A's Roll Past Cubs at Fitch Park
Diomendes Lopez slugged a three-run home run to cap a four-run 7th inning, and the EXST A’s cruised to an 8-2 victory over the EXST Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
Oakland closer Andrew Bailey (15-day DL - forearm strain) started the game for the EXST A’s, working 1.1 IP (18 pitches), and allowing one run (earned) on two hits, with no walks and no strikeouts. Although he did not record any strikeouts, his fastball was topping out at 94 MPH.
And after missing a couple of games after being hit on the foot by an Andrew Cashner fastball in a “live” pre-game BP session on Thursday, Iowa Cubs SS Augie Ojeda (DL rehab assignment - back injured during Spring Training) returned to the EXST Cubs lineup today, playing shortstop for six innings and getting three AB. Once again, Augie went hitless, flying out to CF in the bottom of the 1st inning, grounding out to 2B in the 3rd inning, and bouncing-out to the pitcher in the 6th. So far, Ojeda has gone 0-13 in three EXST games, although he appears to be moving around with no difficulty, both at-bat and in the field.
In EXST Cubs roster news, speedy 19-year old Korean OF Kyung-Min Na has been promoted to AA Tennessee from Extended Spring Training. In the 16 Extended Spring Training games that I saw him play, Na hit 327/397/385 in 58 PA, with three doubles, 6/9 BB/K, two GIDP, and five SB (one CS). He also made a number of outstanding defensive plays in CF. I doubt very much that this move is permanent (Tennessee outfielders Jim Adduci and Brett Jackson both went on the 7-day DL recently), but it is an indication that the Cubs player development staff believe Na is ready to be challenged.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Oliver Zapata, CF: 1-4 (1B, P-4, K, K+PB, R, SB)
2a. Augie Ojeda, SS-DH: 0-3 (F-8, 4-3, 1-3)
2b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FINAL TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
3. Ryan Cuneo, 1B: 1-4 (2B, 4-3, K, F-8, RBI)
4. Wilson Contreras, 3B: 1-4 (5-3, F-8, K, 1B)
5a. Chad Noble, C-DH: 0-1 (F-9, BB)
5b. Yaniel Cabezas, PH-DH: 0-2 (4-3, 6-4-3 DP)
6a. Marcos Hernandez, 2B: 0-1 (3-1)
6b. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 1-2 (1B, K)
7. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-3 (K, P-5, 5-3)
8. Eduardo Gonzalez, LF: 1-3 (1B, 3-U, 3-U)
9. Dustin Geiger, DH #1: 0-3 (4-3 DP, 1-3, 5-3)
10. Johan DeJesus, DH-C: 1-3 (L-4, K, 1B, R)
11a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
11b. Wes Darvill, DH-SS: 2-2 (1B, 1B, RBI)
1. Luis Liria: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 55 pitches (28 strikes), 2/6 GO/FO
2. Alvido Jimenez: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 26 pitches (21 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
3. Rafael Diplan: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 4 K,32 pitches (19 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
4. Santo Rodriguez: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 1 HR, 28 pitches (18 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
5. Manolin DeLeon: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 13 pitches (8 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
1. 3B Wilson Contreras - E5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely and two unearned runs to score)
2. LF Eduardo Gonzalez - E7 (fielding error allowed batter and runner to advance an extra base)
3. P Santo Rodriguez - E1 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
1. Chad Noble: 3-3 CS
2. Johan DeJesus: 1 PB
WEATHER: Sunny and breezy with temperatures in the 90’s
BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).
TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.
TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.
Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.
Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.
Think Baby Maddux.
Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.
Kyle is on the far left.
I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.
Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.
That was good!
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.