Diamondbacks Court Disaster for Cubs at Fitch Park
Dundee-Crown HS alum Ryan Court reached base five times on two doubles, a single, and two walks, leading the Diamondbacks to an 11-4 drubbing of the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
D'backs Stephen Drew (2011 broken ankle rehab) arrived at Fitch Park after the game started and played the middle three innings at shortstop, batting once each in the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings.
Facing LHP Hunter Ackerman, Drew walked in the 4th, grounded out 4-3 in the 5th, and reached base on an HBP in the 6th. He also committed a fielding error at SS in the bottom of the 5th that eventually resulted in an unearned run scoring for the Cubs.
SS Junior Lake (back injury suffered during Spring Training) continued his EXST rehab in today's game, playing shortstop for all nine innings (started one DP and was the middle-man in another) and batting once each in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 8th innings.
Lake went 1-6, grounding out 6-3 in the 1st, flying out F-8 in the 2nd, flying out F-9 in the 3rd, flying out F-7 in the 4th (near-HR caught up against the LF fence), reached base on the Stephen Drew E-6 error in the 5th before stealing second and scoring on a Yasiel Balaguert double, and (finally) lining a single to left in the 8th.
In three EXST games this week since returning to action, Lake is 3-17 with a double, a walk, four strikeouts, three runs scored, and two stolen bases (one CS). He has not made an error.
None of the Cubs pitchers were effective today, but LHP Brian Smith really had an outing to forget, allowing eight baserunners (four hits and four walks, plus a wild pitch) without recording an out.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cub players only):< /p>
X. Junior Lake, SS: 1-6 (6-3, F-8, F-9, F-7, E-6, 1B, R, SB)
NOTE: Lake batted six times, once in each of the first five innings, and once in the 8th inning
1. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 0-3 (P-6, BB, F-7, F-7)
2a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
2b. Brian Inoa, DH #1: 1-2 (2B, 6-4-3 DP, R)
3a. Javier Baez, DH #2: 1-2 (1B, 5-4 FC, HBP, SB, CS)
3b. Kevin Encarnacion, PH: 0-0 (BB)
4. Rock Shoulders, DH #3: 0-4 (K, 6-4 FC, K, K)
5. Xavier Batista, RF: 2-4 (1B, K, 1B, K, R, RBI)
6. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 0-2 (BB, L-6, BB, F-8, R)
7. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 1-4 (F-8, K, 1B, P-5)
8. Yasiel Balaguert, LF: 2-4 (1B, 2B, 6-4-3 DP, K, 2 RBI)
9a. Anthony Giansanti, C: 1-2 (BB, 6-3, 1B, RBI)
9b. Justin Marra, C: 0-1 (K)
10. Jair Bogaerts, 3B: 0-2 (K, HBP, K)
1. Starling Peralta: 3.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 2 HBP, 1 GIDP, 58 pitches (37 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
2. Hunter Ackerman: 2.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 2 HBP, 1 GIDP, 47 pitches (23 strikes), 4/1 GO/FO
3. Brian Smith: 0.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 4 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 29 pitches (9 strikes)
NOTE: Top of the 6th was stopped with two outs and runners at 2nd & 3rd when Smith reached his pre-planned max pitch limit for the inning, and top of the 7th was stopped with bases loaded & no outs when Smith reached his pre-planned max pitch limit for the game
4. Rafael Diplan: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 46 pitches (25 strikes), 0/4 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: 1
3B Jair Bogaerts - E-5 (throwing error on attempted 5-2 force-out at home allowed unearned run to score)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Anthony Giansanti: 0-3 CS, 1 PB
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
1. LF Yasiel Balaguert - threw out runner 7-5 trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on a line single to left
2. RF Xavier Batista - threw out runner 9-2 trying to score on fly out to RF
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 90's
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.
a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...
it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...
Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.
Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.
Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.
soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.
he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.
j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.
so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.
im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.
That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.
9 pitches in and this game already rules.
HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).
...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.