Cubs Unleash the Wood at Diablo Park
Trey Martin laced a bases-loaded triple to key a six-run 2nd inning, and Javier Baez and Jeimer Candelario each blasted a two-run home run to highlight a five-run 9th, as the Cubs rode a 21-hit attack en route to a 14-5 thrashing of the Angels in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Diablo Park Field #3 in Tempe, AZ.
The game was extended an extra inning so that all of the pitchers who were scheduled to throw could get their work.
The Cubs offense was on full display today.
Besides hitting his 6th HR in 22 EXST games, Javier Baez singled and walked (his first walk in 110+ professional PA), Trey Martin added a double to his bases-clearing triple, Jeimer Candelario singled twice and walked in addition to his two-run HR, Kevin Encarnacion had four hits including two RBI singles, and Neftali Rosario singled twice and doubled and scored two runs.
Recently-signed catcher Brian Esposito made his Cub debut in today’s game, catching the first five innings before moving to DH.
Now 33 years old, Esposito was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 5th round of the 2000 draft out of the U. of Connecticut, and had spent the previous 12 seasons playing for a half-dozen different organizations, mostly at the AA level. He also saw a little bit of MLB action with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2007 and with the Houston Astros in 2010. He is a career 216/254/304 hitter in 724 minor league games.
Here is the abridged box score from today’s game (Cubs players only):
1a. Trey Martin, CF-DH: 2-4 (F-8, 3B, 2B, E-5, R, 3 RBI)
1b. Wilson Contreras, PH: 1-1 (1B, R)
2a. Brian Inoa, 2B: 0-2 (4-3, F-9 SF, F-9, RBI)
2b. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 0-2 (6-3, 4-3)
3. Javier Baez, SS: 2-4 (1B, K, BB, P-3, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI)
4. Brian Esposito, C-DH: 0-4 (5-3, P-6, P-4, 4-3, BB, R)
5. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 2-5 (K, P-6, 2B, P-5, 1B, 2 R)
6. Xavier Batista, LF-DH: 1-3 (1B, K, F-7 SF, K, F-8 SF, R, 2 RBI)
7. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 3-4 (1B, 4-3, BB, 1B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI)
8. Neftali Rosario, DH-C: 3-5 (1B, 2B, 1B, F-9, F-8, 2 R)
9. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 4-5 (1B, 1B, 3-U, 1B, 1B, R, 2 RBI)
10a. Dong-Yub Kim, DH #2: 2-3 (1B, F-7, 1B, R, RBI)
10b. Garrett Schlecht, CF: 0-2 (4-3, E-5)
11a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
11b. Trevor Gretzky, DH-LF: 1-3 (1B, K, P-6)
1. Tayler Scott: 3.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 54 pitches (34 strikes), 2/4 GO/FO
2. Felix Pena: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 33 pitches (23 strikes), 3/3 GO/FO
3. Pete Levitt: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 26 pitches (17 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4. Roderik Pichardo: 1.2 IP, 1 H 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 29 pitches (18 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
5. Alvido Jimenez: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 14 pitches (8 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: 1
1B Dan Vogelbach - E-3 (missed catch on what should have been 1-3 GO allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
LF Trevor Gretzky - threw out batter 7-4 trying to stretch a single into a double
WEATHER: Sunny & VERY breezy with temperatures in the 90’s
How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.
If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic
I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.