Cubs and Giants Split the Difference at Indian School Park
Marco Hernandez hit a solo HR, drove-in another run with a sacrifice fly, singled, stole a base, and scored three runs, to lead a 13-hit attack as one squad of EXST Cubs coasted to a 10-3 victory over one squad of EXST Giants on Field #1, while over on Field #2 the other squad of EXST Giants scored six runs in the first two innings en route to a 9-3 victory over the other squad of EXST Cubs, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Indian School Park in Scottsdale this afternoon.
Both games were seven-inning affairs, and they were played simultaneously on adjacent fields.
Iowa Cubs OF Brad Snyder (strained oblique) continued his injury rehab, playing LF for five innings and getting four ABs with the EXST Cubs squad on Field #2. Snyder drew a walk in the top of the 1st, was called out on strikes on a 3-2 pitch in the 2nd (and Snyder did NOT like the call), grounded out 4-3 in the top of the 4th, and singled and scored in the 5th. From what I have seen of Snyder so far, he has been hitting the ball with authority, he is running very well, and he is making all the necessary catches and throws in the outfield. I doubt that he will be down here much longer.
After getting shutout 7-0 yesterday at Fitch Park, the EXST Cubs bats showed some life today, especially in the game on Field #1.
The Cubs played “small ball” to plate two runs in the top of the 1st, as Vismeldy Bieneme singled, advanced to third when Marco Hernandez reached base on an E-4 (ball was kicked into RF by the Giants second-baseman), and scored on a 1-3 RBI GO. Then with two outs, Hernandez stole 3rd base, and came around to score on an overthrow by the Giants catcher that had so much juice on it that it ended up in the LF corner. Hernandez clubbed a solo HR over the RF fence leading off the 3rd, and then the Cubs scored four more times in the 5th.
Speedy 21-year old Dominican INF Gregori Gonzalez (making his U. S. debut) reached base on an error, stole 2nd, advanced to 3rd on a SH, and then scored on a Marco Hernandez SF. Wilson Contreras rifled a single to CF, and then Dong-Yub Kim smashed an RBI double off the RF fence to score Contreras. (DY Kim reminds me of a young pre-juicer Jose Canseco). Hector Suarez and Eduardo Gonzalez followed with RBI singles to cap the inning’s scoring.
The Cubs scored three more times in the 7th, as Marco Hernandez singled and scored on a Wilson Contreras RBI triple, with Contreras himself scoring on a throwing error by the Giants CF. Hector Suarez (switch-hitter - batting LH) then swatted a solo HR over the RF fence to finish the day for the Cub offense on Field #1.
The squad on Field #2 scored three runs, all coming in the 5th. Wes Darvill and Brad Snyder walked, and Johan DeJesus drove-in one run with an RBI single. Then Kyung-Min Na knocked-in Snyder and DeJesus with a two-out bloop double on a 3-2 pitch that fell between three Giants fielders in short left-center.
Both EXST Cubs starting pitchers struggled today, with 2010 4th round draft pick LHP Hunter Ackerman allowing three runs on two singles, a double, and three walks (and no strikeouts and only 53% strikes) and two WP in two innings of work on Field #1, while RHP Alvido Jimenez allowed five runs (although only two were earned, thanks to a critical fielding error by 2B Pin-Chieh Chen on what should have been an inning-ending 5-4-3 DP) on four hits and a walk (plus two WP) in 1.2 IP on Field #2.
For a guy who was a 4th round draft pick the previous June, Hunter Ackerman has really been a disappointment so far. An 8.00 ERA and 2.02 WHIP in 15.1 IP (19 H and 12 BB) at AZL Cubs after he signed, then an 8.00 ERA and 2.00 WHIP in 9.0 IP at AZ Instructs post-2010, and now a very poor first outing at Extended Spring Training. Ackerman is only 20 and lefties do sometimes take a while to find success, but I haven't seen anything in Ackerman (yet) to justify him being a 4th round draft pick.
