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
Which direction is wind blowing today? With Lackey a groundball pitcher, it might help Cubs if it is blowing in today and a 2-1 game instead of a 10-6 game.
I have convinced myself that Hammel's second half struggles were due to minor injuries and fatigue so with the extra rest he is going to be lights out.
Benji Molina is out of lineup
Yes. Unfortunately, as many of us, I have seen this movie before. Do not care for Hammel, and unlike other managers Joe will pull the plug quickly at least. I hope before things were to get out of hand.
Many of us are like "abused spouses" or whatever - with this Cubs stuff. You get hurt so many times, the trust rapidly erodes.
If the Cubs can get to Lackey early, its gonna be a big key to a W or L.
No idea what will happen. The Cards are the Cards and they have come back from 2-1 holes twice in the last 4 years, so I don't see them in panic mode at all. If anything, I expect the Cubs to be pressing more than the Cards today.
I want the Cubs to win because it would be great for the city, and great for the fans. But more than anything, I want the Cubs to win so I can see this team play for at least one more week this year. Never enjoyed watching a team more than this year.
Just to remember how far we have come: last year's opening day lineup was Bonifacio, Lake, Castro, Rizzo, Olt, Castillo, Schierholz, Barney, and Samardzija. It's been a fun ride this year!
BRADSBEARD: I haven't noticed any new rule or a change in the interpretation of an existing rule happening in Advanced Instructs, I don't know what rules will be tested in the AFL, although almost all recent rule changes and new interpretations of existing rules (the home plate collision rule, replay, time clock between innings, et al) do get their start in the AFL.
AZ Phil: I've heard that the AFL will be testing out a new force out rule that would affect break-up plays (like the Utley play). Have you heard anything about this new rule and any details about it? Are they testing it out at the advanced instructs as well?
Pretty sure I already know the answer to this, but since I will be in NYC next week I want to confirm... If the Cubs were to advance to the NLCS, the winner of LAD/NYM would have home field based on being a division winner (as opposed to Cubs by virtue of better record), correct?
CUBSTER: This "hammy" is on the other leg I heard last night. See you at the ballyard today young man!
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.