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
Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.
My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.
Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.
Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.
How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?
Call me lost.
Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.
I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:
Carl Crawford $20MM
Brandon McCarthy $17MM
Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
Darwin B $2.2MM
Dan Haren $10MM
Matt Kemp $18MM
Brian Wilson $10MM
Ryan Webb $2.2MM
Dee Gordon $2.5MM
So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.
And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):
i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.
there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.
I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.
O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already.
I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.
I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.
Enjoyable read on David Ross.
Er, they won the first one. My bad. Carry on.
With last night's win in Pittsburgh, the Cubs have tied the Pirates with 98 wins, and are only 2-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. No reason why the Cubs can't finish the post-season with the best winning percentage in baseball (regular season & post-season combined).
BOB: I doubt very much that Matt Szczur will be on the Cubs LDS roster.
If he wasn't on the Wild Card roster (when the Cubs went with 15 position players), he won't be on the LDS roster (when the Cubs will go with 13 or 14 position players).
As it is, at least one of the three RH hitting outfielders who were on the Cubs WC roster (Denorfia, Jackson, and Soler) could get bumped off the LDS roster (probably Soler).