Cubs Rally to Edge A's at Fitch Park
Javier Baez slugged a solo home run, singled, stole a base, and scored three runs, Jeimer Candelario ripped a pair of RBI doubles, reached base on an HBP, stole a base, and scored a run, Eduardo Gonzalez singled and tripled, drove-in a run, and scored another, and Garrett Schlecht reached base four times on three walks and an RBI single, as the Cubs rallied for a run in the 8th and one in the 9th to edge the Athletics 7-6 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
The game was extended an extra half-inning so that Pete Levitt could throw a second inning.
Manny Ramirez was the DH for the A’s, and made four Plate Appearances (batting once in each of the first four innings).
Facing Tayler Scott, ManRam grounded out in the top of the 1st, popped out to 1st baseman Trevor Gretzky in the 2nd, and walked on a 3-2 pitch in the top of the 3rd, and then he grounded out 4-3 versus James Pugliese in the top of the 4th.
Scott started the game for the Cubs and did not have a good outing, allowing three runs on two hits (an RBI double and an RBI triple) and two walks in three innings of work.
Pugliese followed Scott to the mound and he was “lights-out,” tossing three no-hit shutout innings with five strikeouts. He also picked a runner off 1st base.
In EXST Cubs roster news, 2B Pierre LePage has been given his unconditional release. The 23-year old LePage was the Cubs 13th round draft pick out of the University of Connecticut in 2010, and he hit a combined 303/350/414 with 37 doubles and 19 SB in 134 minor league games (combined) at AZL Cubs, Boise, and Peoria 2010-11.
Despite hitting 375/527/562 in seven EXST games (21 PA) while rehabbing from a hamstring injury suffered at Minor League Camp in March, LePage really doesn’t have the versatility to play multiple positions, and with Logan Watkins the second-baseman at Tennessee, Ronald Torreyes and Rubi Silva sharing 2B duties at Daytona, and Zeke DeVoss firmly ensconsed at 2B in Peoria, there was just no place in the Cubs organization for LePage to go where he could get playing time.
But LePage should have no trouble scoring a starting 2B job in Independent baseball, perhaps with Bridgeport in the Atlantic League or Worcester in the Can Am League, both located in close proximity to LePage’s home in Connecticut. Players can make as much or sometimes more money playing independent ball than they can playing “A” ball for an MLB organization, but the bad part about Indy ball is that it doesn’t provide much opportunity for advancement.
Here is the abridged box score from today’s game (Cubs players only):
1. Trey Martin, CF: 0-4 (K, K, F-9, P-2, BB)
2. Carlos Penalver, DH #1: 0-4 (P-5, L-8, K, 6-3, BB)
3. Javier Baez, SS: 2-5 (K, E-6, 1B, HR, L-1 DP, 3 R, RBI, SB)
4. Wilson Contreras, DH-C: 0-4 (K, P-3, 1-3, BB, 6-3)
5. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 2-3 (K, 2B, 2B, HBP, R, 2 RBI, SB)
6. Eduardo Gonzalez, LF: 2-4 (K, 3B, 1B, K, R, RBI)
7a. Neftali Rosario, C-DH: 0-2 (K, E-5, RBI)
7b. Ryan Durrence, PH-DH: 0-1 (K, HBP)
8. Trevor Gretzky, 1B: 1-4 (P-6, 1B, F-7, K)
9a. Brian Inoa, 2B: 0-2 (K, K)
9b. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-1 (BB, 1B, 2 R, SB)
10. Garrett Schlecht, RF: 1-1 (BB, BB, 1B, BB, RBI, CS)
1. Tayler Scott: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 41 pitches (24 strikes), 5/3 GO/FO
2. James Pugliese: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HBP, 1 PO, 36 pitches (21 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
3. Loiger Padron: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 37 pitches (26 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
4. Sheldon McDonald: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 17 pitches (11 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
5. Pete Levitt: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 21 pitches (13 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: 2
1. P Loiger Padron - E-1 (errant throw on pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed runner to advance to 2nd base and runner on 3rd base to score unearned run)
2. 3B Jeimer Candelario - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Neftali Rosario: 1-1 CS
CF Trey Martin - batter thrown out 8-6-5 trying to stretch a double into a triple
WEATHER: Sunny and breezy with temperatures in the 80’s
Schwarber stays back and hammers a 3-2 change-up that was down and away. Very impressive.
And a good job to drive the ball to RF to advance the runner in the 8th. Encouraging.
It looks like the Cubs "post-season clinch number" is 25 right now: http://lyle.smu.edu/~olinick/riot/national_league.html
Is the magic number 25 or 26?
Agreed, to my untrained eyes he does look better than last season. Not a finished product yet and hopefully he will continue to improve, but if he plays solid middle infield defense he will stick in the majors.
Phillips smiled at Strop and gave him a thumbs up.
That pitch Schwarber hit is the kind he's been missing a lot of lately. When Schwarber struggles it reminds me of how hard it is to hit baseballs at that level. It doesn't seem like they've found a weakness, just that he isn't seeing the ball that great and just missing. Same with Rizzo the last few days.
I missed it. What did he do?
JOHN B: Pierce Johnson and Rob Zastryzny were likely 2015 AFL candidates ( I mentioned them as likely candidates to get assigned to the AFL in an article about the AFL last month) because they are starting pitchers who missed part of the season due to injuries and they need to accrue more innings. Guys who have been pitching regularly as starters have thrown too many innings to be considered, so it probably came down to Johnson, Zastryzny, and Duane Underwood Jr, with Underwood odd man out because he hasn't pitched above Hi-A.
extremely classy. i didn't see his reaction until the replay after the break. baseball needs more fun in some areas and less of some 'unwritten rules' violations leading to angst.
Nice bounce back game for Grimm, and "well done" Dan Haren. We'll take that (almost) every time.
I have never been a Brandon Phillips fan, but that was a very classy way to handle Strop yelling at him after the K.
go cubs go
You know you like it
AZ Phil: Any thoughts on the AFL Cubs? Some names on the list caught me by surprise.