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.
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.
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
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.