Archive - May 2011

May 30th

Dustin Geiger slugged a grand slam HR to cap a five-run 2nd inning as one squad of EXST Cubs drilled one squad of EXST Rockies 10-4 on Red Mountain Field, but the other squad of Rockies pounded out 17 hits (including three triples, two doubles, and a three-run HR) and thumped the other squad of Cubs 12-1 on Dust Storm Field, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training Memorial Day doubleheader played this morning at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick east of Scottsdale, AZ.

May 28th

J. C. Rodriguez knocked-in six runs with an RBI single, a two-run double, and a three-run home run, leading the EXST Angels to a 10-2 thrashing of the EXST Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Diablo Park Field #3 in Tempe, AZ.


The game was extended an extra couple of innings so that all of the pitchers who were due to throw today could get their scheduled work.


May 27th

The EXST Cubs rallied for three runs in the bottom of the 9th to tie the EXST Diamondbacks 6-6, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training game played this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.


The Cubs did have a chance to win the game, but Reggie Golden popped out to the first-baseman to end the bottom of the 9th, leaving the potential winning run stranded at 3rd base.


Tennessee OF (and Cubs 2009 1st round draft pick and #1 position player prospect) Brett Jackson saw his first game action since going on the Smokies DL with a finger injury on May 12th, getting four plate appearances as a DH, one in each of the first four innings.


May 26th

Yaniel Cabezas had four hits (three doubles and a single), scored three runs, and drove-in two more, Jesus Morelli drove-in four runs with two singles and a home run, and four pitchers combined to strike out 14, as a split squad of EXST Cubs drubbed the EXST Angels 13-5 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #2 in Mesa.


May 25th

On an injury rehab assignment in Mesa, AZ, Cubs catcher Geovany Soto went hitless in five plate appearances this morning in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training game played at Fitch Park.

Soto, who was seeing his first game action in two weeks after suffering a groin strain in a game on May 10th, was the starting catcher and got five at bats in the game played on Field #2 (there was another game played simultaneously on Field #3), batting third in each of the first five innings. He looked a bit rusty at the plate, bouncing out 5-3 in the 1st inning, popping out to the first-baseman in foul territory in the 2nd, flying out to the warning track in CF in the 3rd, getting called out on strikes in the 4th, and striking out swinging in the bottom of the 5th. Also two Rockies base-runners stole 2nd base while Soto was behind the plate.

As far as the games were concerned, one squad of EXST Cubs and one squad of EXST Rockies played to a 1-1 tie on Field #2, while the other squad of Rockies defeated the other squad of Cubs 5-2 on Field #3.

The games were played simultaneously on adjacent fields, and both games were seven-inning affairs.

May 24th

Matt Garza heads to the DL for a "bone contusion" just above the elbow and his 25 man roster replacement, Lou Montanez finally winds up in the Cub starting lineup with a memorable night. As you recall, Montanez was the Cubs 2000 first round amateur draft pick  (3rd pick overall) as a high school SS and after a stay in Cubville East (the Orioles System), he now resurfaces with the Cubs in RF. Getting back to Garza, let me think out loud with you readers about what seems to be the problem.

From TCR's last thread:

Let me stipulate that I AM NOT A DOCTOR (but I play one on tv)...so my opinions are just based on long miserable experience with the Cubs.

Garza's injury is being reported as a "bone contusion." Correct me if wrong but in my experience that's the same as saying he has a bone fracture except the fracture has no deliniation. Also, it's in his elbow so that implies that it involves cartilage as well as bone. This doesn't sound like something that heals in a week. Contusions often take longer than outright fractures to get better.
If the Cubs bring him back after missing one more start...look out.

In Garza's situation, using the term "bone contusion" is clearly an MRI diagnosis. I do have some issues with using this term here and (hopefully) I can provide some clarifications of muddy concepts being bandied about.

 I love my headline (nope, I'm not going there, so shame on you) but you need to read on for some Serious Splainin' Lucy.


The EXST Athletics banged-out four doubles, a triple, and a home run, and coasted to a 7-1 victory over the EXST Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.


 

So, this thing Mike Quade did during game #2 of the Cubs/Red Sox series.
The beanball "two to one" thing with the fingers, gesturing across the diamond - did you see that?
Kinda bothersome.

May 23rd

Brian Inoa hit for the cycle and Dustin Geiger ripped two RBI doubles, leading a split squad of EXST Cubs to a 6-5 victory over the EXST Diamondbacks in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Whirlwind Field at Salt River Fields at the Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.


Justin Hilt and Wagner Mateo homered for the Diamondbacks.


