Rockies Take Road to Victory at Fitch Park
Shawon Dunston Jr ripped a solo home run and Pierre LePage reached base three times, but the Cubs left six runners stranded over the final three innings, allowing the Rockies to escape with a 4-2 victory in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
The game was extended an extra inning so that all of the Cubs and Rockies pitchers who were scheduled to throw today could get their work.
Starling Peralta got the start for the Cubs and had another strong outing, retiring nine of the first 11 men he faced (including four on strikeouts). He should be close to being ready to move up to Peoria.
With a number of pitchers having arrived over the past week or two from the Cubs Dominican Academy, there are hardly enough innings available for all of the pitchers at Extended Spring Training to get enough game work. Besides Peralta, RHRPs Roderik Pichardo and Pete Levitt and LHRP Sheldon McDonald appear to be ready to move up to Peoria (or possibly even Daytona), so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cubs release some pitchers from their four full-season affiliates over the next week, if nothing else to relieve some of the congestion at EXST.
2B Pierre LePage (hamstring rehab) has been playing very well and appears to be 100%, and so he could be moved up at any time. But where would he go? He really doesn’t have the versatility to play multiple positions, and there is no opening for an everyday 2nd baseman (or even part-time 2B) at Peoria or Daytona at this time, unless the Cubs want to give Zeke DeVoss some OF reps at Peoria.
OF Xavier Batista probably should be at Peoria, too.
Here is the abridged box score from today’s game (Cubs players only):
1. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 2-4 (L-6, HR, 1B, 4-3, R, RBI)
2. Pierre LePage, 2B: 2-3 (1B, 1B, F-9, HBP, R, PO)
3a. Javier Baez, DH #1: 1-3 (FC+E4, 1B, F-9, SB)
3b. Wilfredo Petit, PH: 1-1 (1B)
4a. Xavier Batista, LF: 0-3 (F-8, K, 6-3)
4b. Garrett Schlecht, LF: 0-0 (1-4 SH)
5a. Dan Vogelbach, DH #2: 0-3 (6-3, 3-U, 4-3)
5b. Anthony Giansanti, PH: 0-0 (BB)
6. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 1-4 (F-8, K, 3B, K)
7. Jeimer Candelario, 3B-DH: 0-4 (K, 3-U, 3-U, K)
8. Ryan Durrence, 1B: 1-4 (4-3, P-6, 1B, L-7)
9. Neftali Rosario, C: 1-4 (K, K, 3-6 FC, 1B)
10. Danny Lockhart, SS: 0-4 (5-3, F-8, 5-4 FC, K)
11a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
11b. Mark Malave, 3B: 0-2 (E-4, K)
1. Starling Peralta: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 45 pitches (34 strikes), 3/4 GO/FO
2. Hunter Ackerman: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 34 pitches (21 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
3. Sheldon McDonald: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 36 pitches (25 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
4. Brian Smith: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 22 pitches (12 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
5. Pete Levitt: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 12 pitches (7 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: NONE
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Neftali Rosario: 2-3 CS
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80’s
take that giants
I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.
Per Jesse Sanchez at mlb.com, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus.
BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).
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