Long Balls & Stolen Bases Lead Cubs to Victory over Brew Crew
Reggie Golden and Marco Hernandez ripped home runs and the EXST Cubs stole five bases en route to a 7-4 victory over the EXST Brewers in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Paul Molitor Field at the Maryvale Baseball Complex in Phoenix this morning.
Doug Davis (2010 elbow surgery rehab) got the start for the Cubs and threw four innings (62 pitches – 44 strikes), allowing one run on four hits (a triple, two doubles, and a single) and a walk, with five strikeouts (four swinging) and one WP (and a nifty pick-off, too). Davis mixed a slow fastball with a slower curve and a really slow change-up to generally keep the young Brewers hitters off-stride, although when they hit the ball, it was hit with authority. Besides the four hits (three XBH) allowed by Davis, the veteran soft-tossing lefty’s day also featured three “loud” hard-hit line drive outs (one of which required an inning-ending run-saving spectacular diving catch by LF Jose Valdez).
Angel Guzman threw an 11-pitch 1-2-3 5th inning (6-3, P-5, 2-3) in relief of Davis, as the right-hander continues his rehab from 2010 shoulder surgery.
Mixing a 91 MPH fastball with a slow curve, a change-up, and a wipe-out hard slider, Matt Loosen (Cubs 2010 23rd round draft pick out of U. of Jacksonville) followed-up his eight-strikeout performance (over 2.2 IP) versus the EXST Rockies last week with four more strikeouts in two innings of work (40 pitches) today. The 22-year old 6'2 right-hander did struggle a bit with his control, however, throwing only 53% strikes and walking two.
The Cubs took the lead in the top of the 1st inning, as Marco Hernandez (batting LH) cracked a two-run home run (his second EXST HR) over the RF fence, driving-in Jose Valdez who had reached base on a one-out opposite-field line-drive single to left. Hernandez has some pop when he hits left-handed, but is a "slap hitter" when batting from the right side. (A natural lefty swinger, Hernandez learned to switch-hit at AZ Instructs last fall).
Cubs 2010 #2 draft pick Reggie Golden clubbed a solo HR over the LF fence to lead-off the top of the 2nd, and the Cubs took a 4-0 lead after Dong-Yub Kim drew a walk, was moved up to 2nd base on a Doug Davis sac-bunt, and scored on a Wes Darvill line-drive RBI single to CF.
After the Brewers tied the score at four with a three-spot off RHP Justin Bristow (2010 non-TJS elbow surgery rehab) in the bottom of the 7th, the Cubs came right back in the top of the 8th with three runs of their own. Wes Darvill singled to open the inning, and after PH Vismeldy Bieneme and Kyung-Min Na drew one-out walks to load the bases, speedy Jose Valdez drove-in the go-ahead run with a FC, just barely beating the relay to 1st base on what otherwise could have been an inning-ending (and rally-killing) 6-4-3 DP. Valdez and Vismeldy Bieneme then pulled off a double-steal (with Bieneme scoring and Valdez taking 2nd base, and then Valdez advancing to 3rd base on an overthrow), and Valdez scored when Marco Hernandez reached base on an E-6.
In EXST Cubs roster news, LHP Casey Harman (2010 29th round draft pick - Clemson) has been promoted to Peoria, and catcher Chad Noble (Cubs 2010 37th round draft pick - Northwestern) has been sent to Extended Spring Taining from Peoria. Harman was the #1 starter (Friday night starter) at Clemson, but the Cubs have worked him exclusively as a lefty reliever going back to his pro debut at AZ Instructs last fall (8.64 ERA – 2.04 WHIP - .359 Opp BA - 8.1 IP, 14 H, 8 R (8 ER), 3 BB, 8 K, 1 WP, 2 PO, 3/7 GO/FO, 7 GAMES at AZ Instructs) and at Minor League Camp and EXST this season (8.31 ERA - 1.61 WHIP - .350 Opp BA - 4.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 10 K, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 3 GAMES at EXST). He racked-up nine strikeouts over his last two EXST games (three innings).
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
NOTE: To practice his bunting, Doug Davis took an insert-AB in the top of the 1st, 2nd, and 5th innings, striking out (foul bunt) batting fifth with a runner on 1st base and one out in the 1st inning, laying down a sacrifice bunt batting third with a runner on 1st base and no outs in the 2nd inning, and striking out (bunted through pitch) batting third with a runner at 1st base and one out in the 5th inning.
X. Doug Davis, P: 0-2 (K, 3-4 SH, K)
1. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 1-3 (K, K, 1B, BB)
2. Jose Valdez, LF: 1-3 (1B, 4-3, 5-3 SH, 6-4 FC, 2 R, RBI, 2 SB)
3. Marco Hernandez, SS: 1-4 (HR, F-7, F-7, E-6, R, 2 RBI)
4. Jesus Morelli, DH-RF: 1-4 (1B, K, 6-3, 6-3, 2 SB)
5. Wilson Contreras, 3B: 1-3 (BB, 1B, K, F-9, 2 CS)
6. Reggie Golden, DH #2: 2-4 (HR, K, 1B, L-9, R, RBI)
7. Dong-Yub Kim, 1B: 1-3 (BB, P-2, 6-4-3 DP, 1B, R)
8. Wes Darvill, 2B: 2-3 (1B, BB, 1B, F-7, R, RBI)
9a. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 1-2 (5-3, 1B)
9b. Johan DeJesus, C: 0-1 (4-3)
10a. Oliver Zapata, RF-DH: 0-2 (K, K)
10b. Vismeldy Bieneme, PH: 0-0 (BB, R, SB)
1. Doug Davis: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 1 PO, 62 pitches (44 strikes), 1/5 GO/FO
2. Angel Guzman: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 B, 0 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 11 pitches (6 strikes)
3. Justin Bristow: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 2 BALKS, 36 pitches (23 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
NOTE: Bristow’s second inning was stopped with two outs when he reached his max pitch limit
4. Matt Loosen: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 40 pitches (21 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
1. 1B Dong-Yub Kim E3 – fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely
2. CF Kyung-Min Na E8 – fielding error allowed batter to advance an extra base on a single to CF
3. C Johan DeJesus E2 – throwing error (overthrow) on stolen base at 3rd base allowed runner to score
Johan DeJesus: 0-1 CS, 1 E (see above)
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 80’s
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.
Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.
soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.
he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.
j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.
so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.
im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.
That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.
9 pitches in and this game already rules.
HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).
...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.