Spencer Hits Early and Often at Extended Spring Training

Xavier Batista and Blair Springfield drove-in two runs a piece in a four-run Cubs 2nd, and Matt Spencer whacked a home run over the RF fence leading-off the bottom of the 3rd, as the EXST Cubs held-on to defeat the EXST A's 6-5 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.

At Extended Spring Training while rehabbing from a broken toe suffered last month in Minor League Camp, Matt Spencer hit in each of the first five innings of today’s game (he batted in all nine innings yesterday), going 2-4 with the solo HR, a single, and a walk. He left the game after playing just five innings, possibly an indication that he has completed his rehab assignment and will be re-joining the AA Tennessee Smokies tomorrow or Monday. (Spencer was acquired from the Oakland A's last December along with pitchers Jeff Gray and Ronny Morla for IF-OF Jake Fox and INF Aaron Miles).

Trailing 1-0, the Cubs erupted for four runs in the bottom of the second inning. Spencer led-off with a line single, Charles Thomas drew a walk, and Sergio Burruel was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Then with one out, 18-year old Dominican slugger Xavier Batista ripped a double off the LF fence to drive-in two, and with two outs, Blair Springfield lined a single to right-center to plate the other two runs.

The Cubs scored their final runs of the day in the bottom of the third inning. Spencer hit a lead-off HR over the RF fence, and then Vismeldy Bieneme drew a walk, Pin-Chieh Chen singled to right (Chen’s second hit of the day) sending Bieneme to 3rd, and Charles Thomas bounced an RBI single with a lot of top-spin through the box and into CF to knock-in Bieneme.

The Cubs bullpen did a pretty good job in the middle innings, at one point retiring 13 A's batters in a row. 20-year old Dominican LHP Marcos Perez was especially impressive, throwing two perfect 1-2-3 innings, striking out three, and doing it while throwing only 14 pitches (13 for strikes!). In two apperarances so far for the EXST Cubs, Perez has thrown four perfect innings (29 pitches - 24 strikes), with four strikeouts.  If the Peoria Chiefs are in need of another lefty reliever (and it would appear they are), I would think that M. Perez is definitely a strong candidate to get tabbed. 

In EXST Cubs roster news, LHP James Leverton has been moved up to Peoria, replacing RHP Jon Nagel, who was placed on the Chiefs 7-day DL. Leverton struck out all four batters he faced in his only EXST appearance last Monday.   

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

NOTE: 1B Matt Spencer batted in each of the first five innings, getting five plate appearances total in the game.

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

1. Luis Liria – 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 1/4 GO/FO, 50 pitches (32 strikes)
2. John Mincone – 2.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 PO, 3/1 GO/FO, 34 pitches (18 strikes)
3. Marcos Perez – 2.0 IP, 0H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 14 pitches (13 strikes)
4. Yohan Gonzalez – 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 33 pitches (21 strikes)

2B Pin-Chieh Chen E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base with one out in the top of the 3rd inning – did not score).

Sergio Burruel: 0-1 CS, 1 PB

LF Manuel Pestana threw out batter 7-4 trying to stretch a single down LF line into a double with no outs in the top of the 2nd inning.


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80’s


Z might have some competition for the Silver Slugger this year. Lincecum's 3-3 with 3 RBI in the 5th in LA.

woah cora (NYM)...and this NYM/STL game is f'n good.

bases loaded, 2 out, bottom 12...carrer 0 for 1 pitcher jason motte hits for himself...strikeout. nice.

to the 13th...

14 inning games don't just expose bullpens: The FOX announcers are frigging terrible--sports announcing is generally terrible, but FOX is especially intolerable.

Just did it again with Hawkesworth. Tony, feel free to use your backup catcher at any point during this game.

Yeah, that was really strange. Bottom of the inning, runners on 2nd and 3rd, the Mets walk Pujols with Blakesworth in the on deck circle--you'd think they'd at least make it look like they were going pinch hit for him. Then bases juiced with two outs, they let him hit for himself. That's a lot of questionable.

this game is f'n crazy...to the 17th

tony larussa is officially retarded..or about to look like a genius.

now pitching in the top 18th...felipe lopez.

He doesn't look like he's ever thrown from the mound before. His throwing motion looks like he's pitching batting practice. 76 mph fastballs that he's having trouble throwing for strikes.

The crazy thing about Felipe Lopez pitching is that Kyle Lohse is playing left field. ?????

my god...it...worked...

I hate the Cardinals.

joe mather pitching now...

this is f'n stupid.

The craziest part about LaRussa's "strategy" might have been not using Franklin before the 17th when he's the home team. Who does that?

Maybe we need Mather and Lopez for our bullpen.

Seriously, I hate the Cardinals. And I hate to see such stupid managing almost succeed.

Guess you can't get shut out for 19 innings if you have Pujols in your lineup.

they're gonna score off the position players, right?

dear god.

I hear both teams are going to fire their hitting coaches after the game.

Jesus, how cocky is LaRussa?

12 hits, 10 BB's no runs. Wonder when that last time that happened was.

Not to mention trying to steal with the best hitter in 20 years up at the plate, down by one in the 19th.

No kidding. What was that steal attempt all about?

What a dunderhead.

What a game.

no doubt...and with a great ending on the "who should win" side of things.

I wouldn't call it great. I'd call it less bad. The Mets are pretty hosey with their big budget and failure to win consistently. They remind me of something I can't quite put my finger on.

