Triple City in Seven Run Cubs 6th Trips A's at Fitch Park
Marco Hernandez, Jesus Morelli, and Yaniel Cabezas ripped run-scoring triples to highlight a seven-run 6th, as the EXST Cubs rallied from an early 4-1 deficit to defeat the EXST Athletics 9-6 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.
EXST games usually are played as nine inning games where the home team takes an AB in the bottom of the 9th even if it is ahead, but this morning’s game was stopped after eight innings when both the A’s and Cubs ran out of available pitchers.
Angel Guzman (2010 shoulder surgery rehab) got the start for the Cubs and went more than one inning for the first time since his surgery. The right-hander breezed through his first inning of work, throwing an 11-pitch 1-2-3 1st inning (F-7, K, 4-3), but then he began to falter in his second inning (F-8, BB, 2B, 4-3, BB), throwing 20 pitches (but only ten strikes) before being relieved with two outs, one run in, and runners at the corners.
Gooz was quite obviously frustrated with his inability to throw strikes in the 2nd inning, cursing himself when he bounced his final pitch (a curve) into the dirt on a 3-2 pitch for ball four. While he has his fastball velocity up to 92 MPH, he also has control lapses from time-to-time, especially if he has to throw more than a dozen pitches in an inning. So don’t expect to see Angel Guzman in Chicago anytime soon.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Vismeldy Bieneme, 2B: 3-4 (3B, K, 1B, BB, 1B, R)
2. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 2-2 (BB, BB, 1B, 3B, BB, R, 3 RBI)
3. Wilson Contreras, 3B: 1-4 (5-4 FC, P-4, 2B, HBP, K, R)
4. Marco Hernandez, SS: 1-4 (P-5, 4-3, 3B, K, R, RBI)
5. Dong-Yub Kim, DH: 1-4 (K, 1B, K, K, RBI)
6a. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-1 (BB, F-8)
6b. Eduardo Gonzalez, RF: 1-2 (1B, K, R, RBI)
7. Chad Noble, 1B: 1-4 (6-4-3 DP, K, E-5, 1B, R)
8. Jesus Morelli, LF: 1-3 (BB, 4-3, 3B, F-9, R, 2 RBI)
9. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 1-4 (6-3, 1B, E-4, K, 2 R, RBI)
1. Angel Guzman: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 31 pitches (17 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
2. Alvido Jimenez: 2.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 50 pitches (31 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
3. Alvaro Sosa: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 33 pitches (19 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
4. Dustin Fitzgerald: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 19 pitches (16 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
5. Amaury Paulino: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 2 R (2 ER), 4 BB, 0 K, 2 WP, 30 pitches (12 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
Yaniel Cabezas: 0-1 CS
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90’s
Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?
Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]
ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.
cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
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...