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
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.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?
#Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.
Fun with FIP
- J. Hammel 3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
- J. Arrieta 2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
- J. Lester 2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
- K. Hendricks 2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
- J. Lackey 3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k
he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.
JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.
My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.
Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...
joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1
not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.
really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.
Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.
Classic Scully - great stuff.
Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)
Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:
"And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."
When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.
If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.