Cubs Bats Wake Up & Decide to Whip Giants
Brad Zapenas (2012 shoulder surgery rehab) doubled, tripled, drove-in three runs, and scored two more, Jeffrey Baez ripped a two-run double, singled, walked twice, and scored a run, and Rashad Crawford hammered a bases-loaded three-run triple, leading one squad of Cubs to a 13-7 victory over one squad of Giants on Field #3 (formerly known as Field #2), and Rony Rodriguez belted a bases-loaded three-run double, singled, and scored a run, and Justin Marra laced a two-run double, walked, and scored twice, as the other squad of Cubs defeated the other squad of Giants 7-4 on Field #4 (formerly known as Field #3), in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training doubleheader played Tuesday morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.
The game on Field #3 was called after five innings because the Giants and Cubs ran out of available pitchers (and also because it took about three hours to play the five innings and the Giants bus was ready to leave for Scottsdale).
Cubs 2010 2nd round pick Reggie Golden, who came into the game in an 0-20 skid and hitting just 045/276/091 (his only hit was a double on EXST Opening Day three weeks ago last Monday), belted an RBI double high off the CF Batter's Eye ("Green Monster") in the bottom of the 1st inning on Field #3. Golden missed most of the 2012 season after suffering two torn knee ligaments in a game at Peoria last April, and he has really struggled to get into any kind of a groove. Although he has been in a deep slump, he still somehow manages to draw a lot of walks (in fact he leads the team in BB).
Two Cubs pitchers suffered injuries in the doubleheader. RHSP Erick Leal (who was sailing along with a one-hitter on Field #4) sustained what appeared to be a right ankle injury prior to the start of the 4th inning and was subsequently helped to a golf cart and driven to the clubhouse, and just a few minutes later RHRP Daniel Adrian landed awkwardly on his left leg while tagging out a runner trying to score from 3rd base on a WP on Field #3 (the runner was out, and it was a really nifty play by Adrian, too) and was on the ground for several minutes before being carried off the field and transported to the clubhouse via golf cart. Adrian's injury did not look too good.
In EXST Cubs roster news, 3B-1B Josh Vitters has completed his rehab assignment and has returned toi the Iowa Cubs. He looked really good out here, hitting 444/636/444 with two doubles in 12 PA. He also made a super diving catch on the third-base line to save a double. Vitters was on the I-Cubs DL with a back problem, and before that he missed most of MLB Spring Training nursing a strained quad.
Ex-Oakland A's RHSP Guillermo Moscoso (claimed off waivers from Tornoto last month and then outrighted to the minors) has also been moved up to Iowa. He gave up five hits, did not allow a run, and struck out eight with no walks (and threw 76% strikes) in two Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (6.0 IP), and he struck out ten (with no walks) over five innings in an intrasquad game played at Fitch Park last Thursday (where he was stretched-out to 74 pitches, in what turned out to be his last EXST game outing).
Here are the abridged box scores from Tuesday's games (Cubs players only):
FITCH PARK FIELD #3
CUBS SQUAD "B" LINEUP:
1. Rashad Crawford, CF: 1-4 (3-U, 3B, K, F-7, 3 RBI)
2. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 2-2 (1B+E5, BB, BB, 2B, R, 2 RBI)
3a. Reggie Golden, LF: 1-2 (2B, BB, 4-3, R, RBI)
3b. Yasiel Balaguert, PH: 0-1 (1-3)
4. Carlos Escobar, DH #1: 0-3 (K, K, K)
5. David Bote, SS-DH: 1-3 (1B, L-7, K, R)
6. Trevor Gretzky, 1B: 2-3 (1B, 4-3, 1B, R, RBI)
7. Mark Malave, 3B: 0-1 (BB, BB, K, 2 R)
8. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 2-3 (3B, 2B, 4-6 FC, 2 R, 3 RBI, CS)
9. Erick Castillo, C: 1-1 (1B, BB, HBP, 2 R, RBI)
10a. Lance Rymel, DH #2: 1-1 (1B, R)
10b. Frandy de la Rosa, PH-SS: 1-2 (1B, K, 2 RBI)
11a. Roberto Caro, DH #3: 0-0 (BB, BB, R)
11b. Alberto Mineo, PH: 1-1 (1B, R)
CUBS SQUAD "B" PITCHERS:
1. Paul Blackburn: 3.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 50 pitches (34 strikes), 6/1 GO/FO
2. Daniel Adrian: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 16 pitches (6 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
NOTE: Top of 4th inning was stopped with two outs after Adrian suffered knee injury covering home plate on WP
3. Juan Francisco: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 2 WP, 42 pitches (19 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
CUBS SQUAD "B" ERRORS: 2
1. 3B Mark Malave - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
2. 3B Mark Malave - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS SQUAD "B" CATCHERS:
Carlos Escobar: 0-1 CS
FITCH PARK FIELD #4
CUBS SQUAD "A" LINEUP:
1. Kevin Encarnacion, CF: 1-4 (1B, F-9, K-DP, F-9, PO)
2. Justin Marra, C: 1-3 (3-U, 2B, BB, K, 2 R, 2 RBI)
3. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 1-4 (F-9, 1B+E7, L-7, E-7)
4. Jose Dore, RF: 0-3 (3-U, K, BB, F-7, R)
5. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 0-2 (K, K, HBP, R)
6. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 0-3 (4-3, 4-3, K)
7. Rony Rodriguez, DH: 2-3 (K, 1B, 2B, R, 3 RBI, CS)
8. Bryant Flete, 2B: 1-3 (E-4, K+WP, 1B, R, RBI, CS)
9. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 1-3 (1B, P-5, F-8, R)
CUBS SQUAD "A" PITCHERS:
1. Erick Leal: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 36 pitches (25 strikes), 5/1 GO/FO
2. Dayan Diaz: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 23 pitches (14 strikes), 4/0 GO/FO
3. Loiger Padron: 1.2 IP, 3 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 40 pitches (22 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
NOTE: Top of 7th inning was stopped with two outs when Padron reached his pre-planned max pitch limit for the game
CUBS SQUAD "A" ERRORS: 2
2B Bryant Flete - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
3B Jesse Hodges -E-5 (throwing error trying to double runner off 1st base after catching line drive allowed runner at 3rd to score unearned run)
WEATHER: Sunny and a bit breezy with tempratures in the 90's
Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.
Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.
He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.