel Cabezas led-off with a single, Jose Valdez was hit by a pitch, and Dustin Harrington singled sharply to CF to load the bases with no outs. Pin-Chieh Chen then grounded into a 4-6 FC that scored Cabezas from 3rd.
The Cubs scored what proved to be the winning run in the bottom of the 6th (after Kazmir had left the game). Cabezas doubled to RF with one out, moved-up to 3rd base on a ground out, and scored on a Dustin Harrington RBI single.
While one squad of EXST Cubs played the Angels at Fitch Park, the other squad traveled to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort to play the EXST Rockies. Unfortunately, I am unable to provide a report on the EXST Cubs road game, since the two games were played simultaneously ten miles apart. (To get enough innings for all of the pitchers at Extended Spring Training, the Cubs are scheduling EXST split squad road game/home game dates several times this Spring).
Here is today’s abridged box score for the game at Fitch Park (Cubs players only):
1. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 0-5 (1-U, 6-3, 6-3, 3-U, E-4)
2. Wes Darvill, SS: 1-4 (E-1, BB, 4-3, L-7, 1B)
3a. Chad Noble, C: 0-3 (F-9, F-9, K)
3b. Reggie Golden, PH: 0-0 (HBP)
3c. SLOT WAS SKIPPED 5th TIME THROUGH ORDER
4a. Jesus Morelli, RF: 1-4 (L-8, 1B, K, 6-4 FC)
4b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED 5th TIME THROUGH ORDER
5. Yaniel Cabezas, DH-C: 3-5 (1B, L-9, 2B, 1B, 6-4-3 DP, 2 R)
6. Jose Valdez, LF: 0-3 (HBP, F-9, 4-3, K)
7. Dustin Harrington, 3B: 2-3 (1B, HBP, 1B, F-9, RBI)
8. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 0-4 (4-6 FC, 6-4 FC, 4-3, K, RBI, CS)
9. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 0-4 (P-5, 6-3, 3-1, 6-3)
1. Austin Reed: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 35 pitches (22 strikes), 5/2 GO/FO
2. Luis Liria: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 37 pitches (23 strikes), 0/5 GO/FO
3. Amaury Paulino: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 29 pitches (17 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4. Willengton Cruz: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 32 pitches (19 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
Yaniel Cabezas: 2-2 CS
RF Jesus Morelli threw out runner 9-5 trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on single to RF
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80’s
Hopefully after the Cubs complete their sevenpeat :)
They're the best in the business and have been for 12 years running now. The only question is when they'll get bored of it.
I was right here. I don't require my GM's to be perfect, but I would like them to understand what wins baseball games (IMO controlling the strike zone and creating/avoiding outs), and knowing where the organization is in the success cycle.
Theo and company have made and will make plenty of mistakes, but they seem to understand those two items pretty well.
Now we're all Theo-believers, where were you when he signed Edwin Jackson? Or how about trading away DJ Lemehaiu? And not signing Samardzija to an extension? Or not pursuing Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols? Or signing Lester? Or trading away Cashner, Dempster, Feldman, etc?...I think I'm losing the narrative here.
So his deal runs through 2021? Which pretty much coincides when all these guys are due to hit free agency.
"Terms of the deal were not disclosed."
Theo inks five year extension
PC tonite at PNC
Not as a major factor, but could be a tie-breaker. But, yeah, on performance and experience, it's Coghlan.
Arrieta’s 2.85 ERA would be good enough to lead 26 other teams. He's 3rd on #Cubs behind Hendricks (1.99) and Lester (2.28)
Meanwhile on the SouthSide
For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.
[Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]
tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.