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Sam Koenig lofted a two-run double over the centerfielder's head with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, as the Angels rallied to tie the Cubs 2-2 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe, AZ. 

Kevonte Mitchell tripled, walked, and scored a run for the Cubs.  

RHSP Dylan Cease got the start for the Cubs and was dominating, easily retiring the first eleven Angels he faced (K, 3-U, K, 5-3, K, 3-U, 1-3, 4-3, K, K, 3-U) and firing four innings of one-hit shutout ball (the one hit being a ground single to CF with two outs in the bottom of the 4th). He issued no walks, struck out five, and posted a 7/0 GO/AO (seven weak-contact GO). None of the Angel batters hit the ball in the air against him. 

Cease's fastball sat consistenly at 98-99 MPH from the gitgo, and he threw his 79-81 MPH curve for strikes time-after-time, mixing it effectively with his heater. He also threw one or two change-ups.

Cease threw 64% strikes (the highest percentage of strikes thrown in a game by Cease so far in his pro career - minimum 30 pitches), and not only did he not walk anyone, he went to three balls on only three of the 13 batters he faced. (I've actually seen Cease outings where he went to three balls on every batter he faced). 

Today's outing may have been the most-dominating performance of Cease's pro career, rivaling his eye-popping ("Is that Arrieta?") outing versus the Brewers a couple of weeks ago.  

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

Sierra and Paniagua Long-Balls Help Cubs Gain Split with Giants

Jonathan Sierra (two-run home run), Alberto Mineo (RBI triple), Kwang-Min Kwon (RBI single), and Roberto Caro (RBI triple) contributed run-scoring hits to highlight a five-run 2nd, Jose Paniagua clubbed his team-leading 4th HR in the 6th, Edgar Rondon drilled two doubles, walked, and scored a run, and Marcus Mastrobuoni doubled, singled , and scored a run, leading the Cubs to a 7-3 win over the Giants on Field #2, and Chase Compton belted a solo HR and an RBI single, Richard Amion Jr rifled an RBI single and walked twice, and RHP Hengerber Medina and four relievers combined to toss a four-hit shutout, as the Giants blanked the Cubs 3-0 on Field #1, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ.  

Both games were called by mutual-consent after 7-1/2 innings of play. 

Now 17, Jonathan Sierra (2015 IFA - Dominican Republic- $2.5M bonus) was invited to AZ Instructs as a 16-year old last September, and he made a favorable impression, even drawing comparisons to a (very) young Darryl Strawberry (lanky teenaged LH hitting & throwing corner OF with potential to mash). But Sierra has struggled at Extended Spring Training so far, hitting just 152/243/303 (16% K-rate - 11% walk-rate) in 13 Cactus League EXST games (37 PA), and his second-inning home run today (which was his 1st Cactus League EXST HR) broke an 0-13 skid that goes back ten days. So while his future is bright, he will likely be assigned to one of the Cubs DSL squads (DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2) in the coming days.     

Here are the abridged box scores from the games (Cubs players only): 

Cub Pitchers Fan Sweet Sixteen A's at Fitch Park

Wladimir Galindo smacked an RBI double, singled twice, and scored a run, Chris Pieters singled twice, walked, stole a base, and scored two runs, D. J. Wilson drilled an RBI triple, and RHSP Pedro Silverio hurled three innings of no run/no hit ball and combined with three relievers to strike out 16 hitters and toss a five-hitter, as the Cubs defeated the Athletics 5-2 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action this morning at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.

Mike Martin tripled, singled twice, and scored both of the A's runs. 

In twelve Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (43 PA), Wladimir Galindo is hittting 333/372/462 (28% K-rate and 2% walk-rate), with three three-hit games. Galindo displays a similar offensive skill-set as Jorge Soler (extremely hard contact when he hits the ball, but not many walks and a lot of strikeouts). He has also committed five errors (two throwing and three fielding) in eleven games played at 3B (he was a DH in the other game). The 19-year old Galindo was part of the touted Cubs 2013-14 IFA class that also included Gleyber Torres, Eloy Jimenez, Jen-Ho Tseng, and Jeferson Mejia, and Galindo had a fine rookie season in 2014, hitting 278/356/472 for the VSL Cubs and leading the VSL in HR as a 17 year old. But then he missed most of the 2015 season with left wrist inflammation (at EXST) and then a fractured left hand (in the AZL), so the inconsistency he is showing at the plate and in the field right now is probably to be expected. 

