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
Everytime I recall Szcur's bone marrow donation to a stranger, it makes me smile:
If Matt is out will Kawasaki get the call-up? Or "Shane"?
"Matt Szczur will undergo an MRI on his right hamstring on Tuesday."
One of the reasons I think Maddon is a great manager -- he has changed the conversation on Baez from HR & strikeouts to great defense, versatility and an all-around good ballplayer. He rarely talks about his offense, which is the only thing anybody used to talk about with Javy. He took a lot of pressure off the kid, and he seems to have responded.
Good pitching and some nifty D tonight -- nice win.
In case you didn't see it -- it was the Little League play where the guy on first gets caught in a rundown on purpose and the guy on third tries to score. It worked.
Gotta love the Pirates pitcher intentionally hitting Zobrist, then allowing Zobrist to score on a 2-out wild pitch.
Also, glad to see Zobrist coming around with RISP after my remarks last week. Heh!
ESPN reporting heyward day-to-day with an injured wrist
ESPN game tonight, btw.
Cardinal way #48
"negligent transmission of STDs"
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Twitterverse reporting that Heyward is dealing with a sore right wrist
Cardinal way #47
See ya on parrot chat
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST...
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex:
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.