Cubs Rally in 9th to Beat Royals

Casey McGehee bounced a PH GW RBI single between short and third, scoring Ronny Cedeno with the winning run in the bottom of the 9th, as the Cubs rallied to defeat the Royals 6-5 at HoHoKam Park this afternoon.

box score

  

The Cubs trailed 5-4 entering the last frame, and were facing Royals closer Joakim Soria.

Koyie Hill led-off by hitting a broken-bat liner to the shortstop, but then Felix Pie looped a single over shortstop that fell in front of the left-fielder. Cedneo then hit a fly ball down the right-field line that fell just fair, and nearly bounced into the stands for what would have been a ground rule double, before instead rolling up against the stands and then into the RF corner, scoring the speedy Pie with the tying run as Cedeno came into 3rd standing up. McGehee followed by smacking an 0-2 pitch into the hole, and the Cubs had their victory.

Jason Marquis got the start for the Cubs today, facing off against KC LHP John Bale. Marquis pitched very well, allowing just one run on five hits, two walks, four strikeouts, and one GIDP in his five-plus innings of work. 

Marquis threw a total of 73 pitches (46 strikes) with a 7/4 GB/FB, and never threw more than 17 pitches in any one inning (16-17-10-12-14-4).

The only run allowed by Marquis came in the top of the first, when lead-off hitter David DeJesus tripled into the RF corner, before scoring on a one-out RBI single. After that, Marquis pitched shutout ball until being removed after surrendering a lead-off single in the top of the 6th.

Meanwhile, the Cubs tied the score in the bottom of the 2nd on an RBI triple by Mark DeRosa following an infield hit by Kosuke Fukudome. However, Geovany Soto struck out looking and Felix Pie bounced out to 1st to end the possibility of any further damage.

But the Cubs did take the lead 4-1 in the bottom of the 6th, as Aramis Ramirez hit a one-out opposite-field three-run HR (his first dinger of the Spring), scoring Ronny Cedeno (who had reached on an infield hit) and Derrek Lee (who reached on a FC).

Cedeno didn't enter the game until the bottom of the 6th, but even so he managed to go 3-3 with a single, a double, and a triple, an RBI, and two runs scored. 

Trying to protect a 4-1 Cubs lead in the top of the 7th, rookie RHP Tim Lahey was unable to get the job done, allowing two infield singles, two RBI doubles, a FC RBI, and a walk, before being relieved with only one out, Cubs down 5-4, and two runner still on base. But Les Walrond got out of the jam, and then Jose Ascanio (1-2-3 six-pitch 8th featuring three weak grounders) and Kevin Hart (1-2-3 9th including two strikeouts) kept the game close until the Cubs could pull it out in the bottom of the 9th.

It appeared that Alex Cintron suffered a pulled left hamstring while running out a single in the bottom of the 8th, and he had to be removed for a pinch-runner. He was last seen limping into the dugout. It's been a tough week for Cintron, first getting hit in the face with a foul ball while standing on the on-deck circle, and now this. 

Comments

What a change in the Cedeno/Cintron Derby...all in one afternoon.

So if Cintron is injured can the Cubs afford to trade Cedeno?

Good question. Cintron says he'll be back in a couple days, but the way it goes with hamstrings, who knows?

As long as this Roberts deal has been dragged out, it would be painfully funny and typically Cub if the thing that caused the whole deal to unravel was Alex Cintron's hamstring.

fonte-yes?

and yeah, i know fontenot is a pretty weak option, but we're talking about a manager who's got no issue with marching d.ward and m.murton out to RF.

I don't know why Cintron would affect a Roberts deal. Let's say Cedeno is traded for Roberts and Cintron goes on the d.l., you still have DeRosa as the back up SS/3b, and probably Fontentot as a spare infielder (who hits better than Cintron). Cintron is a solid fielder, but it's not like he's a gold glover, and he's only a step up hitting-wise over Cedeno's anemic big league production.

If the Roberts deal doesn't go down I'd rather have Cintron on the team than Cedeno.

You're right, and I wasn't thinking when I suggested Cintron's injury could muck things up.

Regarding Cintron's fielding, Dave van Dyck mentioned in the Trib that Cintron's arm is virtually shot and that's why the Sox were willing to let him go.

Yeah, I forgot about that. I just remembered him from his D-back days. Didn't watch many Sox games in the last couple of years. Cedeno drives me nuts, though. In my book he's similar to Dempster and Barrett. Nice guys with a lot of talent but lacking baseball intelligence. They do stupid things on the field that cost a team wins.

