Giants Stomp on Cubs at HoHoKam Park

Buster Posey and Joaquin Arias collected three hits a piece, as the Giants defeated the Cubs 9-3 in Cactus League action this afternoon at Dwight Pattrerson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.

box score

Travis Wood got the start for the Cubs and labored through four innings of work (93 pitches - only 50 strikes), surrendering four runs on seven hits (three doubles and four singles) and four walks (including Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong twice, the second one a lead-off four-pitch walk) plus two WP. Wood had two especially long innings (a 26-pitch 3rd and a 28-pitch 4th) that probably precluded him from going out for a 5th inning. 

"Supersub" utility man Brent Lillibridge had an absolutely awful day at shortstop, a performance that will call into question whether he can or should ever play the position (which is his "natural" position, BTW) in an MLB regular season game. He commited a fielding error in the top of the 1st that allowed a batter to reach base (and as a result T. Wood had to pitch out of a bases-loaded jam), and made three bad throws later in the game (one a terrible relay throw on what should have been a 4-6-3 DP, another a one-hopper that first-baseman Steve Clevenger was able to snag and then tag the batter-runner for an out, and a 3rd that should have been the start of a 6-4-3 DP but ended up in RF, eventualy allowing two unearned runs to score). 

Cory Wade (battling for the last slot in the bullpen) had a poor outing, throwing two innings and allowing four runs (but only two ER thanks to the Lillibridge throwing error) on four hits (including two doubles) and a walk. Wade threw several low-pitch innings in previous appearances and looked to be efficient if not over-powering, but he did that by pitching-to-contact and probably having some luck with BABIP. But today his stuff was exposed as below average and VERY hittable, and so I doubt that he will be seeing Wrigley Field anytime soon.    

Shawn Camp and Hector Rondon were very good, however, Camp striking out the side in a 1-2-3 8th, and Rondon throwing a scoreless 9th with one strikeout. 

The Cubs offense mostly struggled against Giants SP Ryan Vogelsong, eventually scoring three runs, one on an RBI double by David DeJesus that SF CF Angel Pagan lost in the sun, and the other a two-out two-run HR into the bullpen beyond the RF fence by Dioner Navarro in the bottom of the 6th (Vogelsong's last inning), Navarro's 4th Cactus League HR of 2013. 


The defense wasnt the best, but Cory Wade did not do himself any favors in making the pitching staff.

AZP--What's the deal with Panigua? This guy is presumably one of the Cubs' top 2-3 starting pitcher prospects, signed with much fanfare last year. Now he's gone all Waldo on us? Or have you sighted the guy in Mesa?

I get dark visions of Lillibridge as the New Jose Macias....

Don't you dare slander the non-great Macias. He's my favorite shitty ex-cub (closely beating out Choi, Fox and Dubois)

Choi actually had some talent until he got "outed". My fave shitty ex-Cub from the 2000's - on has to be Randall Simon. Wade Miller is up there too simply b/c he had the balls and the good sense to get Jim Hendry to sign him

None of those guys saved a season like Neifi.

(golf clap)

That's true...but I was only thinking of baseball players.

I like to fondly recall the time in spring training 2005 that Glendon Rusch got his entire $2 million salary paid to him in twenties and then stuffed it all into his uniform before taking the mound.

Isn't that about the same time Hendry slimmed down? Coincidence?

With a 12 year career, and a .7 WAR, Neifi wouldn't make my "shittiest Cub List". Typically mediocre and overused during the Dusty regime for sure, though.

920 PA .276/.297/.384 - .681 OPS - N.Perez

1244 PA .263/.305/.349 - .654 OPS - D.Barney

lulz. sigh.

Removed because I don't know how to read.

those are solely cubs numbers.

neifi needed injuries to get more ABs after his 1-season sink/swim...barney is getting ready to go into year 3 of being handed the job as a starter.

i hope they're done with him as soon as it's time to start actually paying him for his glove game...unless he's fine working injury replacement/rest replacement/late inning bench.

Of course Neifi was 31-32 with the Cubs:
Barney was 25-26 making:
2011- $500,000
2012- $562,000

yeah, that's why i hope the cubs are done with him when it's time to start paying him real money unless he's happy working part time off the bench.

d.barney is about to go into year 3 as the undisputed starter.

True. Barney as the cheap starter during rebuilding is all well and good.
I'm hoping he gets some competition from Logan Watkins next year.

I felt the same about Terry O.

...about Terry O.

Which insulted your senses more Neifi the lead off hitter or Neifi the # 5 hitter?

neifi's 115-ish leadoff PAs...the blight on the cubs that will never die.

he didn't deserve to be there, of course.

119 batting 1st...2 batting 5th...looked it up. he hit 7th and 2nd a lot more.

