Angels Fly Away with Shutout at Fitch Park
Michael Bolaski slugged a 450-ft+ two-run HR over the CF Batter’s Eye (“Green Monster”) and five EXST Angels pitchers combined to throw a seven-hit shutout, as the EXST Cubs were blanked 3-0 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.
The game was extended an extra inning to allow Cubs and Angels pitchers to get their scheduled work.
Continuing his injury rehab assignment, RHP Todd Wellemeyer got the start for the Cubs today and threw three innings (42 pitches). He allowed one run on four hits (three singles and a double) and a HBP, issuing no walks, while striking out three. The only run allowed by Wellemeyer scored in the top of the 2nd inning (lead-off double, ground out, and a sacrifice fly).
After struggling with the AZL Cubs in 2010 (8.22 ERA, 2.02 WHIP, and .311 Opp BA in 15.1 IP), AZ Instructional League post-2010 (8.00 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, and .381 Opp BA in 9.0 IP), and Minor League Camp and the first two weeks of Extended Spring Training in 2011, Cubs 2010 4th round draft pick LHP Hunter Ackerman (Louisburg JC) had what was probably his best pro outing to date today, throwing 2.2 IP of shutout ball, and allowing just one hit and a walk, while striking out five.
While the Cubs were playing the Angels on Field #3, LHP (ex-OF) Kyler Burke, RHP (ex-3B) Charles Thomas, and RHP Larry Suarez (injury rehab - unknown type injury) threw “live” BP to the most of the Cubs position players who were not in the lineup on Field #3.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
NOTE: To practice his bunting, Todd Wellemeyer took an insert-AB with no outs and a runner at 1st base in the top of the 1st inning
X. Todd Wellemeyer, P: 0-0 (2-4 SH)
1. Vismeldy Bieneme, DH #1: 0-2 (HBP, 1-3, K)
2. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-3 (5-U FC, K, K, CS)
3. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 0-3 (P-4, K, 3-U)
4. Xavier Batista, 1B: 1-3 (F-8, 1B, F-8)
5a. Chad Noble, C: 1-2 (2B, 4-3)
5b. Johan DeJesus, C: 0-1 (F-7)
6. Blair Springfield, DH #2: 1-3 (K, 5-3, 1B)
7. Dustin Geiger, 3B: 0-3 (L-8, 6-3, 5-4-3 DP)
8. Max Kwan, LF: 1-3 (6-3, 2B, K)
9. Dustin Harrington, SS: 1-3 (1B, 5-3, K, CS)
10. Eduardo Gonzalez, CF: 1-3 (K-DP, L-7, 1B)
11a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED 1st TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
11b. Gregori Gonzalez, DH #3: 1-2 (1B, 6-4 FC, CS)
1. Todd Wellemeyer: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 42 pitches (29 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
2. Hunter Ackerman: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 44 pitches (28 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
3. Ben Wells: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 32 pitches (19 strikes), 5/1 GO/FO
4. Joe Zeller: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 32 pitches (22 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
NOTE: Zeller’s first inning of work was stopped with two outs when he reached his max pitch limit for that inning
Chad Noble: 2-3 CS
Chad Noble was thrown out at 3rd base (made the third out at 3rd base) trying to stretch a double into a triple
WEATHER: Sunny & VERY breezy with temperatures in the 80’s
Don't know if Cubs will recover from "spanking" Gordo
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.