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)
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



that new col/arz complex is amazing. i've seen a few video tours and compared to what they had in beyond night/day difference in facilities. i'm not sure how i'd feel as a player having so much open-viewed access to the workout rooms, though.

pena sits tonight (against a righty)...baker @1st, batting 5th

why baseball is awesome...

We[Kevin Towers & the Padres] used to dial it[radar gun readings] down. I know for a fact that every time Brad Penny pitched for the Dodgers in San Diego it was probably the lowest velocities he ever had. He liked velocity. He’d stare at the board. He was throwing 95-96, but we’d have it at 91 and he’d get pissed off and throw harder and harder and start elevating.

Sure enough, I checked the numbers and Brad Penny is 1-5 with a 6.47 ERA in 10 career games pitched in San Diego. Towers also admitted that the Padres “would bump it up on a couple of our pitchers” because “we felt it gave us an edge.”

That's great.

wow..they already have Zorbzilla shirts...they're sleeveless "incredible hulk" fake torn bottom-shirt 80s looking as hell.

tb has them in the booth, but they're not available just yet. "marketing" threw it together over the past 24 hours.


the ARE available, evidently...or some got given away because there's people in the stands wearing the shirt. maybe they meant it's not available online yet...*shrug*

Hey Arizona Phil,

I meant to ask you this yesterday after seeing your report but didn't get a chance. What is Luis Liria's stuff like? He had good results last year, you say he should be in Peoria and seems to have good results at Fitch whenever you report.

Also, do you think Justin Bristow is progressing in his rehab and will be ready to get promoted soon?

Thank you!

Yes Jeff Baker bats ahead of Sori and Soto.

/time for Uncle Fester to go

Uncle Fester! Ha!

Baker interestingly is one of their best hitters so far.

Sadly, Pena and Soto are not.

Nice come-from-behind win by Iowa tonight, beating the 1927 Yankees--I mean the Royals' triple-A team--by a score of 4 to 3 in Omaha, on Marquez Smith's 3-run 9th-inning homer.

The Smokies came from three runs down in the 6th, scoring eight runs in the final three innings and ending up with 18 hits, not an outrageous hit total for them. Everyone in the starting lineup tonight except the pitcher and Marwin Gonzalez (at .290) and you-know-who (at .243) is over .300. Lalli, the second-string first baseman, is hitting .348.

Zach Rosscup, the forgotten man in the Garza deal, went six innings with 8 K's and picked up his first win for Daytona.

and you-know-who (at .243) is over .300

John Gaub?

Gotta be Vitters. Time to promote him!


Things were going well with Castro and Barney hitting 1-2, baldy should go back to that. Today's Soriano, Soto, Z 7-9 has to be the strongest bottom third in the NL. Goofy bastard.

paul sulivan lulz...

"Soriano's nine home runs in April sets a franchise record, surpassing D-Lee, Lee Walls and Sammy (Sosa, not Fuld)."

also, for the "who the hell is lee walls crowd" (like me):

ah, the "one magical season" career...shame.

takes a bunt off the face...OUCH!

looks like it hit more of the bill of his helmet luckily.

1- Fox Sat. evening baseball is coming on a more regular basis...neat. they did a couple evening games last year (both yanks games).

2- the commercial advertising it with joe buck is funny

Whitesnake getting roughed up a little right now for TN. Vitters now batting #7 in the lineup.

who the what?


Vitters went 2/4 with a double and a HR.

ah yeah, i keep forgeting he's relevant. i hadn't heard of him til this spring.

Recent comments

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  • Oh what do you know, Cubster? Go back to your day job.

    --- Ducks, puts on Cardinals cap, runs.

  • Russell had a severe hamstring last year while with the A's system, forcing him to miss the first half of 2014. I've even wondered if his injury last year was a component of Billy Beane putting him on the trade market. He was quoted saying that last year's injury was a 10 out of 10 when it happened. Last night he said his hamstring soreness was a 1/1.5 out of 10. Hamstring injuries are tricky though, so I'd expect the medical team to be overly cautious here.

  • ...I want to reinforce the observation that there was no sea of red in the crowd. The usual Cardinal fans roaming the stadium were few and far between.

    Also, almost every 2 strike pitch brought the fans to their feet. Good for those in knee rehab.

  • "1st team hit hit 6HR in a game in the postseason." rises above obvious...i checked it with the official fact-finding commission of Douche, Douche, and Douchestein. they agreed with you, but they're a bunch of f'n douches so who cares?

    btw, the cubs are 2-1 in the post-season series.

  • I should be able to watch the game on the NFL replay app, whatever that thing is called. I've got it on my iPad. This is the first year I haven't forced myself to somehow watch every game - no I take that back, last year was - in quite some time. Last year was so unbearable, no pun intended.

    You make some good points about Cutler, and I was a holdout defender of Cutler for a long time. I gave up on him a bit after one too many dumb interceptions, but last year doesn't count. Trestman was the worst coach in Bears history.

  • Nice little reportage there!. I think you're older than me. Considerably older. Maybe several generations. Working out is so essential, especially as age kicks in, isn't it? I still lift weights, and so I'm confident that when I get to be at the hip breaking age, mine won't be a statistic. But I have a ways to go for that to be a concern.

  • What was impressive to me is that the Cubs won despite poor base running, several defensive miscues, Russell leaving due to injury, Arrieta having an off game and getting knocked out early, and Rondon giving up 2 runs in the 9th. If they can win a game like that... 

  • I was there too. The crowd was absolutely electric. People were standing for every big and semi-big moment, from the first inning on. It felt incredibly strange and exhilarating to see the Cubs (the Chicago bleepin' Cubs!) score playoff insurance runs on the Cardinals. What a game. One to remember.

  • 14 in attendance. What's the record for attendance in the fall? I guess I should ask what the record attendance listed is in one of your recaps.

  • I was there too, with my grown son. This is my miracle year-- I rose to the top of the season ticket list after eight years, completely unexpectedly, and my wonderful wife agreed to put the ticket fee on the emergency credit card. The whole point of course was that the Cubs were going to be good this year, and then for a while, so to get season tickets with the guaranteed shot at the postseason was incredible timing. We got to the remote lot at 4:10 after stopping at Nhu Lan for our usual banh mi sandwiches, only to find the lot full, way earlier than normal.

  • Wrigley was electric tonite
    Not many card fans
    Video board was great, they played "there goes my hero" by foos over ryno highlights before he came out. Spectacular

    Good times hopefully they win tomorrow but think Lester will beat poopy pants on Wednesday.

    Happy 4th anniversary of Theo's signing

    Go Cubs !

  • Yeah. "Goodbye!" is a lame HR call.

    I miss Len and JD -- although, driving home from a friend's, WBBM played all 6 HR calls in a row -- and Len got to call the Bryant/Rizzo back-to-back. Very fun.

  • Lackey has been a beast against us. His stats on 3 days rest, however, not as nice. There is plenty of hope.

  • And, no dreadlocks grown yet.

  • Captain Obvious Strikes Again!!!

  • Amen, brother.