Angels Nip Cubs at Diablo Park
Xavier Batista and Blair Springfield each had two hits, a run scored, and an RBI, but the EXST Angels rallied for five runs in the bottom of the 8th to edge the EXST Cubs 7-6 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Diablo Park in Tempe this morning.
Rebel Ridling (appendectomy with complications) once again was a DH, getting five Plate Appearances in the first seven innings. He roped a liner into the LF corner in his first AB (but only managed to get to 1st base), then was called out on strikes in his second PA, before grounding out three times in a row (1-3, 5-3, 5-3) to complete his day at the plate. While he seems to be swinging the bat OK, he also seems to be running a bit gingerly.
2009 3rd round pick LHP Austin Kirk (Owasso HS – Owasso, OK) started the game for the Cubs, and labored through 2.2 IP (54 pitches), allowing two singles, a triple, and two walks (albeit only one run). RHP Tarlandus Mitchell followed and couldn’t find home plate, walking three batters and hitting another one in addition to allowing two singles and a double, but only one run over his 1.2 IP (51 pitches).
20-year old Dominican LHRP Marcos Perez continues to throw strikes, coming into the game today with the bases loaded and getting out of the jam with a strikeout. Perez allowed just a bunt single in 1.1 IP of work (13 pitches – 12 strikes), while striking out three. In three Extended Spring Training appearances so far, Perez has thrown 5.1 IP of shutout ball, allowing just one hit (a bunt single) and no walks, while striking out seven. And he has thrown the 5.1 IP on just 42 pitches, of which 36 were strikes. That in itself will likely catch the eyes of the Cubs Player Development people.
LHP (ex-OF) Drew Rundle pitched one inning, throwing seven balls in a row before finally finding the strike zone, at which point he threw five strikes in a row, getting a strike ‘em out/throw ‘em out DP and a 1-3 comebacker to the mound to get out of the inning unscathed.
But Carlos Rojas had a nightmare from hell outing, allowing five runs on five hits (a single, two triples, and two home runs, plus a HBP) while getting just one out in the 8th, as the 19-year old Venezuelan RHP took the loss.
The game featured one very unusual occurrence. With Charles Thomas on 3rd base and Xavier Batista on 1st and one out in the 7th, Melvin Camarena hit a pop up behind home plate that the Angels catcher caught near the screen. But seeing that the Angels pitcher was just standing on the mound watching, an alert Thomas broke for home plate and scored on what was a sacrifice fly to the catcher! (And then Batista quietly tippy-toed into 2nd base while the Angels stood around trying !o figure out what just happened).
On the EXST injury front, Manuel Pestana left the game after jamming his right shoulder while sliding head-first into a base in the top of the 2nd inning.
In EXST Cubs roster news, RHP Chris Carpenter (sore shoulder) has completed his rehab assignment at Fitch Park and has rejoined AA Tennessee after pitching in only one Extended Spring Trauining game (1.2 IP last Friday).
Here is today’s abridged box score (EXST Cubs players only):
NOTE: DH #1 Rebel Ridling batted in five of the first seven innings, getting five Plate Appearances total in the game.
X. Rebel Ridling, DH #1: 1-5 (1B, K, 1-3, 5-3, 5-3)
1. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 1-3 (P-5, F-9, 1B, BB, CS, R)
2. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 1-4 (F-7, 4-3, K, 2B, R, 2 RBI)
3. Charles Thomas, 1B: 1-3 (5-3, 5-3, BB, 1B, 2 R, RBI)
4a. Sergio Burruel, C: 0-2 (F-7, 1-3)
4b. Jose Guevara, C: 0-1 (BB, K)
5a. Manuel Pestana, LF: 1-1 (2B)
5b. Xavier Batista, LF: 2-3 (2B, 6-4 FC, 1B, R, RBI)
6. Melvin Camarena, RF: 0-3 (5-3, K, P-2 SF, K, RBI)
7. Ping-Chieh Chen, 2B-DH: 0-3 (4-3, 4-3, L-8)
8. Blair Springfield, DH-2B: 2-3 (K, 1B, 1B, R, RBI)
9. Vismeldy Bieneme, 3B: 0-3 (1-3, 6-3, K)
1. Austin Kirk – 2.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1/6 GO/FO, 54 pitches (33 strikes)
2. Tarlandus Mitchell – 1.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 2/2 GO/FO, 51 pitches (24 strikes)
3. Marcos Perez – 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 13 pitches (12 strikes)
4. Drew Rundle – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 12 pitches (5 strikes)
5. Carlos Rojas – 0.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R (5 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 2 HR, 1/0 GO/FO, 35 pitches (21 strikes)
P Marcos Perez E-1 (overthrow at 1st base on bunt single allowed batter-runner to move up to 2nd base)
Sergio Burruel – 0-1 CS
Jose Guevara – 1-1 CS
WEATHER: Sunny & very breezy, with temperatures in the 80’s.
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.
video of Maddon.
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.
#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
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.
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.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?
#Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.
Fun with FIP
- J. Hammel 3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
- J. Arrieta 2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
- J. Lester 2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
- K. Hendricks 2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
- J. Lackey 3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k
he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.
JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.
My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.
Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...
joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1
not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.
really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.
Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.
Classic Scully - great stuff.
Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)
Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:
"And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."
When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.
If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.