Colvin Four-Hit Day Not Enough to Lift Cubs to Victory
Tyler Colvin went 4-5 with two singles, an RBI triple, and a solo home run, but it wasn't enough, as the Cubs and the San Diego Padres played to a 2-2 tie in front of a Cactus League record crowd of 13,462 at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park this afternoon in sunny Mesa, AZ.
The Cubs had chances to score against Padres starter Clayton Richard in the bottom of the 1st (runners on 1st and 2nd with one out, but Aramis Ramirez and Marlon Byrd struck out swinging), and then again in the bottom of the 4th (runners on the 1st and 2nd with no outs, but Geovany Soto rapped into a 6-4-3 DP and Mike Fontenot tapped out 1-3 to end the inning).
The Cubs finally did get on the board with one out in the 5th, however, as Tyler Colvin mashed a home run over the RF fence off Richard (who is a lefty, BTW).
Meanwhile, Cubs starter Carlos Silva was throwing five shutout innings, before allowing two runs in the 6th (the second run scoring after he had left the game) as the Padres took a 2-1 lead.
Facing a mostly minor league lineup, Silva allowed two runs on five hits (two triples, two doubles, and a single), while allowing no walks and striking out three (6/7 GO/FO). He also gave up a couple of fly outs to the warning track, but he (generally) threw strikes, and (at least through the first five innings, anyway) made good pitches when he needed them most.
RHP Esmailin Caridad relieved Silva, entering the game with one run in, one out, and Nick Hundley (who had just ripped an RBI double) on 2nd base. Caridad struck out Matt Antonelli, but Hundley stole 3rd base and scored on an errant throw into LF by Geovany Soto. (The run was earned because Caridad gave up what would have been an RBI single later in the inning). Caridad then retired the Padres 1-2-3 in the 7th (6-3, Ks, F-8)
For the day, Caridad went 1.2 IP (30 pitches - 21 strikes), allowing just the one hit, no walks, and two K's, but he did allow one inherited runner to score.
The Cubs tied it up in the bottom of the 7th against Padres RHRP Luke Gregorson (rumored to be a possble Cub trade target), as Mike Fontenot lined a lead-off single to left (his second hit of the day), and scored on a one-out triple by Tyler Colvin. But Jeff Baker and Derrek Lee were called out on strikes, leaving Colvin (representing the go-ahead run) stranded at 3rd.
RHRP Brian Schlitter was brought up from minor league camp for today's game and pitched the 8th (14 pitches - 8 strikes, 1/1 GO/FO), allowing an infield hit and a walk, while striking out one.
After struggling in yesterday's game (when he allowed three runs on three hits, a HBP and a HR), Cubs closer Carlos Marmol was brought into the game in the top of the 9th. He walked the first man he faced, but then got an out on a 1-4 SH, before striking out the last two men he faced (essentially blowing them both away). Marmol threw 22 piches (13 strikes) in his one inning of work.
RHP Jeff Stevens was also brought up to HoHoKam from Fitch Park today, and he threw a 1-2-3 10th (P-2, F-8, Ks), disposing of the Padres on 15 pitches (10 strikes). Stevens has pitched better since he was optioned to Iowa.
The Cubs had a chance to possibly win the game in the bottom of the 10th, as Tyler Colvin lined a lead-off single (his 4th hit of the day!), but Jeff Baker bunted into a double play, and PH Logan Watkins (up from Minor League Camp) struck out swinging.
The game was called after ten innings by mutual agreement.
Andres Blanco was in the Cubs original starting lineup today (batting 8th and playing shortstop), but he was replaced by Mike Fontenot prior to the start of the game. That's because Blanco was traded to the Texas Rangers this afternoon for a Player to be Named Later (PTBNL) or cash (usually $50,000).
Fontenot made an error (booted the ball) on his first fielding chance at shortstop in the top of the 1st inning, and then he was unable to throw out a batter on a grounder in the hole in the top of the 2nd (bouncing the ball to 1st), but he played flawlessly the rest of the way, handling four chances (one L-6, two 6-3, and a 6-4 FC).
The Cubs will play the Seattle Mariners tomorrow in Peoria, before returning to HoHoKam Park on Monday.
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.
It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.
I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.
I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.
This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:
Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!
Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.
Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.
Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.
Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.
Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.
Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.
He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.
He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.
Weird home stand -- 3-1, with 2 rainouts, vs. two teams that will lose 100 games. Feels oddly disappointing.
Miserable baseball weather all week -- hopefully better weather will get the bats going. Not just walking, but actually hitting.
That strike call on LaSterlla was terrible
I was hearing some talk that John Mallee is trying to change Heyward's swing. Wonder if that is lending itself to the slow start.
at least it wasn't a "nobody showed up" stomping.
anytime you wanna jumpstart your season would be nice, heyward.