Baez Long Ball Propels Cubs to Victory
Jeffrey Baez smacked a three-run home run onto 8th Street, Danny Lockhart singled twice and drove-in three runs, and Ryan McNeil (Cubs 2012 3rd round draft pick) threw three innings of shutout ball with four strikeouts, leading the Cubs to a 12-7 victory over the Angels in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
Ian Stewart continued his Extended Spring Training rehab assignment, batting five times (once in each of the first five innings) and going 1-4, reaching base on an RBI single and an HBP. He also flied out, lined out, and grounded out.
The defensive gem of the game was a run-saving inning-ending diving catch in right-centerfield by Cubs CF Rashad Crawford. A star basketball player at Mundy's Mill HS in Jonesboro, GA (where he was known as "Baby Jordan"), the 6'4 switch-hitting Crawford is one of the fastest and most athletic players in the Cubs system.
Cubs 2012 6th round draft pick RHP Trey Lang struggled with his control today (throwing 30 pitches but only 11 strikes), and was pulled from the game after walking the bases loaded in the top of the 5th.
The Cubs managed to score their 12 runs on only eight hits, but they drew nine walks and seven of them scored
The game was called in the top of the 9th after all of the pitchers scheduled to throw in the game has completed their work.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
X. Ian Stewart, DH #1: 1-4 (F-7, L-7, 1B, HBP, 3-1, RBI)
NOTE: Stewart batted five times, hitting 3rd in each of the first five innings
1a. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-2 (6-3, K, BB, R)
1b. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 1-2 (HR, E-6, R, 3 RBI, CS)
2. Danny Lockhart, SS: 2-5 (K, 1B, 1B, F-7, FC+E3, R, 3 RBI, SB)
3a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST THREE TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
3b. Wilfredo Petit, DH #2: 0-1 (6-3, BB)
4a. Xavier Batista, RF: 1-3 (K, L-8, 1B)
4b. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-1 (BB, 6-3)
5. Roni Torreyes, 2B: 0-4 (F-9, L-6, F-7, 6-4-3 DP)
6a. Jose Dore, 1B: 0-1 (4-3, BB, BB, 2 R)
6b. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 0-1 (K)
7a. Lance Rymel, C: 1-1 (2B, BB, 2 R)
7b. Erick Castillo, PH-C: 1-2 (2B, F-8, R, RBI)
8. Mark Malave, 3B: 0-2 (6-3, F-7 SF, F-8, BB, R, RBI)
9a. Garrett Schlecht, LF: 0-1 (3-U, BB, R)
9b. Trevor Gretzky, LF: 1-1 (BB, 1B, 2 R)
1. Ryan McNeil: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 37 pitches (26 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
2. Corbin Hoffner: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 26 pitches (17 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
3. Trey Lang: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 1 K, 30 pitches (11 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
4. Loiger Padron: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 31 pitches (18 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
5. Hunter Ackerman: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 BALK, 39 pitches (25 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: 1
3B Mark Malave - E-5 (throwing error on infield single allowed batter to advance to 2nd base and baserunner to score unearned run)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE
Lance Rymel: 2-3 CS
WEATHER: Partly cloudy & breezy, with temperatures in the 70's
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.
It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.
I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.
I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.
This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:
Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!
Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.
Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.
Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.
Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.
Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.
Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.
He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.
He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.