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
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.
I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
Here is where just some of there 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
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.
Enjoyable read on David Ross.
Er, they won the first one. My bad. Carry on.
With last night's win in Pittsburgh, the Cubs have tied the Pirates with 98 wins, and are only 2-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. No reason why the Cubs can't finish the post-season with the best winning percentage in baseball (regular season & post-season combined).
BOB: I doubt very much that Matt Szczur will be on the Cubs LDS roster.
If he wasn't on the Wild Card roster (when the Cubs went with 15 position players), he won't be on the LDS roster (when the Cubs will go with 13 or 14 position players).
As it is, at least one of the three RH hitting outfielders who were on the Cubs WC roster (Denorfia, Jackson, and Soler) could get bumped off the LDS roster (probably Soler).
I want my baseball team to win by playing better baseball. I don't want umps, fields, or fans to have anything to do with it.
Just with the chanting thing it worked to rattle Cueto last year where he dropped a ball and gave up a HR next pitch so you can't really hate on the fans for trying it again in this important of a game.
I felt the same way, too, but...
I was very disappointed with Pittsburgh fans. At Wrigley a few weeks ago, they were very obnoxious guests, the cockiness on Twitter, and what's the deal with chanting Arrieta's name during the game? Very bush league. Add that up with Rodriguez's poor sportsmanship and you quickly have a team that you don't mind beating 4-0 in a do or die game.
Absolutely-It was tense. And when the Pirates couldn't push any runs across, you could see the frustration boil over.
I meant December.