Morelli and Guyer Clutch Hits Save the Day at Extended Spring Training
Jesus Morelli drilled a two-run single to right with two outs in the top of the 9th to plate the tying run, and Brandon Guyer followed with an RBI double off the CF fence to drive in Morelli with what turned out to be the game-winning run, as the EXST Cubs rallied for four runs in the 9th to edge the EXST Angels 6-5 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Diablo Park Field #3 at the Tempe Buttes this morning.
The Angels had taken a 5-2 lead with a three-spot in the bottom of the 8th before the Cubs mounted their game-winning 9th inning rally. Runey Davis got things started, bouncing a single through the box into CF. Then with one out, Sergio Burruel and George Matheus singled to load the bases. Ping-Chieh Chen plated one run with a ground out, moving Matheus and Burruel up to 2nd and 3rd , and setting the stage for the Morelli and Guyer clutch knocks.
Guyer is at Fitch Park on a rehab assignment (he was hitting 262/400/431 in 21 games at AA Tennessee when he was placed on the Smokies DL for the second time this season on May 15th), and is playing with a pressure-sleeve that extends the length of his left arm. He was limited to playing defense (LF) only on Saturday (and he threw out a runner at home), but apparently received clearance to hit prior to today’s game. And hit he did, too, crushing two doubles, and hitting two long fly balls to the warning track in five ABs. Based upon the way Guyer swung the bat today, I doubt that he will be spending very much more time at Extended Spring Training.
Morelli also had a nice day at the plate, extending his hitting streak to 12 games and upping is batting average to .386 and OBP to .461 while reaching base three times (two singles and a walk) in five PA, and Brandon May (three singles and an RBI) and Sergio Burruel (a double, a single, and two runs scored, in addition to cutting down one runner trying to steal, and picking another runner off 1st base) also contributed to the victory.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, DH #1: 1-5 (6-3, F-7, 1B, L-6, 4-3, 2 RBI)
2. Jesus Morelli, RF: 2-4 (K, K, BB, 1B, 1B, R, 2 RBI, SB)
3. Brandon Guyer, CF: 2-5 (K, 2B, F-8, F-8, 2B, R, RBI)
4. Brandon May, 3B: 3-5 (1B, 1B, L-4, 1B, 6-3, RBI)
5a. Xavier Batista, 1B: 0-3 (K, F-8, K)
5b. Albert Hernandez, 1B: 0-1 (P-8)
6. Bobby Wagner, DH #2: 0-2 (K, BB, BB, K)
7. Runey Davis, LF: 1-4 (F-9, K, L-8, 1B, R)
8. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 1-4 (4-3, 1-3, 1B, K, SB)
9. Sergio Burruel, C: 2-4 (K, 2B, K, 1B, 2 R)
10. George Matheus, 2B: 2-4 (1B, F-8, F-7, 1B, R)
1. Tarlandus Mitchell – 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 34 pitches (20 strikes)
2. Austin Kirk – 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 3 BB, 3 K, 1/4 GO/FO, 61 pitches (37 strikes)
3. Andres Quezada - 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 3/1 GO/FO, 29 pitches (20 strikes)
4. Jesse Ginley - 0.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 17 pitches (10 strikes)
5. Corey Martin - 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 2/2 GO/FO, 28 pitches (21 strikes)
SS Arismendy Alcantara E-6 (two-base overthrow at 1st base with two outs in bottom of the 5th allowed batter to reach 2nd base and runner at 2nd base to score unearned run)
SS Arismendy Alcantara E-6 (throwing error at 1st base with two outs in the bottom of the 9th allowed batter to reach base safely – did not score)
Sergio Burruel: 1-2 CS, 1 PO
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy, with temperatures in the 70’s
watching heyward attempt to hit a fastball is alarming. he's doing bad things with stuff he should be nailing...weak popups, grounders, late swing fouls...
it's going to be next to impossible to do worse than this season, but hopefully he can at least hit a fastball with authority next year.
He's an incredible defender, base-runner and takes great AB's. A .265 BABIP is highly likely to improve next year. That being said, his power numbers are down too which is certainly concerning so I'd certainly hedge my bets with him next year, but it would be surprising if this is his new normal.
I have no deep level of expertise or analysis here, but I still like Jason Heyward. I truly wish his bat was better, but I love the defense and the feel-good nature of his signing. I might be naive, but I think his offense will improve. I'm glad he's here, and I hope he doesn't make me regret saying that!
Pay the man his money...(MVP Talk)
Kris Bryant is going to own the Cubs himself in 6 years :)
Without doing any actual research because this is the Internets, I have a feeling Bryant will break every arbitration record there ever was unless TheJedi can literally use the Force to convince him and Boras to sign a multi-year deal.
Hammel was supposed to pitch Friday, Cubs said it'll be a bullpen day instead.
Tis either a valid excuse for Hammel's recent struggles or a PR game when they try to trade him this offseason. Or possibly both
#Cubs say Jason Hammel has been pitching through elbow tightness and could have started if the team was still playing meaningful games.
Finally made it to Pittsburgh, 6 hour drive can't wait to see the game ....WTF?!?!?
Being young does have its advantages. Not that it helps Addison Russell last season.
Keith Law chat
"Nick: Speaking of players you were wrong about, do you still like the Jason Heyward contract?
Klaw: Yes, actually."
I gives player a year to get acquainted w whole Cub thing,next year will be more telling.Love the d though.
Saw Tito's comment in the last thread. Thought it was a joke.
Bubble wrap the Cubs
that's not important.
the important thing is the cubs seem to have a new defensive whizz at 2nd base according to the stats...sample size warning and all that...but i have faith in him.
imagine him having to do this 20 times a season. 6.2 innings played, 20 assists, DEFENSE GOLD!
That little switcheroo with Zobrist and Rizzo cost me 2 points in the predictions game--damn it.
We'll always have 1985. Nothing else, but we'll always have that.
Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy likely to miss rest of regular season
RVIMPENY: It's raining today so the Cubs will probably play intrasquad game(s) tomorrow and/or Saturday, but it's pretty much a day-to-day proposition, and a lot of times it's decided at the last minute.
Best bet is to check in at Riverview in the morning and ask somebody what's going on that day.