Torreyes Terrorizes Snakes at Talking Stick
Roni Torreyes singled twice, tripled, drove-in two runs, and scored another, Carlos Penalver singled twice, scored two runs, and stole a base, Jose Dore mashed a solo HR, and Paul Blackburn tossed three shutout innings, as the Cubs defeated the Diamondbacks 5-2 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Whirlwind Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort, east of Scottsdale, AZ.
The game was pre-planned as an 11-inning affair, so that more innings would be available for the Cubs and D'backs pitchers who were scheduled to throw today.
The Defensive Play of the Game was turned-in by 19-year old SS (and Junior Lake clone) Francisco Sanchez, who made a sliding catch at the foul line halfway between third base and the outfield fence. Sanchez showed extraordinary speed and range to even get to the ball, and then after catching it, he quickly righted himself and showed off his plus-arm, making a pinpoint throw back to the infield.
After drawing nine walks in eight innings yesterday, the Cubs drew ten walks in eleven innings today.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
1a. Roni Torreyes, 2B: 3-4 (L-5, 3B, 1B, 1B, R, 2 RBI)
1b. David Bote, 2B: 0-1 (BB, K, CS)
2a. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 0-3 (P-5, K, BB, 5-3)
2b. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 0-2 (P-6, K)
3a. Mark Malave, 3B: 0-2 (4-3, BB, P-2)
3b. Luis Acosta, PH-3B: 0-2 (BB, K, 3-U)
4a. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-1 (F-9, BB, BB)
4b. Kevin Encarnacion, PH-RF: 0-3 (K, F-8, P-4)
5a. Reggie Golden, DH: 0-2 (P-5, K, BB, RBI)
5b. Yasiel Balaguert, PH-DH: 1-2 (1B, K)
6a. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 0-3 (4-3, K, K)
6b. Jose Dore, PH-1B: 1-2 (K, HR, R, RBI)
7a. Carlos Penalver, SS: 2-3 (1B, K, 1B, 2 R, SB)
7b. Francisco Sanchez, PH-SS: 0-2 (K, K)
8a. Neftali Rosario, C: 0-3 (K, 6-3, 5-3)
8b. Wilfredo Petit, C: 0-0 (BB, BB, CS)
9a. Trevor Gretzky, LF: 2-3 (K, 1B, 1B, R)
9b. Rashad Crawford, LF: 0-1 (K, BB)
1. Paul Blackburn: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 43 pitches (26 strikes), 3/4 GO/FO
2. Carlos Gutierrez: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 33 pitches (18 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
3. Hunter Cervenka: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 18 pitches (9 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
4. Mike Hamann: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 19 pitches (12 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
5. Matt Iannazzo: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 27 pitches (18 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
6. Chad Martin: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 20 pitches (15 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 1
3B Mark Malave - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE
Neftali Rosario: 0-1 CS, 2 PB
WEATHER: Partly cloudy & breezy with temperatures in the 70's
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.
You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.
To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.
So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?
First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!