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
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.