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
TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.
TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.
Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.
Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.
Think Baby Maddux.
Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.
Kyle is on the far left.
I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.
Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.
That was good!
Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.
My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.
Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.
Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.
How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?
Call me lost.
Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.
I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:
Carl Crawford $20MM
Brandon McCarthy $17MM
Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
Darwin B $2.2MM
Dan Haren $10MM
Matt Kemp $18MM
Brian Wilson $10MM
Ryan Webb $2.2MM
Dee Gordon $2.5MM
So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.
And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):
i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.
there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.
I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.
O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already.