Matt Garza Stones Bees at Fitch Park
Matt Garza threw four innings of shutout ball, allowing two hits and no walks with six strikeouts, Adrian Cardenas slugged a 420+ foot three-run HR over the CF fence, Welington Castillo drove-in three runs with a two-run double and a sacrifice fly, and Blake Lalli had four hits, leading the Iowa Cubs to an 8-1 victory over the Salt Lake Bees (Los Angeles Angels AAA affiliate) on Field #3, and Casey Coleman threw four innings of one-run ball, but knuckleballer Joe Zeller was tagged for four runs, as the Arkansas Travelers (Angels AA affiliate) defeated the Tennessee Smokies 5-1 on Field #2, in Cactus League minor league game action this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ
Because Garza started the AAA game, Casey Coleman (who was supposed to start for Iowa today) was moved over to Field #2 and started in the AA game instead.
This was “getaway day” for the Cubs four full-season minor league teams, so game time was 9 AM. The Cubs other two full-season squads (Daytona and Peoria) played their games on the road versus Angels affiliates at Diablo Park in Tempe.
A fleet of rental trucks packed with gear stood ready-to-roll in the parking lot, and both games were played at a faster pace than is typical of Spring Training games at Minor League Camp. The players, managers, coaches, and trainers all seemed anxious to get out of Arizona and get going with the regular season, but the start of the game on Field #3 was delayed a few minutes because Matt Garza arrived late.
The one squad from Minor League Camp that won't be leaving town is the Boise/Mesa group, which morphs into the Cubs Extended Spring Training (EXST) team this week.
The EXST squad will consist of about 60 players, including players who failed to make the Peoria Chiefs' final roster cut but who will stay ready to replace any injured players at Peoria or Daytona, younger and less-experienced players who are expected to play at Boise or for the AZL Cubs when the short-season leagues begin play in June, and injured players who are in various stages of rehab.
Several Boise/Mesa (EXST) players saw game action for Iowa or Tennessee in today's games.
In roster news involving the Iowa Cubs, OF Jim Adduci was moved down to Tennessee from Iowa and (somewhat surprisingly) 3B Marquez Smith was released, as the I-Cubs got down to the AAA 24 player-limit. Also, it appears likely that SS Junior Lake (strained back) will open the Southern League season on the Tennessee 7-day DL. If so, he will probably remain at Fitch Park until he is ready to play again.
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games played at Fitch Park (Cubs players only)
FITCH PARK FIELD #2
1. Jim Adduci, LF: 0-4 (F-8, L-8, F-8, E-5)
2a. Elliot Soto, SS: 0-3 (E-9, F-9, 1-3, R)
2b. Javier Baez, SS: 1-1 (1B)
3a. Jae-Hoon Ha, CF: 0-3 (6-3, 6-3, K, RBI)
3b. Shawon Dunston, Jr, CF: 0-1 (4-3)
4a. Rebel Ridling, 1B: 1-3 (1B, F-9, 3-U)
4b. Ryan Cuneo, 1B: 0-0 (BB)
5. Matt Cerda, 3B-DH: 0-4 (P-3, K, K, 6-4-3 DP)
6a. Jonathon Mota, DH: 0-3 ( F-7, F-9, 4-3)
6b. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 0-0 (BB)
7a. Michael Burgess, RF: 1-3 (F-9, 1B, 4-3)
7b. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 0-1 (6-4 FC)
8a. Michael Brenly, C: 1-1 (BB, 1B)
8b. Luis Flores, C: 0-1 (6-3)
9. Nate Samson, 2B: 0-3 (L-7, 4-3, 6-3)
1. Casey Coleman: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 55 pitches (40 strikes), 6/2 GO/FO
2. Brian Schlitter: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 22 pitches (15 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
3. Joe Zeller: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 29 pitches (17 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4. Marcus Hatley: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 10 pitches (7 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
TENNESSEE ERRORS: 1
SS Elliot Soto - E6 (two-base throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
TENNESSEE CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Luis Flores: 1 PB
TENNESSEE BASERUNNING ADVENTURES:
Michael Burgess was thrown out 9-5 trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on a single to RF with no outs in the bottom of the 5th
FITCH PARK FIELD #3
1a. Dave Sappelt, RF: 2-4 (F-8, 1B, F-7, 1B, R, CS)
1b. Delbis Arcila, RF: 0-0 (BB)
2a. Adrian Cardenas, 2B: 1-4 (F-8, 4-3, K, HR, R, 3 RBI)
2b. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 0-1 (P-6)
3a. Anthony Rizzo, 1B: 0-1 (BB, K, SB)
3b. Xavier Batista, 1B: 2-3 (1B, E-6, 1B, R)
4. Blake Lalli, DH: 4-5 (K, 1B, 1B, 1B, 1B, R, RBI)
5a. Edgar Gonzalez, SS: 2-2 (3B, 1B, 2 R)
5b. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-2 (4-6 FC, BB, 4-6 FC)
6a. Welington Castillo, C: 1-1 (F-7 SF, 2B, 2B, 3 RBI)
6b. Taylor Davis, C: 0-2 (F-9, 5-3)
7. Josh Vitters, 3B: 2-4 (2B, 1B, E-4, K)
8. Eduardo Gonzalez, LF: 1-4 (F-8, 4-3, 1B, 4-3, R, SB)
9. Trey Martin, CF: 1-4 (K, K, 1B, 6-3, R, RBI)
1. Matt Garza: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 49 pitches (32 strikes), 4/2 GO/FO
2. Nate Robertson: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 17 pitches (12 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
3. John Gaub: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 11 pitches (5 strikes)
4. Ryan Rowland-Smith: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 15 pitches (9 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
5. Ryan Searle: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 28 pitches (12 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
NOTE: Searle inning was stopped with one out & bases-loaded after he reached max pre-planned pitch limit
6. Ramon Garcia: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 8 pitches (3 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
IOWA ERRORS: 2
1. LF Eduardo Gonzalez - E-7 (fielding error on single to LF allowed batter to advance an extra base)
2. P John Gaub - E-1 (errant pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed base-runner to advance to 2nd
IOWA BASERUNNING ADVENTURES:
Josh Vitters was thrown out 4-6 trying to take an extra base on a dropped pop fly in short CF
WEATHER: Sunny, cool, and VERY breezy, with temperatures in the 60’s
Everytime I recall Szcur's bne marrow donation to a stranger, it makes me smile:
If Matt is out will Kawasaki get the call-up? Or "Shane"?
"Matt Szczur will undergo an MRI on his right hamstring on Tuesday."
One of the reasons I think Maddon is a great manager -- he has changed the conversation on Baez from HR & strikeouts to great defense, versatility and an all-around good ballplayer. He rarely talks about his offense, which is the only thing anybody used to talk about with Javy. He took a lot of pressure off the kid, and he seems to have responded.
Good pitching and some nifty D tonight -- nice win.
In case you didn't see it -- it was the Little League play where the guy on first gets caught in a rundown on purpose and the guy on third tries to score. It worked.
Gotta love the Pirates pitcher intentionally hitting Zobrist, then allowing Zobrist to score on a 2-out wild pitch.
Also, glad to see Zobrist coming around with RISP after my remarks last week. Heh!
ESPN reporting heyward day-to-day with an injured wrist
ESPN game tonight, btw.
Cardinal way #48
"negligent transmission of STDs"
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.