Shark Attack and Z Sighting at Fitch!
Today was an off day for most of the Cubs, but not for Carlos Zambrano and Jeff Samardzija, as Big “Z” and the Shark traveled a half-mile south down Center Street to Fitch Park to get in some additional work.
Zambrano made the trip just so he could take pre-game Batting Practice with the Iowa Cubs position players, but Samardzija was sent to Fitch by Manager Lou Piniella and Pitching Coach Larry Rothschild specifically to throw some innings in a game.
Competing with Carlos Silva, Tom Gorzelanny, and Sean Marshall for a spot in the Cubs starting rotation, Samardzija last pitched in a Cactus League game last Friday, so today was the day he would normally be scheduled to pitch, but with the off day for the big club, pitching in a minor league intrasquad game was the next-best alternative.
Samardzija had a poor outing last time out, and although he did throw three no run/no hit innings in today's minor league intrasquad game, he also struggled with his control, at one point walking three consecutive AA Tennessee hitters (Matt Spencer-Kyler Burke-Ryan Flaherty) with two outs in the top of the 2nd, before getting Kevin Soto to fly out to the warning track in LF to end the inning.
The Smokies scored their only run of the game in top of the 9th off LHRP Dustin Sasser, as Jason James and Josh Vitters crushed doubles off the LF fence (and that was James' second two-bagger of the day).
Hard-throwing RHP Rafael Dolis got the start for Tennessee, one day after the Cubs optioned him to AA. He had a bad first inning, as Brandon Guyer led-off by ripping a triple into the right-center alley. Then Jake Opitz sliced a double into the LF corner, and after Ty Wright advanced Opitz to third with a grounder to the right side of the infield, veteran Jason Dubois dumped a broken bat single into CF to score Opitz.
The I-Cubs added three more runs in the 9th. Russ Canzler singled and then sole second. before scoring on a one-out double into the left-center alley by Steve Clevenger. After Tony Thomas reached base on a two-out Ryan Flaherty error, Clevenger scored and Thomas advanced to 2nd base on a Hank Williamson wild pitch, and then Thomas scored on a Mario Mercedes bloop single into short right center.
The Cubs minor league squads have been rearranged in preparation for the first minor league Spring Training games tomorrow, with a 5th squad (Boise/Mesa/EXST) being formed from among players moved down from Peoria, Daytona, and Tennessee.
Today’s intrasquad games featured Peoria versus Daytona on Field #2, and Tennessee versus Iowa on Field #3.
Here is the the abridged box score & statistical summary from today’s Iowa-Tennessee game:
NOTE: Some innings were stopped prior to three outs because the pitcher had reached his max pitch count for that inning, while other innings were extended beyond three outs to allow a pitcher to throw more pitches. Also, Blake Lalli PH for Steve Clevenger in the 6th, but then Clevenger returned to the game as DH #2 in the same slot in the batting order in the 9th, and Lalli took his 2nd AB in the #4 slot in the batting oder (replacing Jason Dubois both at bat and in the field) in the 8th.
AA TENNESSEE LINEUP:
1. Brett Jackson, DH #1: 0-4 (F-7, 4-3, 1-U, 3-1)
2. D. J. Lemahieu, DH #2: 1-4 (P-3, 5-3, 1B, Ks)
3. Jason James, LF: 2-4 (Ks, 2B, 1-3, 2B, R)
4. Marquez Smith, 2B: 0-3 (4-3, 1-3, HBP, P-2)
5. Josh Vitters, 3B: 1-4 (P-7, 5-3, 5-4-3 GIDP, 2B, RBI, PO)
6. Matt Spencer, 1B: 0-1 (BB, HBP, F-7, SB)
7. Kyler Burke, RF: 0-1 (BB, BB, F-7)
8. Ryan Flaherty, SS: 1-2 (BB, Kc, 3B)
9. Kevin Soto, CF: 0-3 (F-7, P-4, P-8)
10a. Luis Flores, C: 0-2 (Ks, F-8)
10b. Mark Reed, C: 0-1 (Ks)
AA TENNESSEE PITCHERS:
1. Rafael Dolis – 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 38 pitches (23 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
2. Todd Blackford – 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 20 pitches (10 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
3. David Cales – 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 21 pitches (14 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
4. Luke Sommer – 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 20 pitches (13 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
5. Chris Siegfried – 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 18 pitches (12 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
