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):

CUBS LINEUP:
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)

CUBS PITCHERS:
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)

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

CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Erick Castillo: 0-1 CS

ATTENDANCE: 20

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

 

Comments

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

he was HBP on thursday...day 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 7...wtf...

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 MLB.tv 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, though...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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  • In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST... 
    Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex: 
    4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes) 

    Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)  

  • There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?

  • Heyward getting the night off.

    Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd

  • Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.

    Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.

  • It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.

    I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.

  • I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.

    This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/making-too-much-of-...

  • Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!

  • Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.

  • Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.

    Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.

  • Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.

  • Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.

    Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.

  • He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.

    He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.

  • Weird home stand -- 3-1, with 2 rainouts, vs. two teams that will lose 100 games. Feels oddly disappointing.

    Miserable baseball weather all week -- hopefully better weather will get the bats going. Not just walking, but actually hitting.

  • That strike call on LaSterlla was terrible

  • I was hearing some talk that John Mallee is trying to change Heyward's swing. Wonder if that is lending itself to the slow start.

  • rollercoaster loss...ugg.

    at least it wasn't a "nobody showed up" stomping.

    anytime you wanna jumpstart your season would be nice, heyward.