As things stand right now, it would appear that Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, and either Erling Moreno, Manny Rondon, or Jesus Castillo will form the Eugene starting rotation, and Daniel Lewis, Tommy Nance, Pedro Araujo, Tyler Peitzmeier, Jared Cheek, John Michael Knighton, and Mark Malave will be the bullpen arms, with Scott Frazier, Alexander Santana, Enrique de los Rios, M. T. Minacci, and Yapson Gomez still battling for jobs in the Emeralds pen. Again, this is only as things stand right now at this point in time, because a lot can happen between today and June 17th (Northwest League Opening Day). 

John Arguello (Cubs Den) has a game report:  

link 

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

It's ex-Cub vs ex-D'back at Salt River Fields

Ramon Hernandez doubled twice, singled, and scored a run and Luis Silverio belted a two-run triple and scored a run, leading the Diamondbacks to a 4-2 victory over the Cubs on Whirlwind Field. and RHSP Chester Pimentel hurled five innings of shutout ball and combined with two relievers on a four-hitter, as the D'backs edged the Cubs 2-1 on Jackrabbit Field, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ. 

Both games were called by mutual-consent after seven innings of play. 

The Cubs have lost seven of their last ten Cactus League EXST games, and so their record now stands at 16-9-3 after a 13-2-3 start. 

Isaac Paredes (2015 IFA - Mexico - $800K bonus) provided the lone EXST Cub offensive highlight of the day, smacking a two-run HR high over the LF fence and into the parking lot (just missed hitting my ride) to put the Cubs on the board in the top of the 1st inning on Whirlwind Field. In eleven Cactus League EXST games (36 PA), Paredes is hitting 323/417/645 (11% K-rate), leads the team in RBI with twelve, and is second in HR with two (Jose Paniagua has hit three). Of the eleven Cubs 2015-16 IFA at Extended Spring Training, Paredes is the one who could skip AZL and go directly to Eugene. The one knock on Paredes is that he is definitely a below-average runner (especially for a middle-infielder), so I would not be surprised if he is moved to 3B at some point in the future. 

The game on Whirlwind Field featured the somewhat unusual (at least for Extended Spring Training) "our former guy versus your former guy" match-up on the mound, as ex-Cub RHP Jeferson Mejia (sent to AZ in the Miguel Montero deal) started for the Diamondbacks, and ex-D'back Jesus Castillo (acquired by the Cubs in the Tony Campana trade) started for the Cubs. Mejia threw 3.2 IP, walked three, hit a batter, allowed two hits (including the two-run HR to Paredes in the first), and struck out two, with a 3/6 GO/AO, and Castillo surrendered four runs in three innings on four hits (two singles and two triples) and two WP, striking out two with a 3/4 GO/AO. 

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only): 

Cubs Bats Batter and Cubs "D" Smothers A's at Riverview Park

Jose Paniagua (RBI triple off the top of the CF Batter's Eye - near HR), Wladimir Galindo (RBI double off the CF Batter's Eye), Alberto Mineo (RBI double into the right-centerfield alley), and Gustavo Polanco (two-run single through the box and into CF) contributed run-scoring hits to highlight a six-run 1st inning, and Galindo (RBI double off the RF fence) and Polanco (another two-run single into CF) tallied three more runs in the bottom of the 3rd, as the Cubs scored early and often and cruised to a 13-6 victory over the Athletics in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action Wednesday morning on Field #5 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

Cubs Overcome One-Hitter to Gain Split with Giants

Mikey Edie (two RBI singles), Beicker Mendoza (RBI double), Zack Bowers (RBI double), and Julio Pena (go-ahead two-run single) contributed run-scoring hits to help the Giants rally and defeat the Cubs 7-5 on Field #1, and Marcus Mastrobuoni belted a solo home run with two outs in the top of the 6th to tie the game (and break-up a no-hitter), and what proved to be the winning run scored in the top of the 7th without the benefit of a hit (lead-off walk, WP, GO, and an E-6), as the Cubs (held to just the one hit) edged the Giants 2-1 on Field #2, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ. 

Both games were called by mutual consent after 7-1/2 innings of play. 

Stephen Bruno (RBI single), Chris Pieters (two-run triple), and Abraham Rodriguez (RBI single) collected run-scoring hits to highlight a four-run third inning for the Cubs in a losing cause on Field #1, and RHSP Melvin Adon hurled four innings of no-run/no-hit ball for the Giants in their loss on Field #2.

