Baez Hits for the Cycle at Diablo
Javier Baez hit for the cycle and drove-in all five Cub runs with a two-run triple and a three-run home run, but the Angels rallied for five runs in the middle-three innings to edge the Cubs 6-5, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Diablo Park Field #3 in Tempe, AZ.
In addition to his big day at the plate, Baez also stole a base (3rd base following his double) and made the defensive Play of the Day, going deep into the hole to backhand a grounder headed for LF, and then nailing the out with a leap and an on-the-money throw to 1st.
In his first four Extended Spring Training games, Baez is 9-15 with three three-run home runs, three triples, two doubles, and a single, and in his last game prior to the start of Extended Spring Training, Baez clubbed a two-run HR off Paul Maholm in an intrasquad game at Fitch Park.
Today's game was extended an extra inning so that all of the Cubs and Angels pitchers who were scheduled to throw today could get their work.
Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):
1a. Shawon Dunston, Jr, LF: 1-2 (K, 2B, R)
1b. Jeffrey Baez, PH-LF: 0-1 (6-3)
1c. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 0-2 (F-8, 5-3)
2. Gioskar Amaya, 2B-DH: 2-4 (BB, 1B, K, 1B, P-4, 2 R)
3. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 0-4 (BB, F-9, 6-3, K, K, R)
4. Javier Baez, SS: 4-5 (3B, HR, 2B, 1B, K, R, 5 RBI, SB)
5. Rock Shoulders, 1B: 0-2 (BB, 4-3, BB, K)
6. Trey Martin, CF: 1-4 (K, 1B, P-4, 3-1)
7. Neftali Rosario, DH-C: 0-4 (P-4, K, 5-3, F-9)
8. Jair Bogaerts, 3B: 1-4 (6-3, K, K, 1B)
9. Yaniel Cabezas, C-DH: 3-4 (F-8, 1B, 1B, 1B)
10. Brian Inoa, DH-2B: 0-4 (K, K, 5-3, K)
1. Tayler Scott: 2.1, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 51 pitches (25 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
2. David Henrie: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 37 pitches (26 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
3. Brian Smith: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 33 pitches (19 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
4. Carlos Martinez: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 27 pitches (19 strikes), 5/1 GO/FO
5. Charles Thomas: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 21 pitches (13 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: 1
SS Javier Baez - E-6 (errant throw allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Yaniel Cabezas: 2-2 CS
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
CF Trey Martin - threw out batter-runner 8-3 after batter singled to CF and then took too wide of a turn around 1st base
WEATHER: Sunny and a bit breezy at times with temperatures in the 70’s
He'll be fine. He's not some wimpy young pup.
In all seriousness the Cubs have the fewest amount of games played in the NL which means they're gonna be facing quite the grind later on including 24 games in a row at the end of June and beginning of July so I hope he does get a few days off.
Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?
Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]
ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.
cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.