Stewart Stick Helps Cubs Whip A's at Fitch Park
Ian Stewart singled, doubled, drove-in a run, and scored another, Jacob Rogers singled twice and scored twice, Garrett Schlecht hammered an RBI double and walked, and Justin Marra ripped an RBI single, walked, and scored a run, leading the Cubs to a 7-4 victory over the Athletics in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
Continuing his Extended Spring Training rehab assignment, Stewart played 3B for six innings and batted five times (once in each of the first five innings), going 2-5. He grounded out 3-U in his first AB, struck out swinging in his 2nd and 5th PA, roped a line-drive single to right in his 3rd AB, and crushed an RBI double into the RF corner his 4th time up. He didn't handle any chances at 3rd base, but he ran the bases at full tilt, showing no ill effects from the quad strain that sidelined him for most of MLB Spring Training.
The Defensive Play of the Game featured (once again) CF Rashad Crawford, who sprinted at full speed toward the infield and then made a diving catch in short center of what would otherwise have been a bloop single.
Slapped with a five-game suspension following an on-the-field incident in a game at Clearwater a couple of days ago, Daytona Cubs RF Jorge Soler is now at Fitch Park. He took BP on Field #1 with the recent-arrivals from the Dominican Academy (Acosta, Caro, K. Encarnacion, and F. Sanchez) during the EXST game. Whether he will remain in Mesa beyond the five-game FSL suspension remains to be seen...
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
X. Ian Stewart, 3B: 2-5 (3-U, K, 1B, 2B, K, R, RBI)
NOTE: Stewart batted five times, hitting 2nd in each of the first five innings
1a. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 0-2 (6-3, 6-U FC, HBP)
1b. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-0 (BB)
2a. David Bote, 2B: 1-2 (K, 3B, SH-E1, R)
2b. Mark Malave, 3B: 0-0 (BB)
3. Danny Lockhart, DH-2B: 0-3 (BB, 4-3, 4-6-3 DP, F-8)
4. Xavier Batista, DH #2: 1-4 (1B, 4-3, 5-3, P-3)
5a. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 0-2 (K, 6-3)
5b. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-1 (BB, 5-3, R)
6a. Jose Dore, 1B: 0-2 (F-9, P-3)
6b. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 2-2 (1B, 1B, 2 R)
7a. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 0-2 (F-8, K)
7b. Garrett Schlecht, LF: 1-1 (BB, 2B, RBI)
8. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-4 (K, 2B, 6-4-3 DP, P-3, R)
9a. Lance Rymel, C: 0-0 (HBP)
9b. Justin Marra, C: 1-1 (1B, BB, R, RBI)
1. Duane Underwood: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 43 pitches (23 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
2. James Pugliese: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 32 pitches (18 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
3. Daniel Adrian: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 28 pitches (18 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4. Tyler Bremer: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 35 pitches (22 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
5. David Cales: 1.0, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 10 pitches (7 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: 1
1B Jose Dore - E-3 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE
1. Lance Rymel: 0-2 CS
2. Justin Marra: 0-1 CS
WEATHER: Mostly sunny & a bit breezy with temperatures in the 80'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!