Bogaerts Knows How to Whistle, Blows Out Three-Run Blast at Fitch Park
Jair Bogaerts crushed a 420-ft HR over the CF fence to cap a four-run 5th inning and James Pugliese (four innings of one-hit shutout ball with five strikeouts) and three relievers combined to throw a three-hit shutout, as one squad of Cubs blanked one squad of Giants 4-0 on Field #2, and Javier Baez and Jeimer Candelario each doubled and drove-in two runs, Dong-Yub Kim doubled and tripled and scored two runs, Brian Inoa doubled and tripled and knocked-in two runs, and Wilson Contreras belted a solo HR, but Stephen Yarrow blasted a solo home run and Hector Mercedes hammered a three-run shot to propel the other squad of Giants to victory over the other squad of Cubs by a score of 11-9 on Field #3, in a Memorial Day Weekend Cactus League Extended Spring Training doubleheader extravaganza played this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.
Both games were seven-inning affairs.
Jair Bogaerts was the PTBNL in (what turned-out to be) the rather convoluted Theo Epstein compensation trade that saw the Cubs send RHRPs Chris Carpenter and Aaron Kurcz to the BoSox, and is the brother of Boston's #2 rated prospect, SS Xander Bogaerts. But unlike his brother, Jair is a big dude (6'2 240+) who could be Rock Shoulders' twin brother, a lumbering corner INF who has played mostly 3B (and none too well, either) since joining the Cubs, while hitting 189/302/243 with only two XBH (both doubles) and just one RBI through 17 EXST games (43 PA) coming into today's action.
Meanwhile over on Fitch Park Field #1, five Cub pitchers (Bryce Shafer, Amaury Paulino, Roderik Pichardo, Loiger Padron, and Ramon Garcia) threw an early-morning four-inning “sim” game prior to the EXST twin-bill.
In EXST Cubs roster news, RHP Felix Pena and OF Yasiel Balaguert have been promoted to Peoria, and RHP Rob Whitenack (June 2011 TJS rehab) has been moved-up to Daytona.
Cubs VP of Player Personnel Oneri Fleita has been at Fitch Park all week, getting a first-hand look at the Cubs Extended Spring Training squad, so it probably didn’t hurt Balaguert’s cause that he went 5-7 with a HR and five RBI in EXST games this past Monday and Wednesday. He was hitting 338/384/492 in 23 EXST games (73 PA). Some of you may remember that the 19-year old Balaguert as one of two Cuban defectors signed by the Cubs last December 7th (RHP Carlos Martinez was the other one).
The solidly-built Balaguert has played mostly RF and LF at EXST (he has a decent arm but doesnt have the range to play CF), and shows occasional power but with a body & a swing that should produce home runs at a more substantial rate as he matures. He was a teammate of highly-regarded Cuban OF prospect Jorge Soler on the Cuban Junior National Team.
RHP Felix Pena put up a 5.68 ERA and 1.21 WHIP with 6/11 BB/K in 19.0 IP (10 games) at Extended Spring Training prior to getting the call-up to Peoria.
Fleita also had a chance to watch Rob Whitenack throw “lights out” at Maryvale on Tuesday, when the right-hander tossed six innings of three hit ball at the Brewers, throwing 56 pitches (45 for strikes)
Here are the abridged box scores from the two EXST games played at Fitch Park today (Cubs players only):
CUBS SQUAD “A” LINEUP:
1. Trey Martin, CF: 0-3 (5-3, F-8, K)
2. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-3 (L-6, F-8, K)
3. Eduardo Gonzalez, LF: 0-3 (K, E-6, F-9, SB)
4. Rock Shoulders, 1B: 1-2 (1B, K, BB)
5. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-2 (BB, L-7, F-7)
6. Dan Vogelbach, DH #1: 0-1 (K, BB, BB, R)
7. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 0-3 (P-6, 1-3, 6-3)
8. Wilfredo Petit, C-DH: 1-3 (4-3, 2B, K, R, RBI).
9a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
9b. Justin Marra, C: 1-2 (1B, K, R, RBI)
10. Jair Bogaerts, 3B: 1-3 (F-8, HR, F-9, R, 3 RBI)
11. Trevor Gretzky, DH #3: 1-1 (BB, 1B, SB, CS)
CUBS SQUAD “A” PITCHERS:
1. James Pugliese: 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 GIDP, 54 pitches (34 strikes), 4/3 GO/FO
2. Brian Smith: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 PO, 13 pitches (7 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
3. Ethan Elias: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 13 pitches (6 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
4. Pete Levitt: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 20 pitches (15 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
CUBS SQUAD “A” ERRORS: 1:
1B Rock Shoulders - E-3 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS SQUAD “A” CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Wilfredo Petit: 0-1 CS
CUBS SQUAD “B” LINEUP:
1. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 2-4 (3B, 1B, P-4, 4-3, 2 R, RBI)
2. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 1-3 (6-3, BB, K+WP, 1B, 3 R, RBI, 2 SB)
3. Javier Baez, SS: 1-4 (5-3, F-9, 5-3, 2B, 2 RBI, SB)
4. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 1-3 (F-8, 2B, BB, K, 2 RBI)
5. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 1-4 (5-3, 5-3, 1B, P-6)
6. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 0-2 (BB, 4-3, 4-3, CS)
7. Wilson Contreras, C: 1-3 (F-7, HR, K, R, RBI)
8. Garrett Schlecht, LF: 1-3 (2B, K, F-7, R)
9a. Neftali Rosario, DH #1: 0-0 (HBP)
9b. Dong-Yub Kim, PH-DH: 2-2 (2B, 3B, 2 R)
10a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
10b. Brian Inoa, DH #2: 2-2 (3B, 2B, 2 RBI)
CUBS SQUAD “B” PITCHERS:
1. Jose Arias: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 1 HR, 63 pitches (43 strikes), 5/1 GO/FO
2. David Henrie: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 25 pitches (20 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
3. Ryan Hartman: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 7 pitches (5 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
4. Carlos Martinez: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 HR, 23 pitches (14 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
CUBS SQUAD “B” ERRORS: 2
1. SS Javier Baez - E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely – eventually scored unearned run)
2. P David Henrie - E-1 (errant throw on what should have a 1-6 FC allowed runner to reach 2nd base safely – eventually scored unearned run)
CUBS SQUAD “B” OUTFIELD DEFENSE:
CF Shawon Dunston Jr - runner thrown out 8-4-2 trying to score from 1st base on a double
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 70’s
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.
I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:
Carl Crawford $20MM
Brandon McCarthy $17MM
Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
Darwin B $2.2MM
Dan Haren $10MM
Matt Kemp $18MM
Brian Wilson $10MM
Ryan Webb $2.2MM
Dee Gordon $2.5MM
So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.
And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):
i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.
there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.
I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.
O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already.
I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.
I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.
Enjoyable read on David Ross.
Er, they won the first one. My bad. Carry on.
With last night's win in Pittsburgh, the Cubs have tied the Pirates with 98 wins, and are only 2-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. No reason why the Cubs can't finish the post-season with the best winning percentage in baseball (regular season & post-season combined).
BOB: I doubt very much that Matt Szczur will be on the Cubs LDS roster.
If he wasn't on the Wild Card roster (when the Cubs went with 15 position players), he won't be on the LDS roster (when the Cubs will go with 13 or 14 position players).
As it is, at least one of the three RH hitting outfielders who were on the Cubs WC roster (Denorfia, Jackson, and Soler) could get bumped off the LDS roster (probably Soler).