Cubs Defense & Bullpen Falter in 9th

Down to their last strike, the Cubs rallied for three runs in the top of the 9th to take a 5-3 lead, only to see the Giants take advantage of a two-base throwing error in the bottom of the 9th and score two runs to tie the game, as the EXST Cubs and EXST Giants played to a 5-5 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Indian School Park Field #2 in Scottsdale this morning.  



The Giants got off to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st when Giants clean-up hitter Michael Sandoval roped a line-drive two-run homer down the LF line off Cubs starter Eduardo Figueroa.


Shut out and shut down with only two hits and three baserunners to show for their efforts through the first five innings, the Cubs came back in the top of the 6th, as Vismeldy Bieneme grounded a single to CF and Kyung-Min Na bounced a single past the shortstop with one out. Bieneme used his speed (he had 42 SB in the DSL last season) to take an extra base on Na’s single, sliding safely into 3rd on a bang-bang play as the speedy Na (rated the fastest HS baseball player in South Korea last year) alertly motored into second base. Arismendy Alcantara then hit a sacrifice fly to CF to score Bieneme with the Cubs first run of the day.


Trailing 3-1 going into the 8th, the Cubs narrowed the gap to 3-2 as Manuel Pestana reached base on an infield single, and advanced to 3rd when Melvin Camarena fisted a bloop single down the RF line. Pestana then scored on a Vismeldy Bieneme sacrifice fly to CF.


Down 3-2 going into the top of the 9th, Jose Guevara lined a single to left and Charles Thomas looped a single to CF with no outs. Xavier Batista dropped a beautiful sacrifice bunt down the third base line (that he nearly beat-out) to advance the runners up one base each, but Blair Springfield struck out with one out and the tying run at 3rd (Springfield’s third whiff of the day). Pin-Chieh Chen then swung and missed on a 1-2 pitch in the dirt for what should have been the game-ending out, but the ball bounced past the catcher for a wild pitch, allowing Chen to reach base and Guevara to score. Then with Chen running on a 3-2 pitch, Manuel Pestana blooped a single into CF, as Thomas scored from 3rd and Chen (running all the way) scored from 1st to give the Cubs a 5-3 lead.


RHP Carlos Rojas came into the game in the bottom of the 9th with a two run lead and a chance at a save, but he got into trouble right away when shortstop Pin-Chieh Chen threw a ball over the head of Charles Thomas (and with Thomas being 6’4 225+, that’s not easy to do) and into the Cubs dugout for a two-base error (Chen’s second errant throw of the game). A triple, a walk, and an RBI single later, and the game was tied. Rojas did retire the last two batters (F-7 and a K-swinging) with the potential winning run at 2nd base, but the damage was done.


One day after OF Albert Hernandez made his U. S. debut for the EXST Cubs, three more right-handed hitting outfielders who recently arrived at Fitch Park from the Cubs Dominican Academy saw their first Extended Spring Training game action. 18-year old 6’3 190 Dominican Xavier Batista (241/333/409 with a team-leading 8 HR for DSL Cubs #1 in 2009) got the start in RF and hit 5th, 20-year old 5’11 155 Venezuelan Manuel Pestana (239/340/315 for DSL Cubs #1 in 2009) played LF and hit 8th, and 20-year old 6’4 225 Dominican Melvin Camarena (271/319/376 for DSL Cubs #2 in 2009) was DH #2 and batted 9th, and each contributed in some way to run-scoring innings.


Here is today’s abridged box score (EXST Cubs players only):


LINEUP:
1. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 1-4 (F-7, P-5, 1B, K)
2. Arismendy Alcantara, 2B: 1-3 (1B, 6-3, F-8 SF, 4-3, RBI)
3a. Sergio Burruel, C: 0-3 (4-3, K, K)
3b. Jose Guevara, C: 1-1 (1B, R)
4. Charles Thomas, 1B: 1-2 (BB, 4-3, BB, 1B, R, SB)
5. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-3 (K, 5-3, K, 5-4 SH)
6. Blair Springfield, DH #1: 0-4 (K, 5-3, K, K)
7. Pin-Chieh Chen, SS: 1-4 (F-9, 1B, 4-3, K, R)
8. Manuel Pestana, LF: 2-4 (L-5, 6-4 FC, 1B, 1B, R, 2 RBI)
9. Melvin Camarena, DH #2: 1-4 (K, K, 1B, 5-3, SB)
10. Vismeldy Bieneme, 3B: 1-2 (K, 1B, F-8 SF, R, RBI)


PITCHERS:
1. Eduardo Figueroa – 3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 1 PO, 2/5 GO/FO, 39 pitches (26 strikes)
2. Frank Batista – 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1/5 GO/FO, 31 pitches (20 strikes)
3. Danny Keefe – 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 2/2 GO/FO, 26 pitches (16 strikes)
4. Carlos Rojas – 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 22 pitches (14 strikes)


ERRORS (2):
1. SS Pin-Chieh Chen E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base with one out in the bottom of the 5th)
2. SS Pin-Chieh Chen E-6 (two-base throwing error leading off bottom of the 9th, eventually leading to unearned run scoring)


OUTFIELD ASSIST:
CF Kyung-Min Na threw out baserunner 8-5 trying to advance from 2nd to 3rd base on a fly out to CF


ATTENDANCE: 10


WEATHER: Mostly sunny with temperatures in the 70’s

Comments

Phil, looks like the roster keeps expanding. I am waiting for Joel Altagracia to show up.

