Bianco Blast the Difference-Maker at Talking Stick
Justin Bianco hammered a solo home run leading off the bottom of the 5th to break a 1-1 tie, and it was just enough as the Diamondbacks edged the Cubs 2-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Whirlwind Field at Salt River River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.
Junior Lake continued his rehab, batting six times (once in each of the first six innings) and playing shortstop for seven innings.
Lake grounded a single through the box leading off the top of the 1st and scored the Cubs only run of the game on a wild pitch later in the inning, struck out (swinging) in the top of the 2nd and then again in the top of the 3rd, grounded out to shortstop in the 4th, struck out swinging in the 5th, and hit into a 6-4 FC in the 6th. He also handled seven chances flawlessly in the field, and was the “middle-man” in two 4-6-3 double plays.
Lake is scheduled to play in one more EXST game (at Fitch Park tomorrow), before rejoining the Tennessee Smokies on Thursday or Friday.
RHP Rob Whitenack (June 2011 TJS) got the start for the Cubs and threw three innings (40 pitches) of no-hit shutout ball, allowing one walk while striking out two (5/2 GO/FO).
Here is the abridged box score from today’s game (Cubs players only):
X. Junior Lake, SS: 1-6 (1B, K, K, 6-3, K, 6-4 FC, R, CS)
NOTE: Lake batted six times, once in each of the first six innings
1. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 2-3 (1B, F-8, 1B, SB)
2. Javier Baez, DH-SS: 0-3 (K, K, 4-6 FC, SB)
3. Rock Shoulders, 1B: 0-3 (K, F-8, 4-3)
4. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-2 (BB, 6-3, 4-3)
5. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 0-3 (K, F-8, K)
6. Dan Vogelbach, DH #2: 0-2 (K, BB, P-6)
7a. Anthony Giansanti, C: 0-1 (F-9)
7b. Neftali Rosario, C: 0-2 (K, K)
8. Yasiel Balaguert, LF: 1-2 (1B, 5-3)
9a. Jair Bogaerts, 3B: 0-1 (L-9 DP)
9b. Danny Lockhart, 3B: 0-1 (3-1)
1. Rob Whitenack: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 40 pitches (23 strikes), 5/2 GO/FO
2. Carlos Martinez: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 33 pitches (16 strikes), 4/2 GO/FO
3. Alvido Jimenez: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 26 pitches (15 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
4. Luis Villalba: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 12 pitches (9 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
5. Roderik Pichardo: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 10 pitches (7 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: NONE
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Neftali Rosario: 0-3 CS
WEATHER: Sunny and breezy with temperatures in the 80’s
I love winning! It's, like, better than losing?
You lollygag the ball around the infield. You lollygag your way down to first. You lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you? Larry!
Its too bad Warren didnt get to pitch. He would have saved us.
Whoa -- that Contreras play in the 8th looked too much like a "Schwarber" -- nearly crashed into the wall going full speed, with Heyward doing the same.
New rule: if you are a catcher playing LF, and find yourself sprinting after a fly ball in the gap -- stop, let the CF go after it and get ready to play it off the wall.
Cubs have no spark and no life. Pretty boring to watch these days.
I thought trips to Miami were supposed to be fun. This one sucked.
The bottom half of the bullpen now turns close games into blowout losses. Not good.
Once Fowler went to the DL, the team went into the tank. Wonder if he'll get any love this offseason? Probably not.
6IP, 2ER. The last one scored because of another botched Zobrist DP turn.
And now, a bad throw by KB. Sloppy.
What is it with Hammel always starting well and sucking after a couple months?
Ahhh...sad. Lke a few of you here, I saw him play during the '69-'71 seasons. He was the "hot Zobrist" for the club in August/September of '69 while everyone else was fizzling out...
I predict: "They will play hard and if they give the same effort every day, they'll win a lot of games."
OK, boys -- find a way to win today.
There's some BA is missing too, here's all signing bonus BA doesn't have some:
-6 Hockin $241,000 (slot price), 7 Cruz $75,000 (saved $110,00), 8 Ridlings $120,000 (saved $53,800), 9 Robinson $30,000 (saved $132,300), so far the Cubs have saved an extra $297,100
Zobrist (2B), Hayward (CF), Bryant (3B), Rizzo, Contreras (LF), Montero, Russell, Coghlan (RF), Hammel
Also -- despite losing 6 of their last 10, the Cubs picked up a game on both STL and PIT during that period. Weird, given that they swept PIT and were swept by STL.
Also, I'd like to know if there are numbers to back up my suspicion that there are a lot more fast starts than late June romps. This seems like a time where everybody not named Willson Contreras is looking a little tired and/or banged up a bit.
For once, the Cubs got off to a fast start. Seems like I've been waiting for that for 50 years.Everybody is really gunning for this team, too. It's their playoffs.