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.
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.
LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.
RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.
I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):
* bats or throws left
# bats both
Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.
More on the Cub Way.
Send Soler down!
Awesome thanks AZ
Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.
Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!
given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.
i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.
Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?
He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.
My guess? Toronto.
PHIL: It seems as if Paniagua has always played 1B with the Cubs. At 6'2 and 180#, what is his frame like? String bean? Have you seen him bulk up? Where do you project him? Thanks.
Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?
Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.
Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.
Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.
While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.