Cubs Err on the Side of Defeat at HoHoKam
Anthony Rizzo and Blake Lalli hammered solo home runs, and Matt Garza threw four innings and allowed two runs, but the Giants took advantage of two costly Cub fielding errors and a 9th inning base-running gaffe to edge the Cubs 3-2 in Cactus League action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in warm & sunny Mesa, AZ, this afternoon.
NOTE: Scroll down for the updated CUBS MINOR LEAGUE CAMP ROSTERS (effective 3/16)
The Cubs scored the first run of the day in the bottom of the 2nd, when Anthony Rizzo clubbed an opposite-field lead-off home run over the left-centerfield fence (just to the left of the “Green Monster” Batter’s Eye) off Giants LHSP Eric Surkamp.
Meanwhile, Cub starter Matt Garza was breezing through the first three innings, before running into trouble in the top of the 4th. Melky Cabrera walked and Pablo Sandoval singled to put runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs. Garza then threw a ball in the dirt that was blocked nicely by catcher Steve Clevenger, but then Clevenger tried to pick-off Sandoval (who had strayed a bit off 1st base when the ball hit the dirt) and made a wild throw past 1st base and into RF, allowing Cabrera to score from 2nd and Sandoval to move up a base. Sandoval scored later in the inning on an Aubrey Huff RBI single.
LHP Chris Rusin threw two solid shutout & hitless innings (the 6th & 7th), allowing just a walk while striking out two (29 pitches – 18 strikes, 3/1 GO/FO). Rusin will probably be in competition with Jay Jackson for the honor of starting for the Iowa Cubs on PCL Opening Day.
The game remained a 2-1 battle going into the 8th, when Rule 5 RHP Lendy Castillo took the mound for the Cubs. Emmanuel Burriss led-off the inning with a single and immediately stole 2nd base (very bad throw by catcher Blake Lalli), but L. Castillo fanned Brett Pill and Eli Whiteside (both swinging) and got Tyler Graham to tap weakly to the mound. Unfortunately, Castillo (an ex-shortstop of all things) inexplicably tossed a rainbow far over the 1st baseman’s head for an error, allowing Graham to reach base safely and Burriss to score from 2nd.
But the Cubs weren’t finished.
Facing ex-Cub RHP Ramon Ortiz, Blake Lalli lofted a one-out solo moon-shot HR over the RF fence in the bottom of the 8th, and after Trever Miller had an easy top of the 9th, Joe Mather (representing the tying run) grounded a lead-off single down the LF line (an outstanding defensive play by SF LF Justin Christian kept Mather from taking 2nd). Brett Jackson then laid down a textbook sacrifice bunt to the third-baseman that should have advanced Mather into scoring position, but Mather saw that 3rd base was uncovered and tried to take the extra base on the bunt and get to 3rd base with one out. But SS Joaquin Arias outraced Mather to the bag, tagging him out after taking the throw (on the run) from 1B Brett Pill. (I guess this is why taking infield practice matters).
Joe Mather played 3B once again today (all nine innings this time), and handled two chances and a couple of throw-cuts flawlessly.
While the Cubs were playing the Giants at HoHoKam Park, Minor League Cactus League play got underway, with the Cubs minor leaguers (the Iowa and Tennessee squads) playing two games at Fitch Park. (Daytona and Peoria were on the road).
With yesterday’s roster cuts and the arrival of three more players (SS Luis Acosta, OF Jeffrey Baez, and INF Carlos Penalver) from the Dominican Academy, the Cubs Minor League Camp rosters were adjusted prior to the games.
Some of the moves (and corresponding changes) were made to cover for a couple of injuries on the Iowa squad, but what’s most notable in today’s roster transfers is that several of the Cubs young stud prospects who had been assigned to Boise/Mesa earlier in the week were back with the Peoria squad today. Also, LHP Gerardo Concepcion (the Cuban bonus baby signed by the Cubs earlier this month) was moved down to Hi-A Daytona from AA Tennessee.
