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
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.
If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.
If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.
Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.
The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.