6. Ryan Buchter – 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 PO, 18 pitches (15 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
7. Hank Williamson – 0.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 22 pitches (14 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
AAA IOWA LINEUP:
1a. Brandon Guyer, CF: 2-3 (3B, 1B, 6-3, R)
1b. Tony Campana, CF: 1-1 (1B, PO)
2. Jake Opitz, 3B: 1-4 (2B, 1-3, L-9, Ks, R, RBI)
3a. Ty Wright, LF: 0-3 (4-3, 6-3, 5-3)
3b. Matt Camp, LF: 0-1 (Ks)
4a. Jason Dubois, 1B: 1-2 (1B, HBP, Kc, RBI, SB)
4b. Blake Lalli, PH-1B: 0-2 (6-3, 4-3)
5. Russ Canzler, DH-RF: 1-3 (BB, Kc, 1-U, 1B, R, SB)
6. Smaily Borges, RF-DH: 0-3 (Ks, BB, L-8, FC)
7. Steve Clevenger, C-DH: 2-3 (4-3, 1B, 2B, R, RBI, CS)
8a. Nate Samson, SS: 1-2 (P-4, 1B, SB)
8b. David Macias, SS: 0-2 (5-3, P-4)
9. Tony Thomas, 2B: 0-4 (5-3, Kc, Kc, E-6, R)
10. Mario Mercedes, DH-C: 1- 4 (4-3, F-9, F-7, 1B, RBI)
AAA IOWA PITCHERS:
1. Jeff Samardzija – 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K, 46 pitches (25 strikes), 3/4 GO/FO
2. Mitch Atkins – 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 39 pitches (25 strikes), 4/2 GO/FO
3. Gregory Reinhard – 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 1 HBP, 18 pitches (11 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
4. Jake Muyco – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 13 pitches (9 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
5. Dustin Sasser - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 14 pitches (7 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
Ryan Flaherty (TENN) throwing error E-6 led to two unearned runs scoring in the 9th.
Luis Flores (TENN): 1-3 CS
Mark Reed (TENN): 0-1 CS
Steve Clevenger (IOWA): 0-1 CS
Mario Mercedes (IOWA): 1 PO (Vitters at 2nd base)
I don't know the score of the Peoria-Daytona intrasquad game, but I do know that Daytona RF Nelson Perez was summariliy pulled out of the game by Player Development Director Oneri Fleita in the bottom of the 1st inning for not running out a ground ball.
I love winning! It's, like, better than losing?
You lollygag the ball around the infield. You lollygag your way down to first. You lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you? Larry!
Its too bad Warren didnt get to pitch. He would have saved us.
Whoa -- that Contreras play in the 8th looked too much like a "Schwarber" -- nearly crashed into the wall going full speed, with Heyward doing the same.
New rule: if you are a catcher playing LF, and find yourself sprinting after a fly ball in the gap -- stop, let the CF go after it and get ready to play it off the wall.
Cubs have no spark and no life. Pretty boring to watch these days.
I thought trips to Miami were supposed to be fun. This one sucked.
The bottom half of the bullpen now turns close games into blowout losses. Not good.
Once Fowler went to the DL, the team went into the tank. Wonder if he'll get any love this offseason? Probably not.
6IP, 2ER. The last one scored because of another botched Zobrist DP turn.
And now, a bad throw by KB. Sloppy.
What is it with Hammel always starting well and sucking after a couple months?
Ahhh...sad. Lke a few of you here, I saw him play during the '69-'71 seasons. He was the "hot Zobrist" for the club in August/September of '69 while everyone else was fizzling out...
I predict: "They will play hard and if they give the same effort every day, they'll win a lot of games."
OK, boys -- find a way to win today.
There's some BA is missing too, here's all signing bonus BA doesn't have some:
-6 Hockin $241,000 (slot price), 7 Cruz $75,000 (saved $110,00), 8 Ridlings $120,000 (saved $53,800), 9 Robinson $30,000 (saved $132,300), so far the Cubs have saved an extra $297,100
Zobrist (2B), Hayward (CF), Bryant (3B), Rizzo, Contreras (LF), Montero, Russell, Coghlan (RF), Hammel
Also -- despite losing 6 of their last 10, the Cubs picked up a game on both STL and PIT during that period. Weird, given that they swept PIT and were swept by STL.
Also, I'd like to know if there are numbers to back up my suspicion that there are a lot more fast starts than late June romps. This seems like a time where everybody not named Willson Contreras is looking a little tired and/or banged up a bit.
For once, the Cubs got off to a fast start. Seems like I've been waiting for that for 50 years.Everybody is really gunning for this team, too. It's their playoffs.