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
it's day old news, and it's got nothing to do with the cubs, but ichiro signed a $2m deal with MIA (with a $2m option for 2017).
neat. 41 years old and damn close to 3000 hits.
also, rain delays suck.
take that giants
I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.
Per Jesse Sanchez at mlb.com, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus.
BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).
TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.
TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.
Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.
Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.
Think Baby Maddux.
Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.
Kyle is on the far left.
I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.
Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.
That was good!
Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.
My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.
Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.
Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.
How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?
Call me lost.
Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.