Phil,

Just wondering if you've had any Dong-Yub Kim sightings? He seemed to me to be the most promising Asian signing from last year. Is he here in the states yet and simply not playing, or has he not even arrived yet?

And thank you very much for these updates, btw. I literally would have no idea about these prospects if it weren't for your reports.

Submitted by Hrubes20 on Tue, 04/13/2010 - 4:00pm.
Phil,

Just wondering if you've had any Dong-Yub Kim sightings? He seemed to me to be the most promising Asian signing from last year. Is he here in the states yet and simply not playing, or has he not even arrived yet?

And thank you very much for these updates, btw. I literally would have no idea about these prospects if it weren't for your reports

===========================================

HRUBES20: Dong-Yub Kim is injured and is not presently active, although he is at Fitch Park. He has been out of action for at least two weeks, maybe three. I don't know what exactly is wrong with him, and I don't know when he is expected back.

Ricky Romero no-no against WSox w/ 2 outs in the 7th

and Aj Pierzinski fakes getting hit in the foot, hopping on the wrong foot but the umps still buy it...followed by a Al Rivers HR, sheesh.

1-2-3 inning for Gregg striking out the first 2 batters...

Gregg? Where was Frasor? I thought he was Toronto's closer. Frasor is still listed as the closer on Toronto's depth chart.

Frasor had a BS last night on a Teehan HR.

I think the Jays have had a save chance in every game.

Sore elbow.

Jeff Gray recaled.

(Radio report)

The Trib says fore-arm strain for Caridad.

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2010/04/...

I suspect this injury didn't just crop up in the last day or two.

Okay, so who had Caridad as the first to the DL in our pool?

And Gray as the first callup? I had a tough time deciding between Gray and Gaub. I chose poorly.

Is there a link anywhere to the filled-in contest grid?

I think I chose Gray... but I may have been a moron and chosen Sam Fuld.

I doubt anyone had Caridad first to the DL. He's supposed to be our rubber arm in the pen!

I had Silva, and I don't think it will be long for him. This is definitely a fictional injury.

I had Gray, too. I was hoping for the two-fer

What in the world was I thinking with most of those answers? Baker first to the DL and most plate appearances in the #8 spot as part of the short side of a platoon? Sam Fuld first callup with our bullpen? I gotta quit drinking.

Thanks for the report, Phil.

1. I thought I had missed something and the MLB Cubs had played yesterday, judging from your headline.

2. I hope Arismendy Alcantara and Vismeldy Bieneme make the Cubs, preferably before Santo retires from the broadcast booth!

CarrieMuskat: #cubs lineup wed is ss theriot, rf fuke, 3b ramirez, cf byrd, 1b nady, lf soriano, 2b font, c soto, p wells

she also has the Gray-Caridad roster move on twitter

uh oh no dlee

"Chicago Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee will be held out of Wednesday's game against the Milwaukee Brewers. Lee is still suffering from inflammation in his right thumb, which he aggravated in Monday's 9-5 win over the Brewers."

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/news/st...

MIAMI (AP)—Dusty Baker was in mid-sentence, discussing the Cincinnati Reds’ second successive extra-inning victory, when he lost his train of thought and stammered to a halt.

“I can’t even think,” he said

It's because he's a managing genius.

Recent comments

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  • Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.

    billybucks 32 min 52 sec ago view
  • Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.

    billybucks 1 hour 16 min ago view
  • There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!

    billybucks 1 hour 17 min ago view
  • Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.

    billybucks 1 hour 18 min ago view
  • Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.

    Jackstraw 1 hour 21 min ago view
  • Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.

    Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.

    billybucks 1 hour 22 min ago view
  • Baez still learning

    jacos 1 hour 50 min ago view
  • heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.

    he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.

    crunch 2 hours 54 min ago view
  • stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.

    that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.

    crunch 3 hours 59 min ago view
  • brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.

    crunch 4 hours 48 min ago view
  • Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.

    VirginiaPhil 9 hours 19 min ago view
  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 1 day 30 min ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 1 day 35 min ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 1 day 40 min ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 1 day 52 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 1 day 1 hour ago view