Angels Cruise Past Cubs at Fitch Park
Aided by 12 walks, a HBP, a balk, four wild pitches, two passed balls, and two errors, the Angels defeated the Cubs 8-2 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
The Cubs managed only four hits, but one of them was a Dan Vogelbach solo home run that gave the Cubs an early 1-0 lead.
Cubs 2011 1st round draft pick Javier Baez broke a lengthy slump with a 9th inning ground single to left. Prior to the 9th inning hit, Baez had gone 0-20 with ten strikeouts since hitting for the cycle last week versus the Angels in Tempe.
Even with the recent batting skid, Baez is hitting 278/278/750 with three HR, three triples, two doubles, and 12 RBI in ten EXST games (36 PA). He also has no walks and 11 strikeouts (all swinging), two stolen bases (no CS), and he has committed six errors in the field (four throwing, two fielding).
While the Cubs were playing the Angels on Field #3, RHP Su-Min Jung and LHP Brian Smith squared-off in a two-inning "sim" game on Field #2, facing some of the Cub position players who were not in the lineup on Field #3. Both Jung and Smith have had control issues going back to Minor League Camp in March, and so they are being held out of EXST games until they show that they can throw strikes more consistently. (And the way Ryan Hartman and Alvido Jimenez threw the ball today, they might be joining Jung and Smith in the "sim" game plan very soon).
Here is the abridged box score from today’s game (Cubs players only):
1. Trey Martin, CF: 1-4 (K, 1B, 6-3, F-8)
2a. Pierre LePage, 2B-DH: 0-2 (BB, 4-3, K, SB)
2b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FINAL TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
3. Javier Baez, SS: 1-4 (K, K, 6-3, 1B)
4. Xavier Batista, LF: 0-4 (1-3, 6-3, K, 5-4-3 DP)
5. Dan Vogelbach, DH-1B: 1-2 (HR, K+PB, HBP, R, RBI)
6. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 0-3 (E-6, K, 4-3)
7. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 0-3 (F-8, 1-3, K)
8a. Ryan Durrence, 1B: 0-1 (K)
8b. Trevor Gretzky, PH-DH: 0-1 (3-U, BB, R)
9. Gioskar Amaya, DH-2B: 1-3 (K, K, 1B, RBI)
10. Wilson Contreras, C-DH: 0-3 (F-8, K, 6-3)
11a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
11b. Anthony Giansanti, DH-C: 0-2 (F-9, F-9)
1. Carlos Martinez: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 4 BB, 2 K, 2 GIDP, 52 pitches (23 strikes), 4/0 GO/FO
2. Ryan Hartman: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 3 WP, 35 pitches (15 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
3. Alvido Jimenez: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 BALK, 37 pitches (19 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
4. Charles Thomas: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 34 pitches (21 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
5. Pete Levitt: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 32 pitches (17 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: 2
1. C Wilson Contreras - E-2 (errant pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed baserunner to advance to 2nd base)
2. SS Javier Baez - E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely and baserunner to score unearned run)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Wilson Contreras: 1-3 CS, 1 PO, 1 E (see above)
Anthony Giansanti: 2 PB
WEATHER: Overcast and breezy with temperatures in the 80’s
Everytime I recall Szcur's bone 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.