Ha Gets Last Laugh at Fitch Park
Matt Loosen retired the first ten men he faced and combined with three relievers to throw a four hitter and Jae-Hoon Ha reached base five times on two walks and three singles (including the game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the 9th), as the Tennessee Smokies edged the Midland RockHounds (Oakland Athletics AA affiliate) 4-3 on Field #2, and Barret Loux threw five shutout innings and Scott Hairston singled twice, walked, and smacked a solo HR, helping the Iowa Cubs defeat the Sacramento River Cats (A's AAA affiliate) 3-1 on Field #3, in Cactus League Minor League Camp action this afternoon at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.
Hairston was signed by the Cubs during the off-season after hitting 263/299/504 with 20 HR and 25 doubles in 134 games for the New York Mets in 2012, but he is hitting only 176/208/373 with 18 K in 53 PA so far in 18 Cactus League games. So to help him maybe get into a groove, the Cubs sent Hairston to Fitch Park today where he got eight Plate Appearances, leading off for the Iowa Cubs in each inning.
For the day, Hairston went 3-7 with two singles, a HR, and a walk, two strikeouts (one looking and one swinging), a 6-3 ground out, and a P-4 pop out. He hit his HR in last last AB of the day.
Mark Malave and Anthony Prieto got called up from the Boise/Mesa squad (Extended Spring Training) and played in the Tennessee game.
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):
FITCH PARK FIELD #2
1. Jae-Hoon Ha, CF: 2-2 (1B, BB, BB, 1B, 1B, R, RBI)
2. Roni Torreyes, DH #1: 1-5 (3-U, E-6, 1B, 6-3, L-4, RBI, CS)
3. Javier Baez, SS: 1-4 (1B, K, 1-3, F-7, RBI)
4. Jorge Soler, RF: 1-4 (4-6-3 DP, K, 2B, K)
5. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 0-2 (BB, F-8, 6-3, BB)
6. Rafael Lopez, DH-C: 1-3 (2B, K, BB, K)
7. Evan Crawford, LF: 1-4 (K, 4-3, F-8, 1B, R, SB)
8. Elliot Soto, 2B: 1-4 (4-3, 1B, 5-3, E-1, 2 R)
9a. Luis Flores, C-DH: 2-3 (K, 1B, 1B)
9b. Matt Szczur, PH: 0-1 (K)
10. Mark Malave, 3B: 1-4 (1B, 4-6-3 DP, F-7, K)
11a. Matt Loosen, P: 0-0 (1-4 SH)
11b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED LAST THREE TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
1. Matt Loosen: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 56 pitches (36 strikes), 7/5 GO/FO
2. David Cales: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 16 pitches (10 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
3. A. J. Morris: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 32 pitches (16 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
4. Anthony Prieto: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 17 pitches (10 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
TENNESSEE ERRORS: NONE
TENNESSEE CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Rafael Lopez: 1 PB
FITCH PARK FIELD #3
X. Scott Hairston, DH #1; 3-7 (BB, 6-3, 1B, K, K, 1B, P-4, HR, 2 R, RBI)
NOTE: Hairston batted eight times, leading-off each inning
1. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 0-3 (K, E-8, K)
2. Logan Watkins, 2B: 1-3 (1B, F-9, K)
3. Josh Vitters, 3B: 2-3 (1B, K, 1B)
4. Justin Bour, 1B: 1-3 (K, 1B, K)
5. Brad Nelson, DH #2: 1-3 (L-6, K, 2B)
6. Ty Wright, LF: 2-3 (1B, 4-3, 1B, R)
7. Michael Brenly, C: 1-3 (1B, F-9, K)
8. Johermyn Chavez, RF: 1-3 (1B, 5-3, K, RBI)
9. Rubi Silva, CF: 0-3 (F-7, K, 5-3)
10. Chad Noble, DH #3: 0-2 (K, 6-4 FC)
11. Barret Loux, P: 0-0 (3-U SH)
11b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED LAST TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
1. Barret Loux: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 56 pitches (38 strikes), 5/7 7/5 GO/FO
2. Marcus Hatley: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 24 pitches (19 strikes), 0/3 GO/FO
3. Rafael Dolis: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 23 pitches (12 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
4. Frank Batista: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 15 pitches (10 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
IOWA ERRORS: NONE
WEATHER: Partly cloudly with temperatures in the 80's
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.