Rock Shoulders the Load at Fitch Park
Rock Shoulders ripped a two-run double, walked twice, and scored a run, Trey Martin drilled a two-run single, and Danny Lockhart laced an RBI triple, leading the Cubs to a 6-2 victory over the Diamondbacks in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
Micah Gibbs continued his rehab assignment, catching for the first seven innings and then switching to DH. He got six Plate Appearances today, and although he went hitless, he walked and scored three times. He also stole a base.
Gibbs is just 1-11 in his three EXST games, but with six walks and four runs scored, and only one strikeout (looking).
While the Cubs were playing the Diamondbacks on Field #3, Amaury Paulino, Justin Berg, David Henrie, and Ryan Rowland-Smith squared-off in a four-inning "sim" game on Field #2, facing EXST Cubs position players who weren't in the starting lineup on Field #3. Berg is rehabbing from September 2011 TJS, and Rowland-Smith was placed on the Iowa DL with a back strain about three weeks ago.
In EXST Cubs roster news, 2B Gioskar Amaya has been temporarily moved up to AAA Iowa to provide some bench depth while the I-Cubs are on their PCL “California Swing,” and as the world waits to find out what will happen with Blake DeWitt.
DeWitt was Designated for Assignment a week ago yesterday, and so the Cubs have until Wednesday 5/16 to either trade him, release him, or send him to the minors by outright or optional assignment. (NOTE: DeWitt can refuse an Outright Assignment and elect to be a FA immediately, but he can't refuse an Optional Assignmment).
The 19-year old Amaya was hitting 245/359/321 with two doubles and a triple, nine runs scored, three RBI, two stolen bases, and 10/13 BB/K in 19 EXST games (64 PA) prior to his promotion to Iowa. Although he played 2B-SS-3B his first two seasons in pro ball (2010-11) and at Minor League Camp this past March, he has settled-in at 2B and in the #2 spot in the batting order at EXST. Finally allowed to play just one position, he has begun to show some improvement defensively, and he has also shown a good eye and outstanding patience at the plate (he is tied with Anthony Giansanti for the team-lead in walks). Obviously the Cubs felt Amaya had the maturity to handle a promotion to AAA, albeit just for a couple or three days.
Here is the abridged box score from today’s game (Cubs players only):
X. Micah Gibbs, C-DH: 0-3 (BB, BB, K, 6-3 DP, BB, F-8, 3 R, SB)
NOTE: Gibbs batted six times - once in the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 8th, and 9th
1a. Shawon Dunston Jr, LF: 0-3 (P-3, 3-1, K)
1b. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 0-1 (F-9)
2. Eduardo Gonzalez, RF-LF: 1-3 (1B, BB, F-9, E-5, 2 R)
3. Rock Shoulders, 1B: 1-2 (BB, 2B, 4-3, BB, R, 2 RBI)
4. Ryan Durrence, DH #1: 1-4 (P-6, K, 1B, K, R)
5a. Trey Martin, CF: 1-3 (1B, 5-3, F-9, 2 RBI)
5b. Justin Marra, PH: 0-1 (K)
6a. Danny Lockhart, SS: 1-3 (E-6, E-6, 3B, RBI)
6b. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-1 (1-3)
7. Brian Inoa, 2B: 0-3 (6-4 FC, L-8, 3-U)
8. Jair Bogaerts, 3B: 0-3 (F-8, F-7, P-4)
9. Garrett Schlecht, DH #2: 0-2 (6-3, F-8, BB)
10a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
10b. Neftali Rosario, C: 0-1 (P-3)
1. Starling Peralta: 3.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 2 HBP, 58 pitches (36 strikes), 3/5 GO/FO
2. Tayler Scott: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 1 PO, 24 pitches (20 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
3. Felix Pena: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 27 pitches (16 strikes), 5/1 GO/FO
4. Pete Levitt: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 17 pitches (12 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: NONE
WEATHER: Sunny & VERY breezy with temperatures in the 90’s
it's day old news, and it's got nothing to do with the cubs, but ichiro signed a $2m deal with MIA (with a $2m option for 2017).
neat. 41 years old and damn close to 3000 hits.
also, rain delays suck.
take that giants
I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.
Per Jesse Sanchez at mlb.com, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus.
BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).
TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.
TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.
Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.
Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.
Think Baby Maddux.
Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.
Kyle is on the far left.
I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.
Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.
That was good!
Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.
My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.
Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.
Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.
How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?
Call me lost.
Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.