Wang Answers the Bell
Yao-Lin Wang threw three innings of one-hit shutout ball with five strikeouts and Dong-Yub Kim capped a three-run third inning with a bases loaded two-out two-run single, but the A’s rallied to tie the game thanks to some shaky Cub defense, as the EXST Cubs and EXST A’s played to a 3-3 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this afternoon
The stocky 20-year old Wang got the start for the Cubs, striking out one batter in the 1st inning and two each in the 2nd and 3rd. He did allow one walk and one single, but one base-runner was erased on a 6-4-3 DP, and the other never made it past 1st base. Wang is a native of Taiwan and was a member of the Taiwan Junior National Team prior to signing with the Cubs for a reported $260K bonus in June 2009.
The Cubs scored all of their runs in the bottom of the 3rd to take a 3-0 lead. Blair Springfield and Wes Darvill opened the inning with singles to put runners on 1st & 3rd, and then Dustin Geiger lofted a sacrifice fly to RF to score Springfield. After Pin Chieh Chen reached base on an error and Wilson Conteras was hit on the knee by a pitch, Dong-Yub Kim came through with his two-out two-run single to CF to score Darvill and Chen.
DY Kim is one of several players signed by the Cubs out of South Korea in the last few years, receiving a reported $550K bonus in February 2009. He made his U. S. debut at AZ Instructs in September 2009 and showed some indication that he could be a five-tool player, but his career was sidetracked at Minor League Camp 2010 when he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury that required surgery. He has yet to play any RF in 2011, and his throws from LF are somewhat weak. He was tried at 1B occasionally in Minor League Camp but struggled there, so now he is most-often used as a DH, although he also does play LF.
Daytona Cubs catcher Luis Flores is now on an Active Rehab Assignment with the EXST Cubs, after suffering a concussion in Minor League Camp. Flores started behind the plate today and played five innings, getting two AB (5-3 and F-9).
Also, Iowa Cubs OF Brad Snyder (strained oblique) has completed his Rehab Assignment with the EXST Cubs and has rejoined the I-Cubs, and RHP Ty’Relle Harris completed his Arm Strengthening Program at Extended Spring Training and was moved up to AA Tennessee.
Here is today’s abridged box scores (Cubs players only):
1a. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 1-3 (F-7, E-1, 2B, R, CS)
1b. Vismeldy Bieneme, 2B: 0-1 (F-9)
2. Oliver Zapata, CF: 0-4 (K, F-9, 3-1, 4-6-3 DP)
3a. Wilson Contreras, 3B: 1-2 (1B, HBP, 5-3)
3b. Gregori Gonzalez, 3B: 0-1 (K)
4. Dong-Yub Kim, DH #1: 1-4 (6-4 FC, 1B, 5-3, 6-3, 2 RBI)
5a. Luis Flores, C: 0-2 (5-3, F-9)
5b. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 0-2 (6-3, P-3)
6a. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-2 (5-3, BB, F-7, PO)
6b. Jesus Morelli, RF: NO AB
7. Xavier Batista, DH #2: 1-3 (K, 5-3, 2B)
8a. Blair Springfield, LF: 1-3 (1B, F-7, 5-3, R)
8b. Eduardo Gonzalez, LF: NO AB
9. Wes Darvill, SS: 2-3, (1B, 6-3, 1B, R)
10. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 1-2 (F-9 SF, K, 1B, RBI)
1. Yao-Lin Wang: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 GIDP, 42 pitches (28 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
2. Ben Wells: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 28 pitches (22 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
3. Ryan Hartman: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 1 HBP, 30 pitches (19 strikes), 2/4 GO/FO
4. Dustin Fitzgerald: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 40 pitches (23 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
1. 2B Pin-Chieh Chen E4 – fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely and runner to score unearned run
2. 2B Pin-Chieh Chen E4 – fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely and runner to score unearned run
NOTE: The two errors occurred on consecutive plays with two outs in the top of the 4th inning
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 80’s
Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.
He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.
If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.
If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.
Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.