UPDATED CUBS 2012 MINOR LEAGUE CAMP ROSTERS (3/16)
* bats or throws left
# bats both
* Jeff Beliveau
Justin Berg (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
* John Gaub
* Brooks Raley
* Nate Robertson
* Ryan Rowland-Smith
# Micah Gibbs
# Jason Jaramillo
Leugim Barroso (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
# David Macias
* Jake Opitz
Rebel Ridling (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
* Michael Burgess
* Jeffry Antigua
David Cales (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
* Frank Del Valle (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
* Brent Ebinger
Ricardo Estevez (see NOTE)
* Casey Harman
* Eric Jokisch
* Andrew McKirahan
* Matt Spencer (ex-OF)
Rob Whitenack (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
NOTE: Ricardo Estevez is on the RESTRICTED LIST while serving a 50-game Prohibited Substance suspension, but he is participating in Minor League Camp activities
Luis Flores (see NOTE)
* Rafael Lopez
Nate Maldonado (player-coach)
NOTE: Luis Flores is on the RESTRICTED LIST while serving a 50-game Prohibited Substance suspension, but he is participating in Minor League Camp activities
* Justin Bour
* Matt Cerda
# Zeke DeVoss
* Richard Jones
* Logan Watkins
* Kyler Burke (ex-OF)
* Gerardo Concepcion
P. J. Francescon
* Austin Kirk
* Jeff Lorick
A. J. Morris
* Zac Rosscup
* Sergio Burruel
Anthony Giansanti (ex-OF)
# Arismendy Alcantara
* Ryan Cuneo (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
* Wes Darvill
* Rubi Silva
* Pin-Chieh Chen
* Ben Klafczynski
* Hunter Ackerman
* Willengton Cruz
Dillon Maples (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
* Sheldon McDonald
* Brian Smith
Charles Thomas (ex3B)
Wilson Contreras (ex-3B)
# Wilfredo Petit
# Jeimer Candelario
# Marco Hernandez
* Danny Lockhart
# Rock Shoulders
* Dan Vogelbach
* Shawon Dunston, Jr
* Eduardo Gonzalez
# Oliver Zapata
Ethan Elias (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
* Graham Hicks (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
Austin Reed Colin Richardson
Austin Urban (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
Yaniel Cabezas (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
* Justin Marra
* Alberto Mineo
Antonio Valerio (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
# Brian Inoa
* Delbis Arcila
* Trevor Gretzky (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
* Garrett Schlecht (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY)
NOT ON FIELD - WHEREABOUTS STILL UNKNOWN (by me):
Gregori Gonzalez, IF-OF (?)
Yohan Gonzalez, P (?)
* Cam Greathouse, P (supposedly will report to EXST)
Alvido Jimenez, P (?)
Arturo Maltos-Garcia, P (2011 TJS rehab)
Amaury Paulino, P (?)
* Nelson Perez, OF
I love winning! It's, like, better than losing?
You lollygag the ball around the infield. You lollygag your way down to first. You lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you? Larry!
Its too bad Warren didnt get to pitch. He would have saved us.
Whoa -- that Contreras play in the 8th looked too much like a "Schwarber" -- nearly crashed into the wall going full speed, with Heyward doing the same.
New rule: if you are a catcher playing LF, and find yourself sprinting after a fly ball in the gap -- stop, let the CF go after it and get ready to play it off the wall.
Cubs have no spark and no life. Pretty boring to watch these days.
I thought trips to Miami were supposed to be fun. This one sucked.
The bottom half of the bullpen now turns close games into blowout losses. Not good.
Once Fowler went to the DL, the team went into the tank. Wonder if he'll get any love this offseason? Probably not.
6IP, 2ER. The last one scored because of another botched Zobrist DP turn.
And now, a bad throw by KB. Sloppy.
What is it with Hammel always starting well and sucking after a couple months?
Ahhh...sad. Lke a few of you here, I saw him play during the '69-'71 seasons. He was the "hot Zobrist" for the club in August/September of '69 while everyone else was fizzling out...
I predict: "They will play hard and if they give the same effort every day, they'll win a lot of games."
OK, boys -- find a way to win today.
There's some BA is missing too, here's all signing bonus BA doesn't have some:
-6 Hockin $241,000 (slot price), 7 Cruz $75,000 (saved $110,00), 8 Ridlings $120,000 (saved $53,800), 9 Robinson $30,000 (saved $132,300), so far the Cubs have saved an extra $297,100
Zobrist (2B), Hayward (CF), Bryant (3B), Rizzo, Contreras (LF), Montero, Russell, Coghlan (RF), Hammel
Also -- despite losing 6 of their last 10, the Cubs picked up a game on both STL and PIT during that period. Weird, given that they swept PIT and were swept by STL.
Also, I'd like to know if there are numbers to back up my suspicion that there are a lot more fast starts than late June romps. This seems like a time where everybody not named Willson Contreras is looking a little tired and/or banged up a bit.
For once, the Cubs got off to a fast start. Seems like I've been waiting for that for 50 years.Everybody is really gunning for this team, too. It's their playoffs.