Rockies Edge Cubs at Fitch Park
Xavier Batista ripped a single, an RBI triple, and a solo home run to stake the Cubs to a 2-1 lead through five innings, but the Rockies scored two in the 6th and two more in the 7th and then held-on to edge the Cubs 5-4 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
In 25 EXST PA, X. Batista is hitting 435/500/782 with one HR, one triple, three doubles, six RBI, and only two K. He was the last cut from the Peoria squad at the end of Minor League Camp, so he could be in-line for a promotion to Peoria in the near future.
RHP Starling Peralta got the start for the Cubs and threw three strong innings, allowing one run (earned) on three hits and a walk, with four strikeouts. His fastball was topping out at 95 MPH.
Javier Baez went hitless in four at-bats, striking out twice (both times swinging). He is now 0-17 with eight strikeouts since hitting for the cycle last Monday versus the Angels.
However, the two balls Baez put into play today were a towering fly ball to the deepest part of the ballpark caught up against the fence by the Rockies CF, and the other a fly ball to left that required a diving catch by the LF.
Here is the abridged box score from today’s game (Cubs players only):
1a. Trey Martin, CF: 0-3 (1-3, K, 6-3)
1b. Kevin Encarnacion, CF: 0-1 (P-6)
2a. Pierre LePage, 2B: 1-3 (2B, 5-3, P-2, R)
2b. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 1-1 (1B+E6)
3. Javier Baez, SS: 0-4 (K, F-7, K, F-8)
4a. Xavier Batista, LF: 3-3 (3B, HR, 1B, 2 R, 2 RBI)
4b. Jair Bogaerts, LF: 0-1 (F-7)
5. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 0-4 (F-8, F-8, K, F-7)
6. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 1-4 (F-7, 5-3, 1B, 6-3, R)
7. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 1-3 (1B, 4-3, K)
8. Wilson Contreras, C: 1-3 (F-7, 6-3, 1B, RBI)
9. Anthony Giansanti, DH #1: 1-3 (1B, F-9, F-8)
10. Trevor Gretzky, DH #2: 0-3 (6-U FC, K, F-8)
1. Starling Peralta: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 42 pitches (25 strikes), 0/4 GO/FO
2. James Pugliese: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 22 pitches (13 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
3. Felix Pena: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 1 WP, 45 pitches (27 strikes), 3/3 GO/FO
4. Roderik Pichardo: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 25 pitches (13 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: 3
1. 3B Jeimer Candelario - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. 3B Jeimer Candelario - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
3. 1B Dan Vogelbach - E-3 (throwing error on sacrifice bunt attempt allowed batter to reach base safely and unearned run to score)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Wilson Conteras: 2-3 CS
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90’s
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
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)