AZ PHIL:

Thanks for your continued reporting.

Should we be concerned about Geovany Soto? His spring numbers are discouraging, as are the reports alleging that he is less "fit" than he was during his breakout season last year.

Submitted by Romero on Tue, 03/18/2008 - 9:15pm.

AZ PHIL: Thanks for your continued reporting. Should we be concerned about Geovany Soto? His spring numbers are discouraging, as are the reports alleging that he is less "fit" than he was during his breakout season last year.

==============================

ROMERO: Geovany Soto looks lost at the plate. He seems to be in a big-time slump right now. Whether that means anything for the 2008 season, I guess that's still TBD. But he is not swinging the bat well at all. He looks a lot more like the Geovany Soto of 2005-06 than he does the Geovany Soto of 2007. Hopefully he'll get himself straightened out soon.

 

so what would the odds be that e. pat would make the team
say over a cedeno or cintron i dont see how cubs keep cedeno
on 25 man lou does not want him there.

Thank you Phil. We appreciate you.

I can't imagine Cintron's hammy undoing Roberts, but you never know...

To steal from PTI for a minute, we should play oddsmakers: what are the chances the Roberts deal really gets done? I'm going with the big squaduche(sp?), zip, zilch. I think if it were going to happen, it would have by now

I don't think it's going to happen, but if it does, it's more likely to happen between March 24 and 30 than it would have in the last five weeks.

It's good to see some fight in the team even if it is just ST.

Cintron quotes:
"I had a nice at-bat and got a base hit, and felt a cramp. I've never had problems with my legs in my career. Hopefully, two, three days at the most."

Lou said he will likely be out a few days. What I don't understand is how does a cramp keep someone out 3 days. I am sure we all have had cramps in our legs at some point, but you drink some water, stretch it out and a couple hours later you are fine. Maybe Cubster can help me out and explain how cramps keep someone out 3 days. Is it really a tweak of the hamstring and Cintron is downplaying it, or is it really a cramp that can hurt for 3 days? Thanks!!

From the interview I saw, Cintron seemed to hope that it would only be a couple of days, but was unsure how long it would keep him on the shelf. Hopefully he will know more today.

Hopefully he will know more today
====================
Exactly. A cramp will probably be OK to play the next day or two. Basically when they say a "cramp", its a muscle spasm that makes the muscle tighten up and it usually loosens up in minutes or hours at most but the muscle fibres aren't torn/injured. This can happen in most any muscle and we've seen it in Zambrano's forearm where they blame it on hydration but it's never very clear what causes it.

On the other side, even the most minimal hamstrain muscle strain will be a week or more so I'm sure they will know more today.

Thanks Cubster!! So if he is out more than today, we can easily assume, even without word from the doctors, that it is at least some kind of hamstring tweak/strain?

AZ Phil--

I watched the last few innings, and Kevin Hart didn't look like a bullpen guy--he looked like a strong #3 in the rotation. Any chance of that at all this year? What about next? I know giving your all for one inning is a lot different than pacing yourself for 6 or 7, but he totally overmatched the Royals hitters.

And to piggy-back on this question about Hart:

Is it better, organizationally, for Hart to be pitching in the rotation at Iowa? Do we have enough quality bullpen arms already to not mess with the development of Hart as a possible major-league starter? Or, now that I think of it, does this fit into Piniella's idea of how to "break in" major-league pitchers (by having them start in the bullpen)?

I watched the last few innings, and Kevin Hart didn't look like a bullpen guy--he looked like a strong #3 in the rotation

That's how he always looks to me. The guy can pitch. I really don't know WHAT the Cubs are thinking.

Thanks for your reports, AZ Phil. I have a question about Fitch - I swung by there before going to Ho Ho Kam on Sunday and noted 4 different teams on 4 different fields. Last week, you said there were 5 teams (AAA, AA, A+, A, ExST) but I only saw 4 teams on 4 diamonds...where is the 5th team and which one did I not see (the fields I saw were called Wrigley, Patterson, another name I forgot and a fourth that didn't have a name)?

Also, anything interesting going on with the minor leaguers?

Re: Cubs Rally in 9th to Beat Royals Submitted by Raisin101 on Wed, 03/19/2008 - 10:49am. Thanks for your reports, AZ Phil. I have a question about Fitch - I swung by there before going to Ho Ho Kam on Sunday and noted 4 different teams on 4 different fields. Last week, you said there were 5 teams (AAA, AA, A+, A, ExST) but I only saw 4 teams on 4 diamonds...where is the 5th team and which one did I not see (the fields I saw were called Wrigley, Patterson, another name I forgot and a fourth that didn't have a name)? Also, anything interesting going on with the minor leaguers?

