Wells, It Could Have Been Worse
Ryan Cuneo homered and doubled (and just missed another HR when a long fly hooked foul at the last second), Pin Chieh Chen had three hits (a single, a double, and a triple), and Randy Wells saw his first game action since April 4th, but the EXST Angels got hits when they counted and induced three rally-killing double-plays, edging a split squad of EXST Cubs 5-4 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.
The game was extended an extra inning to allow all of the Angels and Cubs pitchers due to throw today to get their scheduled work.
Making his first appearance in a game since being placed on the 15-day DL on April 5th with a right forearm strain, Wells threw two innings (40 pitches), allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits (three singles, a double, and a triple), with no walks and two strikeouts, and a balk.
Wells retired the first man he faced on a fly out to left on a 2-2 pitch, before allowing a triple into the right-centerfield alley. A spectacular diving catch by CF Kyung-Min Na on a pop fly to short-center saved a run and another base-runner, but the next two batters ripped consecutive two-out RBI hits (a single and a double) to plate the Angels first two runs Wells then recorded the third out of the 1st inning on a 3-1 GO (where Wells had to double-time it to 1st base to just barely beat the batter to the bag).
Wells found himself in trouble again right at the outset of the 2nd inning when a fielding error put the Angels lead-off man on 1st base. A ground out moved the runner up to 2nd, before two singles (on consecutive pitches) drove-in the Angels third run. The big right-hander then got it together and struck out the final two batters he faced, both looking. (Of Wells 28 strikes, ten balls were put into play, three were fouled-off, 11 were called strikes, and four were of the swinging variety).
RHP Andrew Cashner (rotator cuff) is a bit behind Wells in his rehab, and was limited to throwing a "two-inning" (30 pitch) pre-game "live" BP session on Field #2. One of Cash's pitches hit Augie Ojeda on the foot, sending the diminutive veteran infielder to the clubhouse and knocking him out of the starting lineup of the game on Field #3. For Augie, Fitch Park must be starting to feel like The Hotel California.
While one squad of Cubs was playing the Angels at Fitch Park, the other squad (known as Squad “A”) traveled up the 101 Pima Freeway to the Talking Stick Resort to play the EXST Rockies at Salt River Fields. Unfortunately I can provide no information about that game.
Here is today’s abridged box score from the game played at Fitch Park (Cubs players only):
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 3-4 (1B, 3B, 4-3, 2B+E9, R, RBI)
2. Dustin Geiger, 3B: 0-4 (6-4-3 DP, 6-3, K, K, RBI)
3. Ryan Cuneo, DH #1: 2-4 (HR, F-8, 2B, F-7, R, RBI)
4. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-4 (6-3, K, 1-3, 5-3)
5. Brian Inoa, DH #2: 2-4 (1B, F-7, 4-3, 3B, R, CS)
6. Eduardo Gonzalez, LF: 1-2 (F-7, BB, 1B, F-7 SF, RBI)
7. Johan DeJesus, C: 2-4 (2B, 5-4-3 DP, 6-4-3 DP, 1B)
8. Xavier Batista, 1B: 1-4 (K, 1B, K, K, CS)
9. Wes Darvill, SS: 0-3 (P-4, K, K)
10. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 1-3 (F-8, 6-3, 1B, R)
1. Randy Wells: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 BALK, 40 pitches (28 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
2. Jose Rosario: 4.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 5 K, 53 pitches (30 strikes), 4/2 GO/FO
3. Yilver Sanchez: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 37 pitches (24 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
4. Manolin DeLeon: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 16 pitches (10 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
1. SS Wes Darvill - E6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely – eventually scored unearned run)
2. SS Wes Darvill - E6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
3. SS Wes Darvill - E6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
4. 1B Xavier Batista - E3 (missed catch on what should have been a 6-3 GO allowed batter to reach base safely)
Johan DeJesus: 3-3 CS
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80’s
Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.
Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.
He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.