Talking Stick... or Candlestick?
The EXST Rockies defeated the EXST Cubs 7-4 this morning in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Red Mountain Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale.
The game was played under clear skies but with the wind blowing out to RF at 25 MPH, as several balls fell safely (including three doubles and an inside-the-park HR) when fielders (most notably Keystone Kubs outfielders Dong-Yub Kim and Oliver Zapata) collided with each other and/or lost pop ups and fly balls in the sun and/or wind.
At one point Cubs pitcher Matt Loosen was apparently so frustrated by fielders not catching pop ups that he ran full-speed to the Cubs 1st base dugout to try and catch a foul pop, calling off 1st baseman Wilson Contreras and catcher Yaniel Cabezas (either of whom probably could have made the catch fairly easily), and then (naturally) the ball fell between all three of them in foul territory.
Both Reggie Golden and Yaniel Cabezas slammed wind-aided doubles (both near-HR) off the outfield fence, but the Rockies put more balls in the air than did the Cubs, and that turned the tide in the Rocks favor.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Vismeldy Bieneme, 2B: 0-4 (F-8, K, K, 1-3)
2a. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 0-3 (K, K, 5-3)
2b. Eduardo Gonzalez, LF: 1-1 (3B, R, RBI)
3. Marco Hernandez, DH #1: 1-4 (P-3, K, K, 1B, RBI)
4. Wilson Contreras, 1B: 0-4 (5-3, F-7, L-4, 1-3)
5. Jesus Morelli, RF: 0-3 (6-3, 5-3, K)
6. Reggie Golden, DH #2: 1-3 (2B, K, P-6)
7. Wes Darvill, SS: 0-3 (K, K, 6-3)
8a. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 1-2 (F-9, 2B, R)
8b. Johan DeJesus, C: 0-1 (E-5)
9. Dustin Geiger, 3B: 1-2 (1B, BB, 6-3 DP, SB)
10. Oliver Zapata, CF: 1-3 (K, 1B, 3-1, RBI, SB)
11a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THROUGH ORDER
11b. Pin-Chieh Chen, DH #3: 1-1 (1B, R)
1. Justin Bristow: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 42 pitches (31 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
2. Matt Loosen: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 59 pitches (40 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
3. Jin-Young Kim: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 39 pitches (23 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4. Alvaro Sosa: 0.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 15 pitches (7 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
NOTE: Sosa’s inning was stopped with one out when he reached his pre-planned max pitch limit
1. Yaniel Cabezas: 0-1 CS, 1 PB
2. Johan DeJesus 0-1 CS
CF Oliver Zapata threw out runner 8-2 trying to score from 2nd base on ground single to CF
WEATHER: Sunny and VERY breezy with temperatures in the 80’s
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.
First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.
Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.
Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.
"Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."
In the comments here: http://www.thecubreporter.com/05242016/cub-power-d...
Per FanGraphs, Cubs have a 72.5% chance of winning today. Jinx! Next highest percentage on today's games is D-backs with a 64.7% chance (Greinke vs. Cesar Vargas, in Arizona.)