Rockies Blank Cubs & Ian Stewart at Talking Stick
Rockies hitters rapped out six extra-base hits (a double, three triples, and two HR) and five Rockies pitchers combined to toss a six-hit shutout with twelve strikeouts, as the Cubs were whitewashed 9-0 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training Opening Day action this morning at Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.
Rehabbing from a strained quad suffered in an intrasquad game in February, Ian Stewart played 3B for five innings and batted six times (once in each of the first six innings), going 0-6 with three strikeouts (all three swinging), two fly outs, and a line-drive out, leaving seven baserunners stranded (four in scoring position).
The game was continued into the bottom of the 9th inning so that all of the Cubs pitchers scheduled to throw today could get their work.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
X. Ian Stewart, 3B: 0-6 (K, K, F-8, L-8, F-9, K)
NOTE: Stewart batted six times, hitting 3rd in each of the first six innings
1a. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 1-3 (1B, F-7, K)
1b. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-1 (L-9)
2. David Bote, 2B-DH: 0-2 (BB, K, BB, K, CS)
3a. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 1-2 (K, 1B)
3b. Jose Dore, 1B: 0-1 (6-3)
4a. Reggie Golden, RF: 1-2 (K, 2B)
4b. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 0-1 (K)
5. Roni Torreyes, DH-2B: 0-3 (K, 5-3, 4-3)
6a. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 2-2 (2B, 1B, SB)
6b. Trevor Gretzky, LF: 0-1 (4-3)
7a. Justin Marra, C: 0-1 (K, BB)
7b. Neftali Rosario, C: 0-1 (1-U)
8a. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-1 (1B, BB, SB, CS)
8b. Danny Lockhart, SS: 0-1 (F-7)
9a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
9b. Mark Malave, DH-3B: 0-2 (K, 4-3)
1. Josh Conway: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 29 pitches (17 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
NOTE: Conway's second inning was stopped with one out when he reached his pre-planned max pitch limit
2. Jose Rosario: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 25 pitches (16 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
3. Jasvir Rakkar: 1.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 27 pitches (18 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
4. James Pugliese: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 35 pitches (23 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
5. Tyler Bremer: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 27 pitches (17 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
6. David Cales: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 12 pitches (8 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: 1
SS Danny Lockhart - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE
1. Justin Marra: 0-1 CS
2. Neftali Rosario: 1-3 CS
WEATHER: Sunny, windy, and hazy (blowing dust), 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.