Eric Aybar Helps Rally Angels Past Cubs at Diablo Park

Eric Aybar (on an injury rehab assignment) singled and walked and scored two runs, Quentin Davis punched-out three RBI singles, and Jonathan Walsh belted a solo HR, as the Angels rallied to defeat the Cubs 7-4 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Diablo Park Field #7 in Tempe, AZ.

Dillon Maples got the start for the Cubs and allowed one run on two hits and two walks in three innings of work (50 pitches). He also struck out five and threw a wild pitch. His hammer-curve was virtually unhittable (as it usually is), and he was able to command his fastball somewhat better today than in previous outings.  

Josh Vitters continued his EXST rehab assignment, playing 3B for seven innings and batting five times. He flied out twice, grounded out, and reached base on an Eric Aybar error and on an HBP, and he also made an outstanding double-saving backhanded diving catch on the 3rd base line. He certainly looks like he's ready to return to Iowa.

Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):

X. Josh Vitters, 3B: 0-4 (F-9, F-7, 4-3, E-6, HBP)
NOTE: Vitters batted five times, hitting 3rd in the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 7th innings)
1a. Rashad Crawford, CF: 1-2 (BB, E-4, 1B, R)
1b. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 0-1 (K)
2a. Dong-Yub Kim, DH: 0-2 (HBP, 5-3, P-3, R)
2b. Carlos Escobar, PH: 1-1 (1B)
2c. Mark Malave, 3B: NO AB  
3a. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 0-1 (BB, BB, L-7, CS)
3b. Trevor Gretzky, 1B: 0-1 (F-8)
4a. Jose Dore, RF: 1-2 (1B, K, 2 RBI)
4b. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 0-1 (BB, 4-3, R)
5a. Reggie Golden, LF: 0-2 (F-8, 6-3)
5b. Roberto Caro, LF: 0-1 (BB, 1-3, R)
6a. Erick Castillo, C: 0-2 (4-3, 3-U)
6b. Alberto Mineo, C: 0-2 (K, 6-3)
7a. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 1-2 (F-9, 1B)
7b. Bryant Flete, 2B: 0-2 (3-U, L-1, RBI)
8a. Frandy de la Rosa, SS: 0-2 (3-U, 4-6 FC)
8b. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 0-1 (6-3)

1. Dillon Maples: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 50 pitches (31 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
2. James Pugliese: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 36 pitches (19 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
3. Tyler Bremer: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 26 pitches (16 strikes), 1/4 GO/FO 
4. Jasvir Rakkar: 0.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 2 WP, 27 pitches (13 strikes)
5. Mike Hamann: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 7 pitches (5 strikes)

1B Trevor Gretzky - E-3 (missed catch allowed batter to reach base safely)

Erick Castillo: 0-1 CS


WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 90's  



"Ian Stewart sat out Friday at Triple-A Iowa due to a sore elbow."

he was HBP on to day.

stewart back in the lineup tonight...0-3, 1bb

also another error. that's 3 errors in 9 games...rust.

I may be revising my position that he couldn't do worse than what the Cubs have now.

leadoff triple (which should have only been a double and a m.stanton error, but official scoring decided to not saddle him with his 5th (wtf?) error on the year) followed by a wild pitch scoring the run.

can the cubs play MIA every day?

speaking of stanton...tie game.

1st of the year...OVER the LCD video screen...massive.

...and the cubs take the lead back...playing MIA is fun.

If the Asstros were still in the central, the Cubs could be a .500 team.

...and it's a tie game. olivo HR

t.wood done after 91 pitches in order to pinch hit borbon with 2 outs and a man on 1st in a tie game in top

borbon walks...dejesus singles in the run...everything is now genius level managing!

good luck with the bullpen tonight, swainy.

k.loe is set to get the call...that's the kind of guts that gives k.gregg 2 save chances to cash in.

Sveum pulled Wood after 80-something pitches last time, too. I wonder if Sveum is just afraid of over exposing him? He's a very good hitter.

k.gregg up in the pen getting ready for a save...lulz.

cubs win 3 in a row...4 out of 5.

world series here we come!

All games are free today (Sunday).

One thing that grinds me about Rizzo is the way he takes so many called third strikes on borderline pitches. He needs to learn to protect better with two strikes. This is what is causing him to strike out so much.

watching him try to handle a slider, especially on the inside, is frightening.

if the pitcher "misses" out over the plate or hangs it,'s awesome.

Cubs to whomever plays Miami after this: "We're sorry. We did not mean to wake up Giancarlo. But we're sure you'll be okay anyway."

Line drive should have hit Castro in the head, possibly wake him up.

He's been playing good defense recently though. Offensively I'm wondering if both him and Rizzo have suffered from being young, ordained stars on a team expected to fail and wanting to do too much. Players like that hate losing and I've read with Castro a lot that he's worked his butt off to get better everywhere. No way to prove it but gotta be a huge amount of pressure on them to succeed.

Well, recently in that he'll make a web-gem play, then cost his team the game or his pitcher 20 more pitches needlessly with his next error. He can hit though, and this certainly can cover a lot of shit.

Recent comments

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  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:

    Some "Highlights"
    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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    Arietta though.

  • 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.