Angels Withstand Cub Comeback at Extended Spring Training
Runey Davis reached base three times, scored two runs, knocked-in another, and stole a base, but the EXST Angels scored two runs in the 8th to take the lead after the EXST Cubs had clawed their way back from a 6-0 deficit to tie the game in the 6th, and held-on to defeat the Cubs 8-6 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.
With two hits today, Davis raised his EXST batting average to .353 (.450 OBP), and with his speed and the ability to play all three OF positions, I would think Davis (the Cubs 2009 12th round pick out of JUCO World Series champion Howard JC) is a strong candidate to get promoted to Peoria.
RHP Eduardo Figueroa got the start today for the Cubs and had a very poor outing, allowing six runs (four earned) on six hits and two walks (plus a WP) in just 1.0+ IP. But RHP Yohan Gonzalez threw three innings of shutout relief (lowering his ERA to 1.29 and his WHIP to 0.86) and RHP Jadel Mendez followed Gonzo with two innings of shutout relief to keep the Cubs in the game. Mendez allowed three hits in his two innings of work, inducing two timely double plays to get out of jams.
EXST Cubs co-closer Rogelio Carmona entered the game with the score tied, and picked-up the loss after allowing two runs on a double, a triple, and two walks.
2009 5th round draft pick Wes Darvill (Langley, BC) committed his team-leading 5th error (two errors so far at SS, and three at 2B), leading to two unearned runs (although he did go 1-3 to raise his BA to .200), and Jae-Hoon Ha was charged with his 5th Passed Ball. (Ha was a catcher in HS in Korea, then was moved to RF after he signed with the Cubs in 2008, and then was moved back to catcher last September in the AZ Instructional League)
Here is today’s abridged box score (EXST Cubs players only):
1. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 0-3 (F-9, BB, 5-3, K, R, SB)
2. Vismeldy Bieneme, DH-2B: 0-3 (K, BB, K, 4-3, R)
3. Jesus Morelli, RF: 1-4 (L-9, 2B, 1-3, F-7, RBI)
4. Brandon May, 1B: 0-2 (BB, L-8 SF, K, 4-3, R, RBI)
5. Charles Thomas, 3B: 1-4 (E-6, 3-U, 1-3, 1B)
6. Jae-Hoon Ha, DH-C: 1-4 (4-6-3 GIDP, 1B, F-7, 6-4-3 GIDP, PO)
7. Runey Davis, CF: 2-2 (1B, BB, 1B, 2 R, RBI, SB, CS)
8a. Carlos Romero, C: 1-2 (1B, 1-3, RBI)
8b. Bobby Wagner, PH: 0-0 (BB, R)
9. Wes Darvill, 2B-DH: 1-3 (1B, E-6, 6-3)
10a. Cody Shields, LF: 1-2 (1B, F-9, PO)
10b. Albert Hernandez, LF: 0-1 (K)
1. Eduardo Figueroa – 1.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 1/2 GO/FO, 48 pitches (26 strikes)
2. Yohan Gonzalez – 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 3/4 GO/FO, 46 pitches (27 strikes)
3. Jadel Mendez – 2.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 2 GIDP, 5/1 GO/FO, 23 pitches (14 strikes)
4. Rogelio Carmona – 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 43 pitches (27 strikes)
2B Wes Darvill E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base and runner on 1st base to advance to 3rd base – both subsequently scored unearned runs)
Carlos Romero: 0-1 CS
Jae-Hoon Ha: 0-1 CS, 1 PB
WEATHER: Partly cloudy and VERY breezy with winds gusting up to 30 MPH, with temperatures in the 60’s
Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]
ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.
cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.
a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...
it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...
Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.
Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.