RHRP Aaron Crow (April 2015 TJS) was shut-down after waming up (unknown if related to the TJS rehab). 

Cubs Latin American Field Coordinator Dave Keller and Cubs Minor League Pitching Coordinator Jim Brower are in town this week, and both were at today's EXST games in Scottsdale. Keller is helping to decide which of the Cubs Latin American players at EXST will stay in Arizona and play in the AZL and which will be sent to the DSL (the DSL begins play in three weeks), and Brower is evaluating the Cubs pitchers at EXST to determine which ones are candidates to be moved up to a full-season affiliate, which ones will be assigned to Eugene, which ones will remain in Arizona and play in the AZL, and which will be sent to the DSL. 

In EXST Cubs roster news, RHSP Jeremy Null has been moved-up to Myrtle Beach. Null was left behind at Extended Spring Training because he was slowed a bit with arm fatigue during Minor League Camp and could not get stretched-out in time for the start of the Carolina League regular season, but he got his pitch count up to 75 in an EXST intrasquad game in Mesa last week and so he is ready to roll.  

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only), followed by the updated Cubs Extended Spring Training roster: 

Snakes Sweep Cubs at Riverview

Francis Martinez smacked a bases-loaded bases-clearing three-run double, Ramon Hernandez belted a two-run double, and Gerard Hernandez drilled a two-run single, leading the Diamondbacks to a 7-3 victory over the Cubs on Field #5, and Fernery Ozuna ripped three singles, scored two runs, and drove-in another, Pedro Marquez hammered a two-run double and a single and scored a run, Chuck Taylor singled, doubled, walked, and scored two runs, and RHSP Luis Madera and three relievers combined to toss a five-hitter with ten strikeouts, helping the D'backs drub the Cubs 11-1 on Field #5, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader played this morning at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

Cubs & D'backs Split the Difference at Salt River Fields

Jeff Smith ripped a two-run triple, singled, doubled, and scored two runs, Alex Brown hammered an RBI triple, singled, walked and scored two runs, Fernery Ozuna drilled an RBI double, tripled, walked, and scored a run, Austin Byler singled twice, walked twice, drove-in a run, and scored another, Marty Herum smacked a two-run home run and singled, and RHSP Sam McWilliams and four relievers combined to spin a five-hitter, as the Diamondbacks crushed the Cubs 12-4 on Whirlwind Field, and Wladimir Galindo (two-run single), Tyler Pearson (two-run double), and Jhonny Bethencourt (RBI single) contributed run-scoring hits to highlight a five-run 7th and RHSP Pedro Silverio tossed three innings of shutout ball with four strikeouts, as the Cubs rallied to defeat the D'backs 7-5 on Jackrabbit Field, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ. 

The game on Jackrabbit Field was called after eight innings of play. 

Yeiler Peguero singled twice, drove-in a run, and scored another and Miguel Amaya belted a two-run double and walked for the Cubs in a losing cause on Whirlwind Field, and Jose Herrera and Gerard Hernandez drilled two-run singles for the D'backs in a losing cause on Jackrabbit Field.  

RHSP Junior Marte had difficulty finding the strike zone in the game on Whilrlwind Field, walking six in just 1.1 IP (he threw only 43% strikes), and surrendering two run-scoring triples when he did throw the ball over the plate.  

RHP (ex-INF) Francisco Garay and RHP (ex-OF) Wander Feliz saw their first Cactus League EXST game action since being converted to pitchers this season (they had previously thrown only "live" BP and in intrasquad games at Riverview Park), throwing an inning a piece in the game on Jackrabbit Field. Garay got through his inning relatively unscathed (although his fastball topped out at only 86 MPH), while Feliz walked the bases loaded and then surrendered a two-run single (like Marte, Feliz could not find home plate, recording only 33% strikes).  

A 17-year old 6'2 Panamanian, Garay hit just 126/190/146 with a whopping 96 K in 220 PA while playing both 3B and SS for the VSL Cubs in his debut pro season last year, and the 18-year old 6'2 Feliz hit 235/375/333 in 202 PA and 54 games (mostly in RF) for the DSL Cubs in 2015 (his rookie season). Garay received a $200K signing bonus in July 2014, so his failure as a position player is especially noteworthy. 

Stephen Bruno saw his first game action since Minor League Camp, playing 2B for four ininngs and going 1-2 (a single and a FC) at the plate on Jackrabbit Field. 

