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May 5th, 2016

Cubs Use Long-Ball to Crush D'backs at Riverview

Jose Paniagua hammered a three-run HR, Shane Victorino belted a solo home run, Alex Bautista knocked in three runs with an RBI single, a solo home run, and a sacrifice fly, Wladimir Galindo doubled twice, singled, scored a run, and drove-in another, Yeiler Peguero tripled and scored and drilled an RBI single, and Erling Moreno hurled three innings of shutout ball, as the Cubs outslugged the Diamondbacks 12-7 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #5 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

Francis Martinez blasted a grand slam home run, Kal Simmons cranked a two run HR, Jazz Chisholm ripped an RBI double and a triple and scored a run, and Jacy Cave doubled twice for the D'backs in a losing cause.  

17-year old RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) struck out the side in a 1-2-3 5th inning for the Cubs, mixing a mid-90's fastball with a plus-curve to blow the D'backs away.  

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

May 4th

Hudson Leads Cubs Past A's at Fitch Park

Bryan Hudson hurled three innings of shutout ball with five strikeouts, Shane Victorino singled twice and walked, and Chris Pieters singled twice and scored two runs, as the Cubs defeated the Athletics 7-2 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #4 at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ. 

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

May 3rd

Is That Arrieta?

Dylan Cease fired three innings of shutout ball, Vimael Machin lined a triple off the CF Batter's Eye and scored and Alex Bautista rifled an RBI double into the LF corner to highlight a two-run 7th, and then Bautista ripped an RBI single through the box into CF and Yohan Matos followed with an RBI triple high off the LF screen (near HR) to spark a two-run 9th, as the Cubs plated five runs over the final three innings and defeated the Brewers 6-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #7 (AKA "Paul Molitor Field") at the Maryvale Baseball Park Complex in Phoenix, AZ.  

Cease threw a higher percentage of strikes (62%) today than in any previous outing (he usually struggles to throw strikes, typically throwing 50-55% strikes), breaking his curve for called strikes time & again, and humming his heater consistently knee-high at 98-99 MPH (per both the Brewers & Cubs guns -- for example, 99-99-99-98-99-99-98-98-99-99-99 in the bottom of the 2nd). He even got a swing & miss on a change-up (the pitch that is his "work-in-progress").

Cease allowed four hits (three singles and a double) over his three-inning stint, but three of the hits were opposite-field grounders, and the fourth was a broken-bat humpback liner looped over the shortstop's head and into short left. 

Cease was so dominating that one of the Brewer pitchers seated behind home plate asked "Is that Arrieta?" as Cease dropped his knee-bending hook to get ahead 0-2 and then blew unhittable gas past the last two Brew Crew hitters for strike-three in the bottom of the 2nd (stranding runners at 2nd & 3rd). It's unusual when the other team's pitchers are mesmerized by an EXST opponent who isn't a major league rehabber.  

Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only) 

May 2nd

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  • Guess the OBP of Dusty's lead off hitter tonight?

    ?

    ?

    ?

    ?

    .221/.272 for his career

  • CRAIG: Albertos was throwing both his fastball and curve for strikes today, displaying the best command I've seen from him so far. The Cubs have limited his outings at EXST, so he hasn't been stretched-out beyond one inning on a semi-regular basis.  

  • K-K-K inning for Albertos, 9/13 strikes. How did he look? All fastballs, or did he get some breaking pitches for the K's?

    Is Moreno showing any hint of improved velocity?

  • Awesome! Also, dammit! I just finished a Russell verse!

    I’m Addison Russell, flashin’ leather and muscle
    Hit a grounder up the middle, damn right ya better hustle
    I don’t miss, you know this, my D is the dopest,
    I’m lovin’ it and glovin’ it and shovelin’ it to Zobrist
    Another twin killing, score it six-four-three
    If I keep this up they’ll name another street for me
    There ain’t no SS better than Russell
    And I’m just here to do the World Series Shuffle

  • Awww shit, it's Tony Rizzle, my nizzle,
    so hot at the plate that, you can damn near hear me sizzle.
    Len and JD been calling me the main ingredient
    and opposing pitchers know the IBB is just expedient.
    And if the ump is a chump and I find myself down
    0-2 I'll choke up, still make the pitcher look a clown;
    got this lightning in my wrists, the pitch inside just can't 'cuff me,
    hitting longballs up until we do the World Series Shuffle.

  • I just was looking at the Times Home page today, and was reading about (RIP) Prince. Didn't catch the Sports...

  • Yup to that. Also really unfortunate Soler just has not been able to grab this opportunity by the balls.

  • ...and Kalish with the start over Soler. Wow.

  • With Heyward's injury/slow start, Soler's struggles, and injuries to Schwarber and Szczur -- it's a really good thing Fowler fell into the Cubs' lap. Like, a really, really good thing. I just really, really, really hope his name isn't one of the upcoming PED announcements.

  • I take heart that it's so early in the season that this is nothing but silliness. In fact, I'd be much more nervous doing this in September.

  • Heyward not starting tonight, Ramirez to Bereavement List, Patton up.

  • Addison Russell is the youngster with the hustle--
    you couldn't make his game tighter if you cinched it in a bustle.
    For the pinch you got La Stella and little Matty Szczur,
    two real "gritty" fellas. And then there's the geezer,
    grandpa Rossy, for when you need a team leader
    or just a catch and throw guy, to keep the runners at first,
    or to nab them on a pick off; he's got 'em mic'd in the shitter,
    yeah, caught with their pants down
    [MIKE D and MCA]: Like my boy ROBERT DURST!

  • E-man, you should stay away from the NY Times sports page today, based on your last comment

  • Save this post for late September please. Let us not taunt the Gods of "Cubbery" please.

    They are waiting for us, and are apt to pounce at the slightest hint of positive projection.

  • Awesomeness - bravo!

  • Thanks. If there's anyone who knows anything about insightful comments, it's definitely you.