Baez Hits for the Cycle at Diablo
Javier Baez hit for the cycle and drove-in all five Cub runs with a two-run triple and a three-run home run, but the Angels rallied for five runs in the middle-three innings to edge the Cubs 6-5, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Diablo Park Field #3 in Tempe, AZ.
In addition to his big day at the plate, Baez also stole a base (3rd base following his double) and made the defensive Play of the Day, going deep into the hole to backhand a grounder headed for LF, and then nailing the out with a leap and an on-the-money throw to 1st.
In his first four Extended Spring Training games, Baez is 9-15 with three three-run home runs, three triples, two doubles, and a single, and in his last game prior to the start of Extended Spring Training, Baez clubbed a two-run HR off Paul Maholm in an intrasquad game at Fitch Park.
Today's game was extended an extra inning so that all of the Cubs and Angels pitchers who were scheduled to throw today could get their work.
Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):
1a. Shawon Dunston, Jr, LF: 1-2 (K, 2B, R)
1b. Jeffrey Baez, PH-LF: 0-1 (6-3)
1c. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 0-2 (F-8, 5-3)
2. Gioskar Amaya, 2B-DH: 2-4 (BB, 1B, K, 1B, P-4, 2 R)
3. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 0-4 (BB, F-9, 6-3, K, K, R)
4. Javier Baez, SS: 4-5 (3B, HR, 2B, 1B, K, R, 5 RBI, SB)
5. Rock Shoulders, 1B: 0-2 (BB, 4-3, BB, K)
6. Trey Martin, CF: 1-4 (K, 1B, P-4, 3-1)
7. Neftali Rosario, DH-C: 0-4 (P-4, K, 5-3, F-9)
8. Jair Bogaerts, 3B: 1-4 (6-3, K, K, 1B)
9. Yaniel Cabezas, C-DH: 3-4 (F-8, 1B, 1B, 1B)
10. Brian Inoa, DH-2B: 0-4 (K, K, 5-3, K)
1. Tayler Scott: 2.1, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 51 pitches (25 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
2. David Henrie: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 37 pitches (26 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
3. Brian Smith: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 33 pitches (19 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
4. Carlos Martinez: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 27 pitches (19 strikes), 5/1 GO/FO
5. Charles Thomas: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 21 pitches (13 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: 1
SS Javier Baez - E-6 (errant throw allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Yaniel Cabezas: 2-2 CS
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
CF Trey Martin - threw out batter-runner 8-3 after batter singled to CF and then took too wide of a turn around 1st base
WEATHER: Sunny and a bit breezy at times with temperatures in the 70’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.