Wasn't his fault that Dusty was his manager. Sori is not to be faulted for Hendry giving him an 8-year contract with an NTC.

He sucked balls. That was his fault.

He had a few good years with the team. But the knee injury robbed him of several very productive years he may have had with the team.

everything is dusty's fault last i checked...and he's the only guy that would actually let d.barney be a starter for 3 years...i mean, let n.perez be a starter for 1 year.

Darwin Barney is a better hitter and defender than Neifi and is playing on a team that isn't trying to compete.

calling d.barney a better hitter is like saying having AIDS is better than having Super AIDS. hell, one could argue that d.barney is a worse hitter. neifi had .13 better BA, .08 worse OB%, and .27 better slugging...still, it's low level pathetic either way, either player, no matter who has the edge.

You can't argue he's a worse hitter and again the key here is non-competing team. Cheap player who plays very good defense and not blocking anyone that I know of. Unlike Neifi where we were actually trying to compete with that black hole at SS. This team is spending money on the players it really wants and I can guarantee if they see someone better at 2b when the time is right they will get them.

There is really no comparison.

yeah, you can argue he's a worse hitter...there's no slam-dunk...there's even an argument you can point to with numbers that he's a worse hitter.

still, this an argument about 2 of the worst full time players the cubs have had...1 got 1 full season...the other is getting a shot at a 3rd full season. ronny cedeno got a full year, too, worse than neifi or least he only got 1 season, though.

Which insulted your senses more Neifi the lead off hitter or Neifi the # 5 hitter?
I love this question.

Some of this history is a bit blurry to me these days but as I recall...When DLee broke his wrist (April 2006) it was Neifi who replaced him. Todd Walker was shifted to first and Neifi played 2nd. I don't recall Neifi being put into DLee's spot in the lineup, so he probably batted in the 1-2 slot. Did Neifi really bat 5th? As I recall, they went with Todd Walker over Grudz (after 2004 season) because Walker hit lefty...foreshadowing the Hendry's Milton Bradley choice when he and Lou decided the Cubs needed to get more left handed.

With Lee out, the Cubs could move Todd Walker over from second base or use veteran utility player John Mabry, manager Dusty Baker said after Wednesday's game.

neifi had 7 PA batting 5th in 06...2 PA in 05. he mostly hit 2nd or 8th in 06...2nd or 7th in 05...

dusty had/has a thing for "contact hits 2nd" matter the ob%, if you don't K a lot and make contact, that's how he loves to use the #2 slot. it was nice to see dusty use t.walker in the 2 slot vs righties when he was a's the type of guy you give a manager like dusty if you're a GM that wants your "contact hits 2nd" manager to plug into the #2 slot a guy who has ob% along with his contact.

Neifi batting 5th more then once was enough. I just remember him batting 5th or 6th and bunting for last out with tying run on third in 9th.

Neifi started out with some good ideas and good intentions.

He just took them a little too far....

needs more adderall and methamphetamines.

he kept the trains on time

Ha ha. I saw what you did there.

Since (golf clap) has already been used on this thread, I'll just say thanks for that comment.

OPS+ by year

2003 - 141 (67PA - ignore)
2004 - 79
2005 - 53 (before trade to Detroit)

2010 - 54 (85 PA - ignore)
2011 - 83
2012 - 79

OPS+ is even hated by a lot of stat geeks =p

it's a "park adjusted" faith stat along with a comparative season aggregate stat.

most people hate ERA+ more, though.

Isn't it normalized by league average? It seems traditional measures wouldn't account for the currently depressed run environment.

Muskat with some quotes from Scott Baker after his recent MRI and MD visit with Dr. Gryzlo. Not much news but, whatever.

...and the Halos received a couple of token minor leaguers in outfielder Exicardo Cayones and lefty reliever Kramer Sneed.

This is interesting only in that Soriano might bring. Wells to the Yankees with NY picking up $13M/2 for 2 useless prospects and salary relief for the Angels that gets them under the salary cap.

useless is practically an over-statement. e.cayones is interesting, but he has an alarming lack of power with no above-average speed to match. k.sneed's numbers makes him look like he's close to being out of organized ball given his age, performance, and level.

if the best the cubs can hope to get out of shifting soriano is saving $10-$15 and picking up little of talent in exchange...well, they still have to replace what soriano can do even if he's overpaid to do it.

Totally different beast. The Yanks wanted a name on the cheap without giving up prospects. Epstein wants prospects as a key portion of the deal. Hence, why the deal never happened with Soriano.

late-in-thread hijack:  Head to Head league looking for one (or three) more players. Mostly TCRers, though some of us aren't around here much any more, like me.  Low-intensity, high year-to-year continuity, engagement.  Check it out:  yahoo id 62369 and password samfuld

Recent comments

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  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.