Cubs Blank A's at Papago
Wilson Contreras lined a two-run double into the left-field corner to spark a four-run 4th inning, and four pitchers combined to throw a six-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts, as the EXST Cubs whitewashed the EXST Athletics 8-0 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Connie Mack Field at the Papago Park Sports Complex in Phoenix.
In EXST Cubs roster news, 1B-OF Xavier Batista has been sent from Extended Spring Training to DSL Cubs #1, and IF-OF-C David Macias has completed his Extended Spring Training rehab assignment and has been assigned to Peoria.
The 19-year old 6'3 210+ X. Batista was hitting just 133/175/163 with 22 K in 63 PA for the EXST Cubs so far in 2011, after putting up a 215/248/419 slash-line with 42 K in 101 PA with the EXST Cubs this time last year, and a 212/263/300 line with 63 K in 186 PA last summer with the AZL Cubs. Despite showing HR power in BP, Batista hit just four HR in a combined 350 PA with the EXST Cubs and AZL Cubs in 2010 and the EXST Cubs in 2011.
Macias had been on the Daytona 7-day DL since May 10th, but he was needed at Peoria after 2B Pierre LePage was placed on the Chiefs 7-day DL with a groin strain. Such is the life of an "organizational player."
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Wes Darvill, SS: 1-5 (K, F-8, 2B, E-6, P-6, R)
2. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 1-4 (K, 2B, 4-3, 4-6 FC, R)
3. Pin-Chieh Chen, CF: 2-3 (BB, 1B, 1B, K, R, RBI, CS, PO)
4. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-4 (F-9, F-9, 4-3, K)
5. Wilson Contreras, 3B: 1-4 (F-8, 2B, 4-3, 3-1, R, 2 RBI)
6. Jesus Morelli, LF: 1-4 (1B, F-9, P-6, K)
7. Brandon May, DH #1: 2-4 (6-U FC, 1B, 3-1, 1B, R, RBI)
8. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 1-4 (F-9, 1B, 1-3, 3-6 FC, R)
9. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 2-4 (K, 1B, 6-3, 2B, R, RBI)
10. Blair Springfield, DH #2: 2-4 (2B, P-4, E-6, 1B+E9, R, 2 RBI)
1. Starling Peralta: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 41 pitches (29 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
2. Hector Mayora: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 42 pitches (24 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
3. Rafael Diplan: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 42 pitches (23 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4. Yilver Sanchez: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 30 pitches (22 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
Yaniel Cabezas 1-1 CS
CF Pin-Chieh Chen threw out runner 8-5 trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on a single.
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90’s
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.