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only) 

Rockies Cruise Past Cubs As Victorino Bids Aloha to Extended Spring Training

Cole Anderson (RBI single), Wilson Soriano (RBI single), and Antony Brito (two-run single) contributed run-scoring hits to highlight a four-run 8th, Brian Carroll belted a solo HR and a two-run single, Daniel Suero drilled an RBI double and a single, and RHSP Michael Zimmerman tossed five innings of two-run ball, leading the Rockies to an 8-4 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #5 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

RHSP Jesus Castillo tossed three innings of shutout ball with four strikeouts for the Cubs.  

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.  

John Arguello has game notes from Riverview Park at Cubs Den.

link  

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

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  • been like that everytime I've been there too including Jack Murphy/Qualcomm Stadium. Cubs travel well. It was pretty loud for Angels/Cubs this year and decent for Dodgers/Cubs but Dodger fans definitely turn out better than the Padre fans.

    Rob G. 3 hours 29 min ago view
  • When I went in the 2007-2008 range, it was at least 75% Cubs fans.

    blockhead25 3 hours 42 min ago view
  • Jeff Sullivan on Kris Bryant's lack of clutch hitting in 2016. Very good stuff, unsatisfying conclusion (it's probably random).

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-one-problem-wit...

    John Beasley 3 hours 43 min ago view
  • I was at Tuesday's game in San Diego. It looked like half of Chicago was at Petco. We were much louder than Padres fans.

    BobbyD 3 hours 44 min ago view
  • We may have a chance to catch one in October. Although hell, I couldn't deal with my co-workers if we lose to them.

    blockhead25 4 hours 3 min ago view
  • think I have to miss this series too (also was at the Arrieta game last year). But in my case, just had a busy weekend with work and kids have a bunch of activities and we made it to Opening Day in Anaheim and a couple of games in Wrigley this year which we normally don't get too...so not feeling like I'm missing out this year.

    Rob G. 4 hours 16 min ago view
  • they're awful

    Rob G. 4 hours 18 min ago view
  • I hope the Cubs play three good teams.

    Jackstraw 4 hours 20 min ago view
  • First year I'm not going to a Cubs/Dodgers game in a long time. 4 month old baby kinda changes plans around. But the no-hitter I was at last year can last in the memory banks for awhile.

    I think Dodger Dogs are awful. I love hot dogs, but those are crap.

    blockhead25 4 hours 56 min ago view
  • ayyyy...get a doyer dog, then.

    crunch 5 hours 15 min ago view
  • I'm going to be at this one! Am told a Dodger Dog is just a long hot dog. Disappointing.

    Charlie 5 hours 17 min ago view
  • If my math is correct, if the Cubs play .500 baseball for the rest of the season, they will finish with 99 wins. I only just confirmed through Baseball Reference that 97 wins last year (and 2008) were the most Cubs wins in my lifetime. I think that last year while Arrieta was pitching better than Cy F. Young I didn't really get or appreciate what he was doing. I'm trying to try to grasp in the moment just how fucking remarkable this season is.

    Jackstraw 6 hours 10 min ago view
  • This is awesome.

    https://twitter.com/JeffNuich/status/769227069788131329

    (CSN Chicago will air Vin Scully's call of the Sunday Cubs vs. Dodgers game...well for an inning at least)

     

    Rob G. 7 hours 9 min ago view
  • I figured this was going to be the most meaningless regular season in Cubs history...and it is pretty much on point, although I certainly didn't think we'd have close to a 14 game lead.

    But, one bad hop in game 1 in October could change absolutely everything we will remember about this year.

    blockhead25 7 hours 46 min ago view
  • oh he's great, there's like 10 great pitchers in the NL right now that can flat out dominate though. Picking #2 (behind Kershaw) doesn't matter much to me right now. Much like whom the Cubs will play in the playoffs won't matter much, they're gonna be good teams.

    Rob G. 7 hours 59 min ago view
  • The Cubs great pitching has a lot more to do with their great defense this year and plenty of good luck  (#1 in ERA, #4 in FIP behind Nats, Mets and Dodgers with a rather ridiculous .258 BABIP against Cubs' pitchers).

    Cubs pitchers do strike out more hitters than Giants pitchers and do walk more hitters than Giants pitchers so that's a few more balls in play. Cubs' pitchers actually have a higher groundball rate though. Crawford is just really good and baseball happens.

    Rob G. 8 hours 1 min ago view