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.
Cardinal way #47
See ya on parrot chat
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