The game was extended an extra inning to allow all of the pitchers who were due to throw today to get their scheduled work.


May 22nd

What are we to make of Randy Wells' rehab start this afternoon at a very blustery Principal Park in Des Moines? He was flashing mixed signals.


The booming home run he gave up in the top of the first on which Iowa cf Lou Montanez did not budge was understandable. The batter who struck it was hitting .377 and the wind was blowing out so briskly that the flag pole the ball flew beyond was wobbling visibly.


Wells was workmanlike in the first two frames, requiring 15 pitches in each of them. In the 3rd he seemed to find a groove when he threw only six pitches, all of them strikes. The middle batter in that inning fanned on three pitches. On his way to the dugout to lead off the bottom of the 3rd Wells stopped to chat with the plate ump. There hadn't been any debate about the strike zone; indeed, Wells was clearly in a good mood and smiling. He was still grinning when he trotted back after grounding out. Then he came out for the 4th and proceeded to throw almost as many pitches [32] as he'd thrown prior to that point [36]. He failed to retire any of the first five hitters and only escaped even deeper wounds when the opposing pitcher graciously drilled a dp grounder on the first pitch thrown to him with the bases loaded and still nobody out.


All 68 of Wells' pitches clocked between 80-88, despite that he was quoted in the local gazette this morning to the effect that he was planning to "amp it up" this time out, whatever that meant.


So it's unclear what exactly was accomplished today. The arm wasn't even stretched out much if the plan is to bring Wells back next time through the rotation. I did not see any Chicago brass in the section where they usually sit when in town, so whatever call they make on Wells after this outing will probably be based on debriefings of manager Bill Dancy, pitching coach Mike Mason and Wells himself.


As for the other 2010 Chicago Cub in the lineup, Tyler Colvin finished a wind-blown homer shy of the cycle. I missed his ninth inning triple off a rightie, but saw his first four at-bats, all of which came against a pair of lefties.


In the 1st he fanned on three pitches. In the 3rd he grounded the first pitch through the hole in the right side with Montanez on base. In the 5th he popped to cf on the third pitch after a swinging strike on #1 and taking #2 for a ball. So at that point he had seen seven pitches in three ab's. In the 7th he blooped a soft-serve double the other way on a full count; pitch #7. Hopefully his over-anxiousness has started to subside. My other observation about him was that he didn't look very big in the upper body and shoulders. Didn't he report to camp looking like Charles Atlas in 2010? Now he looks like somebody let the air out of him, although he ran well on his double, when going first to third on a single and, presumably, on the triple that I missed.


Side note: This was the 12th time already that the I-Cubs' pitchers have surrendered in the double digits. Last year that happened 12 times all year. And it's not even hot yet in many of the Pacific Clout League branch cities

 

It is SO nice to do something clownish about the other team for a change, and it happened to the almost first-place Boston Red Sox.

May 21st

Dong-Yub Kim and Brandon May smacked back-to-back two out RBI doubles to key a two-run 1st inning that propelled one squad of EXST Cubs to a 5-2 victory over one squad of EXST Rockies on Red Mountain Field, while Yao-Lin Wang, Jin-Young Kim, and Starling Peralta combined to throw a three-hit shutout as the other squad of Cubs blanked the other squad of Rockies 3-0 on Dust Storm Field, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training doubleheader action at Salt River Fields at the Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale this morning.


The games were played simultaneously, and both games were seven-inning affairs.


May 20th

Tennessee Smokies OF Ty Wright (DL rehab assignment) had three hits (two singles and a double) in his first game action since suffering a sprained ankle in a Southern League game on April 17th, but the EXST Giants swept a doubleheader from the EXST Cubs by scores of 7-5 and 5-3 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.


The games were played simultaneously on adjacent fields, and both games were seven-inning affairs.


May 19th

Scott Kazmir and Alexander Burkard combined to throw a four-hit shutout, leading the EXST Angels to an 8-0 whitewashing of an EXST Cubs split squad in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Diablo Park Field #3 in Tempe this morning.


Kazmir has been on the Los Angeles Angels 15-DL with "back tightness" since April 9th, but he sure looked healthy today, throwing 6.2 IP of one-hit shutout ball (102 pitches – 62 strikes, 10/6 GO/FO), and not allowing his first hit until there was one out in the top of the 6th inning (opposite-field double lined into the RF corner by Dustin Geiger). Kazmir walked three and struck out three during the course of his outing, inducing one GIDP. Kazmir consistently threw his fastball at 91-92 MPH, and kept the Cubs youngsters off-balance with an assortment of change-ups and breaking balls.


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