Archive - May 4, 2013

Cubs Beat Brewers, but Apparently Lose Conway

Carlos Escobar blasted a 420+ foot two-run HR that landed on the roof of a mobile classroom at Frank Borman Elementary School beyond the left-centerfield fence to put the Cubs on the scoreboard in the top of the 1st, Shawon Dunston Jr belted a triple and two singles, scored two runs, and drove-in two more, and Yasiel Balaguert laced a two-run triple, singled, walked, and scored two runs, as the Cubs outlasted the Brewers 9-7 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Maryvale Baseball Complex Field #7 (AKA "Paul Molitor Field") in Phoenix, AZ.   

Tyler Roberts doubled twice, singled, scored two runs, and drove-in one, and Dustin Houle singled, doubled, walked, and scored three runs, to aid the Brewer cause.   

The pitcher's mound on Field #7 was in deplorable condition. It had apparently baked in the heat (the infield was hard as cement) and then had been over-watered just prior to start of the game, so starting pitchers Josh Conway (Cubs) and Daniel Keller (Brewers) were constantly slipping & sliding on clods of dirt when they hit their respective landing spots after throwing a pitch, and the two pitchers had to continually go to the back of the mound and scrape mud out of their cleats. The mound was also tacky at the rubber, so that at one point the cleats on Keller's right shoe got stuck in the mud and he had to abort a pitch by throwing it directly into the ground.

Meanwhile, Conway looked uncomfortable from his very first pitch, continually pawing at his landing spot and scraping mud out of his spikes after every single pitch. A member of the grounds crew was eventually located after the end of the 1st inning (today is Saturday, so there was just a "skeleton crew" on duty), and while he raked up the mud clods, nothing was done to dry up the mud itself or stamp-down the mound. On his second pitch in the bottom of the 2nd inning, Conway's spikes got caught in the mud and he tripped and threw a pitch awkwardly, about six feet over the head of the Brew Crew batter. A loud pop could be heard when he let go of the pitch, and his arm recoiled as if he had been shot. He was obviously in tremendous pain, and he ran up the 1st base line into foul territory before coming to a stop and going to one knee.  

Only after Conway left the game did two other members of the Maryvale grounds crew arrive and completely manicure the mound to make it safe for the pitchers. 

Conway was immediately driven back to Fitch Park in the Cubs utility van, and presumably he will be examined next week.

Conway was the Cubs 4th round draft pick last season out of Coastal Carolina University, and he was considered a pre-draft 1st or 2nd round talent who fell to the 4th round only because he had elbow UCL reconstruction (Tommy John Surgery) prior to the June draft. But after nearly making the Kane County starting rotation out of Minor League Camp, Conway has been the most-impressive Cubs pitcher so far at Extended Spring Training, and after throwing five solid innigs and 80 pitches in his previous start last Monday, he appeared to be on the verge of getting a promotion to Kane County or possibly Daytona.

Jose Rosario was scheduled to once again "piggy-back" with Conway (with both pitchers throwing four or five innings each), but Conway's early exit caused the Cubs to turn to reliever Mike Hamann to get ready quickly and throw a couple of innings. Rosario eventually did enter the game in the bottom of the 4th, and he had a miserable outing, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits (including three doubles), three walks, a wild pitch, and a two-base throwing error over three innings of work. He benefited from an inning-ending 4-6-3 DP and two runners being thrown out at the plate trying to score on singles to the outfield, or his final line would have been even worse. 

Reggie Golden earned the notorious "Golden Sombrero," striking out four times (all four times swinging), and he did it in four AB. 

Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only): 

Saturday game thread: Reds (16-14) v. Cubs (11-18)

Before yesterday's bottom of the ninth, Aroldis Chapman had allowed 5 hits, 2 walks, and 1 measly run over 13.1 IP. Friday, the Cubs got to him for 4 hits, 2 BB, and 3 runs in just two-thirds of an inning, and his ERA jumped from 0.68 to 2.57. It was also just the second time in 17 career appearances v. the Cubs that Chapman has been scored upon at all. Thus, I am counting yesterday as a moral victory and in my mind, with wins today and Sunday the Cubs can still achieve a series sweep. Or, at least a moral sweep.

Lineups for Saturday, 12:05 start:

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  • First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!

    billybucks 1 hour 23 min ago view
  • I. Hate. The. Mets.

    billybucks 1 hour 51 min ago view
  • OK Marlins -- take 'em down. Fernandez, at home, tomorrow for the Fish.

    Gotta say, though -- as much as I can't stand them, the Cardinals have had some very impressive late-inning wins against premier closers.

    billybucks 1 hour 51 min ago view
  • Very impressive that he hit a 3-2 curve ball. Such a dynamic ballplayer. If he ever learns the strike zone....

    billybucks 1 hour 58 min ago view
  • If Jason Hammel doesn't get a potato chip sponsorship deal, somebody messed up. Attaboy, Jason!

    billybucks 2 hours 54 sec ago view
  • I am looking forward to AChap facing the Cardinals.

    The E-Man 2 hours 8 min ago view
  • Sure is fun to watch them score finally. To think they were no-hit until the 7th...

    The E-Man 2 hours 20 min ago view
  • Got to admit it - it was comforting seeing Rondon come out for the eighth after just taking a two run lead ... And put the hammer down with a 7 pitch inning. Good stuff

    Eric S 2 hours 25 min ago view
  • GRAND SLAM RUSSELL

    blown the hell open...7 run lead

    crunch 2 hours 27 min ago view
  • 11 hits off Wainwright tonight. Everything going right for the Cards right now. Motherfucking motherfuckers.

    The E-Man 2 hours 36 min ago view
  • it was more no-doubt than bryant's HR. it wont make any end-of-season highlight reels, but that one was booked to leave on contact.

    crunch 2 hours 45 min ago view
  • Javy! Javy! Javy!

    How sweet was that - Cranked it!

    393 happy feet

    Eric S 2 hours 53 min ago view
  • baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaez!

    cubs take a 2 run lead in the 7th. sweet.

    crunch 2 hours 56 min ago view
  • ...and the Cards tie and take the lead in the 9th. off Familia.

    blockhead25 3 hours 33 sec ago view
  • Familia blows his first save of the season -- gives up 2 in 9th to the Cards.

    Not much going our way these days.

    billybucks 3 hours 40 sec ago view
  • bryant's back!

    no-doubt HR towering to CF...tie game.

    crunch 3 hours 18 min ago view