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
Sorry to nitpick -- but the first game wasn't a save.
Wow La Stella sent to Iowa and Coghlan brought up. I'm not a huge Stella fan but he has been hitting lately and is to me better than Coghlan. Neither are good defensively but I guess Coghlan can play the outfield allowing Bryant to stay at 3rd more where he's better.
Not 2nd to last but Cubs are definitely bottom of the pack in the 2nd half in oWAR and wRC+. #1 in dWAR though which is certainly a good sign for the playoffs.
I was going to say that you wouldn't want Heyward to achieve Soriano's OBP--.317 with the Cubs--but now I see that he's already done that. Pitchers have lost their fear of him.
Oh, well, at least Chapman seems to be as good as advertised.
Thanks to E-man and Quiet Man for the link on Chapman in a previous post. It's funny because I never really noticed Chapman's delivery until I saw him doing it in a blue uniform. Two saves in a Cubs uniform already. I hope they don't need him today, despite that smooth delivery.
Cubs are middle of the pack in average, 5th in OPS, 2nd in walks, 4th in runs scored in MLB. Their runs scored ranks 17th in the MLB in July.
Boston, leading everything, continues to rake in July.
Lester has given up one run or fewer in 11 starts this year. So I'd answer yes. Three of his last four starts were duds, yes. Not worried about him at all. Arrieta is concerning, to be sure. I look it at as, what he was doing was historic, so the regression was bound to happen. He showed in his start against the Mets that he's still capable, and I'd bet on him regaining his form.
marlins getting a.cashner and c.rea from SD
This is not an attack...But In what stat are the Cubs second from last in MLB, in hitting? I don't see this.
How odd the stats:
Cubs 1st in pitching in MLB
2nd to last in hitting.
In May they were 1st in both.
trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.
eric leal's (high-A) progression through the minors should be worth watching even if only projects to be an mid/end-rotation starter.
we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).
As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.
I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.
Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.
Wow - Pierce Johnson with an ERA of 8.01 in 42IP!
What a stud prospect! Must be pitching with a pierced johnson.
Looks like Ryan Williams is the only legit prospect there. That is sad...
Well it would seem that's all they need now. "Stropy" can have his moments, but he's been more consistent post-asg.
Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.
I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.