RHP Matt Loosen (2010 23rd round pick out of the U. of Jacksonville) had the best outing among the Cubs pitchers who threw today, tossing 3.2 IP of shutout ball. And LHP Casey Harman (2010 29th round pick out of Clemson) got four outs on only nine pitches to finish things for the squad on Field #1. I would think that Loosen and Harman are probably at the top of the list should a replacement pitcher be needed at Peoria (Harman was the last pitcher cut from the Peoria squad at Minor League Camp).
18-year old Marco Hernandez (he who had the big day today) made his U. S. debut last September at AZ Instructs, hitting 250/275/278 in 14 games while learning to switch-hit, after putting up a 294/364/405 line for DSL Cubs #1 during the 2010 regular season. He is a natural left-handed hitter, and the HR he hit today was clubbed from the left-side.
One interesting thing about the young Cubs presently at Fitch Park is that most of them have plus-speed, while the big league Cubs may be the slowest team in baseball.
Here are today’s abridged box scores (Cubs players only):
SQUAD “A” LINEUP:
1. Vismeldy Bieneme, 2B: 2-3 (1B, 1B, SH+E3, L-7, R, CS)
2. Marco Hernandez, SS: 2-3 (E-4, HR, F-9 SF, 1B, 3 R, 2 RBI, SB)
3. Wilson Contreras, 1B: 2-4 (1-3, K, 1B, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI)
4. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 1-3 (K, HBP, 2B, F-8, R, RBI)
5. Hector Suarez, DH #1: 2-4 (K, F-9, 1B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI)
6. Oliver Zapata, CF: 1-4 (P-6, K, 1B, E-4)
7. Eduardo Gonzalez, RF: 3-4 (1B, 4-3, 1B, 1B, RBI, SB)
8. Blair Springfield, DH #2: 1-4 (1B, F-7, K, K)
9. Max Kwan, C: 0-3 (K, K, L-6)
10. Gregori Gonzalez, 3B: 0-2 (HBP, E-5, 5-3, R, SB)
SQUAD “A” PITCHERS:
1. Hunter Ackerman: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 2 WP, 38 pitches (20 strikes), 5/1 GO/FO
2. Matt Loosen: 3.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 37 pitches (26 strikes), 3/3 GO/FO
3. Casey Harman: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 9 pitches (6 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
SQUAD “A” ERRORS: 1
1B Wilson Contreras E3 – missed catch on what should have been a 6-3 GO allowed batter to reach base safely
SQUAD “A” CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Max Kwan: 1-1 CS
NOTE: Brad Snyder played LF and was the third batter in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th innings
SQUAD “B” LINEUP:
X. Brad Snyder, LF: 1-3 (BB, K, 4-3, 1B, R)
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 0-2 (BB, 6-3, L-8, SB)
2. Reggie Golden, DH: 0-3 (K, K, 6-3)
3a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU ORDER
3b. Jesus Morelli, LF: 1-1 (2B)
4. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-3 (F-7, F-7, K)
5. Wes Darvill, SS: 0-2 (K, BB, 3-1)
6. Dustin Harrington, 3B: 0-3 (K, 4-6 FC, 6-3, R)
7a. Johan DeJesus, C: 1-2 (F-7, 1B, R, RBI)
7b. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 0-1 (K)
8. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 0-3 (3-U, 1-3, F-7)
9. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 1-2 (3-1, 2B, 2 RBI)
SQUAD “B” PITCHERS:
1. Alvido Jimenez: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 5 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 2 WP, 35 pitches (19 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
2. Ryan Hartman: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 16 pitches (7 strikes), 4/0 GO/FO
3. Dustin Fitzgerald: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 32 pitches (22 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
4. Alvaro Sosa: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 4 K, 2 WP, 52 pitches (30 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
SQUAD “B” ERRORS: 2
1. 2B Pin-Chieh Chen E4 – missed catch on attempted 5-4 FC allowed baserunner to reach 2nd base safely and then advance to 3rd – led to three unearned runs scoring
2. 3B Dustin Harrington E5 – fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely
SQUAD “B” CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Johan DeJesus: 0-3 CS
2. Yaniel Cabezas: 0-1 CS, 2 PB
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 70’s
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.
You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.
To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.
So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?
First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!