Cubs Play Long Ball with Themselves
Starlin Castro had three hits (two singles and a double) and scored three runs, and Jorge Soler, Nate Schierholtz, and Brian Bogusevic slugged solo home runs, as the White Squad defeated the Blue Squad 7-3 in a five-inning intrasquad game played this afternoon at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.
Nick Struck got the start for the White Squad and had an easy eight-pitch 1-2-3 top of the 1st inning (P-5, 6-3, K-swinging), before his teammates plated three in the bottom of the 1st against Chris Rusin to take a 3-0 lead.
Starlin Castro roped a one-out double into the LF gap, and after Anthony Rizzo walked, Alfonso Soriano drove-in Castro with a single that bounced off Javier Baez’s glove and into CF. Dioner Navarro singled to load the bases, and then Ian Stewart smacked a two-out opposite-field line-drive two-run double into the left-center alley to score Rizzo and Soriano, before Navarro was thrown-out (by a mile) trying to score from 1st base to end the inning.
Jorge Soler put the Blue Squad on the board in the top of 2nd, drilling a one-out solo HR off Nick Struck on a 2-2 pitch, blasting the ball over the left-field fence and high onto the berm. Junior Lake ripped a two-out triple off the CF Batter’s Eye (“Green Monster”), but was left-stranded when Brett Jackson grounded out 4-3. (B. Jax did not show any positive effects from his new swing today, rolling-over and grounding out weakly to 2nd base twice).
Javier Baez made an outstanding diving catch to rob David DeJesus of a hit with one-out in the bottom of the second, turning it into an inning ending DP as Darwin Barney was doubled-off 1st base.
The White Squad tacked-on two more runs off Cory Wade in the bottom of the third, as Castro and Rizzo led-off the inning with singles, and Castro scored on a Soriano 6-4-3 DP. Nate Schierholtz then hammered a two-out moon-shot solo HR off the RF foul pole to give the Whites a 5-1 lead.
The Blue Squad scored single runs in the 4th & 5th, cutting the White lead to 5-3.
Welington Castillo roped a lead-off double down the LF line in the 4th off Rob Whitenack, and scored after Brad Nelson and Jorge Soler walked to load the bases (Whitenack lost the strike zone in his second inning of work) and Javier Baez grounded into an RBI 6-4 FC (outstanding play by Castro going into the hole, backhanding the ball, and then without missing a beat, throwing a strike to Darwin Barney to force Soler at 2nd base on a "bang-bang" play). Baez was then doubled-off 1st base to kill the rally as Starlin Castro caught a Junior Lake line drive and fired the ball to 1st.
Brian Bogusevic cracked a one-out solo HR over the fence in right-center off Rafael Dolis in the top of the 5th to complete the Blue scoring.
The White Squad scored their final two runs of the game off Trey McNutt in the bottom of the 5th. David DeJesus and Starlin Castro singled and Anthony Rizzo walked to load the bases with no outs. DeJesus scored on a Soriano 6-3 RBI ground out (double-clutch by Baez or it would have been an easy 6-4-3 DP), and Castro scored on a line-drive sacrifice fly (diving catch by Jorge Soler in left).
Here is the unofficial box score from today‘s game:
BLUE SQUAD LINEUP:
1. Luis Valbuena, 2B: 0-3 (P-5, F-7, F-7)
2. Dave Sappelt, CF: 0-3 (6-3, 6-3, 6-3)
3. Welington Castillo, C: 1-2 (K, 2B, R)
4. Brad Nelson, 1B: 0-1 (L-7, BB)
5. Jorge Soler, LF: 1-1 (HR, BB, R, RBI)
6. Javier Baez, SS: 0-2 (K, 6-4 FC, RBI)
7. Junior Lake, 3B: 1-2 (3B, L-6 DP)
8. Brett Jackson, RF: 0-2 (4-3, 4-3)
9. Brian Bogusevic, DH: 1-2 (4-3, HR, R, RBI)
WHITE SQUAD LINEUP:
1. David DeJesus, CF: 1-3 (3-1, L-6 DP, 1B, R)
2. Starlin Castro, SS: 3-3 (2B, 1B, 1B, 3 R)
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B: 1-1 (BB, 1B, BB, R)
4. Alfonso Soriano, LF: 1-3 (1B, 6-4-3 DP, 6-3, R, 2 RBI)
5. Nate Schierholtz, RF: 1-2 (P-6, HR, L-7 SF, R, 2 RBI)
6. Dioner Navarro, C: 1-3 (1B, F-7, 4-3)
7a. Ian Stewart, 3B: 1-1 (2B, 2 RBI)
7b. Christian Villanueva, 3B: 0-1 (F-7)
8. Darwin Barney, 2B: 0-1 (E2-CI, K)
9. Scott Hairston, DH: 0-2 (K, P-5)
BLUE SQUAD PITCHERS
1. Chris Rusin: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 35 pitches (19 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
2. Cory Wade: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 31 pitches (20 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
3. Trey McNutt: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 26 pitches (18 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
WHITE SQUAD PITCHERS
1. Nick Struck: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 36 pitches (19 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
2. Rob Whitenack: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 32 pitches (15 strikes), 3/3 GO/FO
3. Rafael Dolis: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 15 pitches (8 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
BLUE SQUAD ERRORS: (1)
Welington Castillo - E-2 - Catcher’s Interference (CI) allowed batter to reach base safely
WHITE SQUAD ERRORS: NONE
WEATHER: Partly cloudy & cool with temperatures in the 50’s
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.
I'm with you, Rob. You pretty much summed up how I feel about it.
Been quite the roller-coaster the past two days -- both games, plus the Chapman kerfuffel. How about a couple of nice, comfortable wins before facing Sale? Cubs should definitely wear throwbacks for that game.
The Cubs are stronger defensively than most of the teams they play. In order to capitalize on that, they have to a) put the ball in play and b) run the bases aggressively.
That said, Cabrera has a strong, accurate arm, as witnessed by his 97 outfield assists over 12 seasons--mostly left field but also a lot of center. Bryant is rarely thrown out, but I guess you have to know who's throwing the ball.
On the other hand, Pries won his first start for Iowa, only giving up two HRs in the process. This trade has got some legs yet!
KB now with 0 RBI in his last 10 games and 1 in his last 15, despite having 19 hits in his last 15 games and raising his batting average from .278 to .286 over that span.
Maybe have Zobrist hit 2 and KB hit 4?
Also -- no HR in the last 15 games -- time for a bunch. Starting tomorrow.
Down a run. Fowler on first. Nobody out. KB singles to left, Fowler makes it to third, perfect throw from Cabrera nails KB trying to stretch for 2nd.
So, instead of 1st & 3rd and no out, you have 3rd with one out. It was a perfect throw, but why take the chance with 3-4-5 hitters coming up?
Must be a Cub thing - our lefties can;t get lefties out.
Splitting hairs, but Jake's pitch was poor execution, while KB's play was a poor decision (and the 2nd time he got thrown out trying to stretch in the game). Poor execution happens. Poor decisions are preventable. Speaking of poor decisions -- Baez's steal of 3rd made absolutely no sense.
Didn't Jake cost them the game with a pitch to Frazier?
Missed the play w/Bryant. What happened?
Not a good decision by Bryant in the 9th. That may have cost them the game.
Can we un-do the Montgomery deal? Please?