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:

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)

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)

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

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

Welington Castillo - E-2 - Catcher’s Interference (CI) allowed batter to reach base safely



WEATHER: Partly cloudy & cool with temperatures in the 50’s



An AZPhil boxscore and's baseball season again.

MLB Network spring games schedule..

fwiw, all but 1 cubs game (March 16, 4pm EST) are early morning or very late night replays.

Espn had attendance at well over 50.


THANKS PHIL!!!!!!!!!

Maybe they confused the temperature for the attendance?

Soler's blast.

Some guys just look like major leaguers.

Thanks for the writeup, AZ! The only thing missing is the reverse chalupa reference for which your headline begs. :)

"Scott Baker (elbow) is scheduled to throw a side session Monday before being reevaluated."

if he's not cleared to throw beyond side sessions soon there's a great chance he'll be starting the season on the DL.

if he can't throw at least 70+ pitches by the time camp breaks he's not ready for a starter workload even on a conservative scale.

Recent comments

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  • Hah which reminds me this is a good article about Ross:

  • Gordo tweeted:

    "I'm pretty comfortable moving all over. I like it that way, too. It keeps me on my toes and ready each and every game.”--Bryant last week.

    So it could be he's just saying the right things, but I believe him.

  • Which means if you shut this place down, and the Cubs go back to their old ways, we will all have to hunt you down, kidnap you, and strap you to a chair to listen to Tim McCarver and Joe Buck repeatedly, with dollops of Hawk Harrelson thrown in for good measure.

  • You got a problem with David Ross?

  • La Stella (3B) batting fifth. Could be the La Stella game.

  • [Drafts plans for CTSteve idol.]

  • Pitcher batting 9th. Bryant in left, Schwarber in right.

  • i'm not ready for it to end.

    i'm not ready for "well, they weren't supposed to make it this year..."

    i'm not ready to talk about the off-season yet.

  • I can relate to that, E-Man. I don't think I'll enjoy watching a high-stakes away game like this on TV. I've watched a lot of games this season after they ended or at least after the Cubs got out to a decent lead. Since they usually win, I've gotten to see a lot of baseball.

    But in this case I think we should probably all watch the game live, and not let the pressure exceed the pleasure.

  • Remember, as I told my wife when our kids went off to college -- this is a good thing! Enjoy it!

  • Fully agree -- can't prove it. But, the numbers are what they are, and a lot of his OF games have come in Aug & Sept, when he has been killing the ball otherwise. And, knowing how baseball players love routine, it seems logical that it could at least be a a factor.

    Really, really, really hope I'm wrong on this.

  • Indeed! It has been absolute blast -- from getting swept by the Phillies to sweeping the Giants, I have always enjoyed being part of this group. Hope we have a lot more games to talk about this year.

  • Yes, cheers to me! I've noticed a fairly strong correlation between my tenure and Cubbie victories. 

    And thanks to Michael for our new diggs--and to y'all for sticking around! 

  • CHEERS to CT Steve for keeping this alive in 2015. Who would have thought that the season would have been so successful to this point? Thank you CT STEVE!

    I think I may be too nervous to watch the entire game. I will probably watch in bits and pieces - and constantly check MLB App. I will be like Blockhead: Nervous Nellie.

  • You can't prove the performance is because he played the OF. You just can't. Sorry.

    BTW, Bryant hit .168 in July playing 3B exclusively.

  • oh man, early on it seems like he made at least 1 stupid baserunning blunder per game and almost every single one turned into a positive for the cubs. it was magical.