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
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.
It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.
I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.
I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.
This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:
Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!
Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.
Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.
Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.
Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.
Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.
Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.
He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.
He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.
Weird home stand -- 3-1, with 2 rainouts, vs. two teams that will lose 100 games. Feels oddly disappointing.
Miserable baseball weather all week -- hopefully better weather will get the bats going. Not just walking, but actually hitting.
That strike call on LaSterlla was terrible
I was hearing some talk that John Mallee is trying to change Heyward's swing. Wonder if that is lending itself to the slow start.
at least it wasn't a "nobody showed up" stomping.
anytime you wanna jumpstart your season would be nice, heyward.
Now looming VERY large. Game tied.
That Braves TOOTBLAN trying to stretch a double into a triple is looming very large.