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
Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.
Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.
Think Baby Maddux.
Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.
Kyle is on the far left.
I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.
Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.
That was good!
Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.
My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.
Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.
Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.
How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?
Call me lost.
Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.
I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:
Carl Crawford $20MM
Brandon McCarthy $17MM
Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
Darwin B $2.2MM
Dan Haren $10MM
Matt Kemp $18MM
Brian Wilson $10MM
Ryan Webb $2.2MM
Dee Gordon $2.5MM
So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.
And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):
i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.
there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.
I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.
O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already.
I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.
I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.