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
If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic
I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.
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.