Tulo Two RBI Too Much for Cubs
Troy Tulowitzki drove-in both Colorado runs with an RBI double and a sacrifice fly, and Jorge de la Rosa and four relievers combined to toss a six-hit shutout, as the Rockies blanked the Cubs 2-0 in Cactus League action this afternoon at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.
The Cubs offense sputtered all day, but they did threaten to score twice.
The Cubs loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the 3rd inning but did not score (Luis Valbuena drew a walk, Darwin Barney reached on an infield hit down the third-base line, and Starlin Castro grounded a single to left, but then Alfonso Soriano and Scott Hairston struck out swinging and Dioner Navarro flied out to CF), and the first two Cubs reached base in the bottom of the 9th but were left stranded (Steve Clevenger reached on an infield single that glanced off the pitcher's glove and Johermyn Chavez drew a walk, but Darnell McDonald was called out on strikes on a 3-2 pitch, Jorge Soler popped out to the first-baseman in foul territory, and PH Brad Nelson rolled out 4-3).
After not pitching in an "A" game since a week ago Sunday, Edwin Jackson got the start for the Cubs today and became the first Cub hurler to go five innings, E-Jax allowed one run on three hits (two infield singles and the Tulo RBI double) and one walk in his 5.0 IP (59 pitches - 38 strikes, 6/5 GO/FO), while striking out two. This was definitely the best Jackson has looked so far this Spring.
Japanese import RHRP Kyuji Fujikawa labored through a 25-pitch 6th, as the Rockies loaded the bases on a single and two walks, followed by the Tulowitzki SF. Although Fujikawa was behind on most every hitter he faced, he did strike out two (one looking and one swinging).
Both Cory Wade and Carlos Marmol breezed through seven-pitch shutout innings in the 7th & 8th, and Jensen Lewis pitched a scoreless 9th, allowing a lead-off single, but eventually leaving the runner stranded at 2nd.
Catcher Dioner Navarro had another strong game behind the plate, picking one runner off 1st base, and nailing another runner trying to steal 2nd.
After missing two weeks with a hamstring injury, Starlin Castro returned to the lineup and looked fine. He played shortstop for three innings and handled five chances easily (Eric Young, Jr did beat-out an infield single to deep short, but there was no realistic chance to throw Young out although Castro did make the play close at 1st), and reached base in both of his AB (drawing a walk in the 1st, and grounding a single to LF in the 3rd).
Everytime I recall Szcur's bne marrow donation to a stranger, it makes me smile:
If Matt is out will Kawasaki get the call-up? Or "Shane"?
"Matt Szczur will undergo an MRI on his right hamstring on Tuesday."
One of the reasons I think Maddon is a great manager -- he has changed the conversation on Baez from HR & strikeouts to great defense, versatility and an all-around good ballplayer. He rarely talks about his offense, which is the only thing anybody used to talk about with Javy. He took a lot of pressure off the kid, and he seems to have responded.
Good pitching and some nifty D tonight -- nice win.
In case you didn't see it -- it was the Little League play where the guy on first gets caught in a rundown on purpose and the guy on third tries to score. It worked.
Gotta love the Pirates pitcher intentionally hitting Zobrist, then allowing Zobrist to score on a 2-out wild pitch.
Also, glad to see Zobrist coming around with RISP after my remarks last week. Heh!
ESPN reporting heyward day-to-day with an injured wrist
ESPN game tonight, btw.
Cardinal way #48
"negligent transmission of STDs"
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Twitterverse reporting that Heyward is dealing with a sore right wrist
Cardinal way #47
See ya on parrot chat
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST...
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex:
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.