Rivas Leads Cubs to Victory at Fitch
Luis Rivas singled, doubled, and homered, scored twice, and drove-in four runs, and Ryan Freel reached base four times and scored three runs, leading the EXST Cubs to a 7-4 victory over the EXST A's at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning in Mesa.
Two Chicago Cubs (Ryan Freel and Aaron Miles) and one Iowa Cub (Luis Rivas) rehabbing from injuries at Fitch Park hit 1-2-3 in each of the first four innings, and were responsible for most of the Cubs scoring.
And all three rehabbers looked to be 100% healthy, too. Freel and Rivas (both rehabbing from hamstring injuries) looked just fine running hard around the bases, and Freel (in particular) was running with unbridled abandon
Notre Dame outfielder A. J. Pollock played CF for all nine innings and got eight plate appearances, as the Cubs Scouting Department tries to figure out who they will select with the team's 1st round pick (#31 overall) in next week's Rule 4 Draft.
19-year old Venezuelan bonus baby (and Carlos Zambrano clone) RHP Larry Suarez got the start on the mound for the Cubs, and appeared to be overthrowing a bit, as he was pitching in front of practically the entire Cubs Scouting Department and Minor League Pitching Coordinator Mark Riggins. (Both Riggins and Cubs Minor League Hitting Coordinator Dave Keller have been at Fitch Park all week).
Suarez labored throughout his entire outing, and was relieved before he could complete three innings. Although he struck out the side, Suarez surrendered an unearned run in the top of the 1st on a double, a single, and an E-3 by 1B Sean Hoorelbeke on a pick-off attempt, and then the big right-hander gave up an earned run in the top of the 2nd on back to back doubles. He was removed from the game with runners at 2nd and 3rd and two outs in the top of the 3rd when he reached his max pitch count.
The Cubs offense, however, was up for the challenge, and scored six runs in the first three innings.
Freel reached base on a catcher's interference (E-2) leading off the bottom of the 1st, and advanced to 3rd on a one-out double by Rivas. After a walk loaded the the bases, Sean Hoorelbeke struck out, but then Matt Cerda walked with the bases loaded to force-in the 1st Cubs run.
The Cubs scored three more runs in the 2nd, when Freel and Miles led-off the inning with consecutive singles (with both runners advancing an extra base on Miles' single when the A's left-fielder bobbled the ball), and then both runners scored on an RBI single to center by Rivas. After Rivas moved up to 2nd base on a balk, Juan Medina drove him in with a line single to center.
The Cubs plated two more runs in the bottom of the 4th on a lead-off single by Freel followed by a one-out towering two-run homer onto 8th Street by Rivas, and then the Cubs completed their scoring in the 8th.
Tomorrow's Extended Spring Training game at the A's camp at the Papago Baseball Complex in Phoenix has been canceled because the Cubs want to have a closed "Camp Day" work-out for potential draft picks for their scouts at Fitch Park So today's game concluded the Cubs Extended Spring Training schedule.
Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only). Note that the Cubs took their at bats in the bottom of the 9th even though they already had won the game, because the A's pitcher needed another inning of work, Freel-Miles-Rivas-Pollock hit 1-2-3-4 in each of the first four innings, Pollock led-off innings 5-6-7-8-9, and Soto remained in the game defensively in LF after he was replaced in the batting order by Guevara.
1a. Ryan Freel, DH #1: 2-2 (E2-CI, 1B, BB, 1B - 3 R, 1 PO)
1b. Jose Made, DH #1: 1-2 (L-7, 1B)
2a. Aaron Miles, 3B: 1-4 (F-7, 1B+E-7, F-8, F-7 - 1 R)
2b. Dwayne Kemp, 2B: 0-2 (E-5, F-9)
3a. Luis Rivas, 2B: 3-4 (2B, 1B, P-4, HR, - 2 R, 4 RBI)
3b. George Matheus, 3B: 1-2 (1B, FC+E4)
4. A. J. Pollock, CF: 1-6 (BB, P-6, BB, K, F-8, K, 1B, F-8 - 1 R, 1 SB)
5. Sean Hoorelbeke, 1B: 0-3 (K, L-8, K)
6. Matt Cerda, DH #2: 0-1 (BB, K, BB - 1 RBI)
7. Juan Medina, C-DH #3: 2-2 (1B, 1B - 1 RBI, 1 CS)
8a. Kevin Soto, LF: 0-2 (K-DP, 4-3)
8b. Jose Guevara, PH-C: 0-2 (K, P-3)
9a. Robert Bautista, SS: 0-1 (BB, F-8 - 1 CS)
9b. Logan Watkins, SS: 1-1 (1B)
10. Sean Williams, RF: 0-2 (L-7, K)
1. Larry Suarez - 2.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 2/1 GO/FO
2. Eduardo Figueroa - 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 4 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/FO
3. Yohan Gonzalez - 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 PO, 1/3 GO/FO
4. Melvin Vasquez - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 4/0 GO/FO
1B Sean Hoorelbeke - ball bounced off his glove on pick-off attempt at 1st base, allowing runner to advance to 3rd base and eventually score unearned run.
P Yohan Gonzalez - threw attempted pick-off at 2nd base into CF, allowing runner to advance to 3rd base.
Juan Medina - 1 PB
Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.
Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.
He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.