Spoon, Hair, and Grichuk Spell Doom for Cubs
Travis Witherspoon ripped an RBI double and Randal Grichuk slammed an RBI triple to highlight a four-run 3rd, and Trevor Hairgrove doubled twice and drove-in a run, leading the Angels to a 9-3 victory over the Cubs in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.
Dan Vogelbach and Jeffrey Baez provided most all of the Cub offense today, with Vogelbach reaching base three times on an RBI single and two walks, and Jeffrey Baez roping a bases-loaded two run double down the LF line.
The Cubs had other chances to score and cut the Angel lead at various points during the game, but inopportune DP balls and strikeouts deflated the Cubs hopes.
The AZIL Cubs continue to struggle offensively, what with some of the squad's best hitters (including Javier Baez, Taiwan Easterling, Dustin Geiger, Reggie Golden, and Rafael Lopez) sidelined with injuries.
Shawon Dunston, Jr did break his 1-26 slump with a 4th inning single, but he also dropped a line-drive in CF allowing an unearned run to score in the top of the 3rd.
The Cubs pitching and defense left a lot to be desired today, as the Angels collected three triples, three doubles, and five singles, and scored two unearned runs thanks to three Cub errors.
Worst outing of the day among the eight Cubs pitchers who took the mound was the one by 5'8 fireballin' RHP Tarlandus Mitchell, who managed to allow two runs without the benefit of a hit in the top of the 6th. "T" walked the bases loaded and threw two wild pitches, hurling 25 pitches (but only seven strikes) in his one inning of work.
Mitchell was the Cubs 22nd round pick out of Alto HS - Alto, TX in 2008, but he has yet to get past Boise. His four seasons in the Cubs organization have been tarnished by injuries, and bouts with wildness when he has been healthy.
RHP David Henrie (2011 NDFA - Trinidad State JC) also struggled, but in a different way. Henrie allowed four runs (two earned) on four hits (two doubles, a triple, and a single) in just 1.2 IP. He also allowed one inherited run to score (charged to Jose Rosario), and commited a fielding error that directly led to one unearned run scoring.
Best outings today were the innings thrown by LHP Frank Del Valle and RHP Tony Zych, but that's no surprise since Del Valle and Zych have been two of the best-looking pitchers so far at Instructs.
Here is the abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Zeke DeVoss, 2B: 1-2 (3-U, 1B, HBP, BB, R)
2. Trey Martin, LF: 1-4 (1B, 4-6-3 DP, F-7, 4-6-3 DP, R)
3. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 0-3 (4-3, 6-3, E-1, BB, R)
4. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 1-2 (1B, BB, BB, 3-6 FC, RBI, SB)
5. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 1-4 (K, K, 2B, 5-4 FC, 2 RBI)
6. Shawon Dunston, Jr, CF: 1-4 (4-3, 1B, 1-3, F-7)
7a. Justin Marra, C: 0-2 (BB, F-8, F-7)
7b. Micah Gibbs, C: 0-1 (K)
8. Neftali Rosario, DH #1: 0-2 (HBP, K, K, BB)
9. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-2 (2-3 SH, P-4, BB, 4-3 DP)
10. Mark Malave, DH #2: 0-2 (K, 6-3, BB)
1. Jose Rosario: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K,14 pitches (9 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
2. David Henrie: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 21 pitches (15 strikes), 0/3 GO/FO
3. Ian Dickson: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 13 pitches (8 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
4. Frank Del Valle: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 9 pitches (5 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
5. Tarlandus Mitchell: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 2 WP, 25 pitches (7 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
6. Charles Thomas: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 22 pitches (14 strikes), 0/3 GO/FO
7. Dustin Fitzgerald: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 24 pitches (16 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
8. Tony Zych: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 13 pitches (8 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
1. P David Henrie - E-1 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely – eventually scored unearned run)
2. CF Shawon Dunston, Jr - E-8 (missed catch with two outs allowed batter to reach base safely and unearned run to score from 3rd base)
3. 3B Jeimer Candelario - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
RF Jeffrey Baez - Batter thrown out 9-6 trying to stretch a single into a double
ATTENDANCE: 23 (including Angels manager Mike Scioscia)
WEATHER: Sunny with a gentle breeze and temperatures in the 90’s
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.
It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.
I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.
I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.
This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:
Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!
Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.
Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.
Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.
Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.
Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.
Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.
He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.
He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.
Weird home stand -- 3-1, with 2 rainouts, vs. two teams that will lose 100 games. Feels oddly disappointing.
Miserable baseball weather all week -- hopefully better weather will get the bats going. Not just walking, but actually hitting.
That strike call on LaSterlla was terrible