Monday: Randy Wells vs. Jonathan Niese
Tuesday: Carlos Zambrano vs. Mike Pelfrey
Wednesday: Carlos Silva vs. Oliver Perez
Thursday: Tom Gorzelanny vs. Johan Santana

tough draw for Gorz...

still no lineup yet for today

Theriot (SS),Byrd (CF),Lee (1B),Ramirez (3B),Nady (RF),Soriano (LF),Baker (2B),Soto (C), Dempster(P)

will Theriot ever get a day off this season?

starting fontenot at SS doesn't seem like something lou's ready to commit to...be interesting to know how much pre-game infield fonte takes at SS whether he's playing there or not that day.

Theriot isn't going to sit on many days that a lefty starts.

But I agree--I don't think Lou has much interest in using Fontenot at SS. I think he just wanted to make sure that he had room on the roster for Nady, Tracy, and Colvin.

"will Theriot ever get a day off this season?"

After Sept 1 he'll get time off while Castro plays, unless the Cubs are in the playoff picture.

Rough go for Jason Marquis today.. did not record an out.

Final line: 0IP 4H 1BB 7ER

Here's all the damage the Brewers did:

Weeks 1B, Counsell 1B, Braun RBI 1B, Fielder HBP, McGehee bases loaded BB, Edmonds bases loaded HBP, Zaun RBI 1B.

Then Miguel Baustisa came in and gave up a single, a sac fly, and a Counsell granny.

Ten in the first for the Brewers.

Not resting Theriot will work out really well, since he has a consistent track record of running out of gas in the second half - 20 points lower avg in the second half for his career, and 45 points lower avg in September than August.

is yahoo stattracker being flakey for anyone else?

i havent been able to have it work for 2 days now...freezes at 95%

We need some Marmol aid.

Cubbery at its finest.

i propose renaming the bullpen the bullshitpen

It's funny. I had to leave to do a bit of grocery shopping in the top of the 8th. I thought, is it possible that we can finish this out without any Cubbery?

Why do I even ask? It's like I keep getting back together with a girlfriend that consistently breaks my heart. I'm Cubby whipped. I'm also fairly self loathing about it these days. How's that saying go? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 102 times, fill me up with Thorazine.

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Oh what do you know, Cubster? Go back to your day job.

    --- Ducks, puts on Cardinals cap, runs.

  • Russell had a severe hamstring last year while with the A's system, forcing him to miss the first half of 2014. I've even wondered if his injury last year was a component of Billy Beane putting him on the trade market. He was quoted saying that last year's injury was a 10 out of 10 when it happened. Last night he said his hamstring soreness was a 1/1.5 out of 10. Hamstring injuries are tricky though, so I'd expect the medical team to be overly cautious here.

  • ...I want to reinforce the observation that there was no sea of red in the crowd. The usual Cardinal fans roaming the stadium were few and far between.

    Also, almost every 2 strike pitch brought the fans to their feet. Good for those in knee rehab.

  • "1st team hit hit 6HR in a game in the postseason." rises above obvious...i checked it with the official fact-finding commission of Douche, Douche, and Douchestein. they agreed with you, but they're a bunch of f'n douches so who cares?

    btw, the cubs are 2-1 in the post-season series.

  • I should be able to watch the game on the NFL replay app, whatever that thing is called. I've got it on my iPad. This is the first year I haven't forced myself to somehow watch every game - no I take that back, last year was - in quite some time. Last year was so unbearable, no pun intended.

    You make some good points about Cutler, and I was a holdout defender of Cutler for a long time. I gave up on him a bit after one too many dumb interceptions, but last year doesn't count. Trestman was the worst coach in Bears history.

  • Nice little reportage there!. I think you're older than me. Considerably older. Maybe several generations. Working out is so essential, especially as age kicks in, isn't it? I still lift weights, and so I'm confident that when I get to be at the hip breaking age, mine won't be a statistic. But I have a ways to go for that to be a concern.

  • What was impressive to me is that the Cubs won despite poor base running, several defensive miscues, Russell leaving due to injury, Arrieta having an off game and getting knocked out early, and Rondon giving up 2 runs in the 9th. If they can win a game like that... 

  • I was there too. The crowd was absolutely electric. People were standing for every big and semi-big moment, from the first inning on. It felt incredibly strange and exhilarating to see the Cubs (the Chicago bleepin' Cubs!) score playoff insurance runs on the Cardinals. What a game. One to remember.

  • 14 in attendance. What's the record for attendance in the fall? I guess I should ask what the record attendance listed is in one of your recaps.

  • I was there too, with my grown son. This is my miracle year-- I rose to the top of the season ticket list after eight years, completely unexpectedly, and my wonderful wife agreed to put the ticket fee on the emergency credit card. The whole point of course was that the Cubs were going to be good this year, and then for a while, so to get season tickets with the guaranteed shot at the postseason was incredible timing. We got to the remote lot at 4:10 after stopping at Nhu Lan for our usual banh mi sandwiches, only to find the lot full, way earlier than normal.

  • Wrigley was electric tonite
    Not many card fans
    Video board was great, they played "there goes my hero" by foos over ryno highlights before he came out. Spectacular

    Good times hopefully they win tomorrow but think Lester will beat poopy pants on Wednesday.

    Happy 4th anniversary of Theo's signing

    Go Cubs !

  • Yeah. "Goodbye!" is a lame HR call.

    I miss Len and JD -- although, driving home from a friend's, WBBM played all 6 HR calls in a row -- and Len got to call the Bryant/Rizzo back-to-back. Very fun.

  • Lackey has been a beast against us. His stats on 3 days rest, however, not as nice. There is plenty of hope.

  • And, no dreadlocks grown yet.

  • Captain Obvious Strikes Again!!!

  • Amen, brother.