 

========================

RAISIN: The 5th squad (Boise/Mesa) doesn't play ST games as a squad. Rather, their players are dispersed as late-inning replacements and emergency pitchers among the other four squads, much the same as players are called up from the minor league camp to play in big league ST games.

Boise/Mesa won't start playing games as a unit until Extended Spring Training in April, when they play games versus other EXST clubs through the month of May, before the Cubs EXST group and players who are selected and signed out of the June draft come together at Fitch Park and form the Boise Hawks and the AZL Cubs in June.

Man, the Red Sox are really sticking it to MLB right now. They are not coming out onto teh field to play their ST game today to boycott the fact the coaches aren't getting paid for their Japan trip[. Also they said they are not going over till they do. WOW!! Good for them, I guess coaches in the past that have gone over have gotten paid, from what I hear.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080319&c...

Good for the Red Sox. I hope they make MLB cave in and pay the coaches on both teams for the trip.

Awesome... I am quite impressed with the Red Sox players for doing this.

Oh yeah, let me say congrats to Selig for screwing up this Red Sox thing. How could he let it go this far? I guess we can just add this to the list...

I'd like AZ Phil to comment on the readiness of Eric Patterson to be able to hit 1 or 2 in a major league order and play 2nd base. I know he has a hard time in the field, but he is very lefthanded. What would we be giving up to get probably two year of Roberts vs. what can Patterson provide in that time? I for one have no problem having too many pitchers on hand. Who says you have to get rid of them? Marshall can go down, one of Marquis, Leiber, or (preferrably) Dempster can go to the pen.

Looks like Felipe Lopez is wearing out his welcome in Washington. I'm Curious what the consensus would be to getting him instead of Brian Roberts? He is 3 years younger and will cost a fraction of what Roberts will. Plus he can actually play SS and fill a legitimate need.

Except as horrible of an offensive player Theriot was last year, Felipe Lopez might actually be a worse.

Lopez 2007: .245/.308/.352/.660
Theriot 2007: .266/.326/.346/.672

If we wanted a real SS, there were many different options to go after this offseason and we didn't get any of them, and not even sure we were even involved in talks for them.

Lopez had a couple of decent years with the bat in 2005+2006, but last year slipped to .245/.308/.352 and he's not a good fielder at SS. Defensively I'd rather have Theriot, and comparing last year's offensive numbers, I'd rather have Theriot.

Lopez is one of those guys who has bounced from team to team. I've heard before to beware of guys like that because usually they are clubhouse problems. Not sure in his case, but I'd be weary.

He's only been traded 1 time in recent years. The big knock seems to be that he wants to be a starter. RFK stadium seems to have sapped his power. However he did hit 23 Dingers in Cincy the year before he got traded. I would think he would be a considerable upgrade from Theriot. Not to mention the fact that getting him would put Theriot into the super-utility role that he would seemingly excel in. Just a thought. I'd bet that Ronny Cedeno straight up would probably net him.

Submitted by Pat Kane on Wed, 03/19/2008 - 11:12am.

I'd like AZ Phil to comment on the readiness of Eric Patterson to be able to hit 1 or 2 in a major league order and play 2nd base. I know he has a hard time in the field, but he is very lefthanded. What would we be giving up to get probably two year of Roberts vs. what can Patterson provide in that time?

I for one have no problem having too many pitchers on hand. Who says you have to get rid of them? Marshall can go down, one of Marquis, Leiber, or (preferrably) Dempster can go to the pen.

==================

PAT KANE: I believe Eric Patterson is rprobably ready to play in the big leagues offensively as a #1 or #2 hitter right now. I don't believe he is ready defensively, though,

In my opinion, if they don't trade him,.the Cubs should probably just keep playing E-Pat at 2nd base at AAA and hope that he can become at least passably-mediocre there. With Felix Pie in CF, there is no place for Eric Patterson in the outfield if he remains a Cub. Now, if he gets traded, his best bet is in CF.   

He actually has decent range at 2B and he throws OK when he doesn't have time to think, but he has Steve Sax/Chuck Knoblauch Disease on easy routine throws (he has a weird over-hand "girlie" throwing motion on short throws that causes him to steer the ball and throw the ball off-target), and he tends to bobble balls and make mistakes when the game is on the line or when he really needs to make a play.

Ideally, Patterson would play CF and hit 1st or 2nd in the order. But that isn't an option if he stays with the Cubs, unless the Cubs decide Felix Pie isn't the answer in CF.

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