Golden Sparkles for Cubs at Talking Stick
Reggie Golden drilled a two-run single, an RBI double, and a triple, Mark Malave singled, doubled, walked, and scored two runs, Jeffrey Baez singled twice, walked, stole a base, and scored a run, and James Pugliese hurled four innings of shutout baseball, leading the Cubs to a 6-4 victory over the Rockies in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort, east of Scottsdale, AZ.
After beginning the Cactus League Extended Spring Training schedule mired in a 1-22 slump (045/276/091 in 29 PA over the course of 11 EXST games), Cubs 2010 2nd round draft pick Reggie Golden has been on fire, hitting 423/483/692 over his last nine games (29 PA), bringing his season slash-line up to a more-respectable 250/438/479. Golden suffered two torn ligaments in his left knee a year ago while running the bases as a member of the Peoria Chiefs, and missed the rest of the 2012 season. He is just now rounding back into playing shape.
James Pugliese has been pitching "lights out" over his last four Cactus League EXST appearances (two GS), allowing no runs on four hits and four walks with 11 strikeouts in 10.1 IP. With Josh Conway out for the season and Dillon Maples having been promoted to Kane County, Pugliese is putting in a claim on one of the open starting rotation slots at Boise.
Wilfredo Petit returned to action today, catching for six innings and getting three AB. Petit suffered a bruise on the back of his left hand last week after being struck by a bat on a Catcher's Interference error, and although it initially appeared to be a serious injury, x-rays were negative.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
1a. Albert Almora, CF: 0-4 (6-3, 6-3, F-8, K, RBI)
1b. Kevin Encarnacion, CF: 0-1 (4-3)
2. Jeffrey Baez, DH: 2-4 (1B, K, 1B, K, BB, R, SB)
3. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-5 (6-3-5 DP, P-3, K, F-9, 1B, SB)
4. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 1-4 (F-9, K-WP, BB, 1B, K, R)
5. Reggie Golden, LF: 3-4 (3B, 4-6-3 DP, 1B, 2B, R, 3 RBI, CS)
6a. Garrett Schlecht, RF: 0-1 (HBP, K, BB, PO)
6b. Jose Dore, RF: 1-1 (1B)
7. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 0-4 (6-3, F-8, F-8, P-4)
8. Mark Malave, 3B: 2-3 (BB, K, 1B, 2B, 2 R)
9a. Wilfredo Petit, C: 0-3 (3-U, E-3, K, R)
9b. Erick Castillo, C: 0-1 (6-3)
1. James Pugliese: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 GIDP, 42 pitches (31 strikes), 5/2 GO/FO
2. Carlos Rodriguez: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 27 pitches (14 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
3. Larry Suarez: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 43 pitches (26 strikes), 3/3 GO/FO
4. Matt Iannazzo: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 PO, 27 pitches (17 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: NONE
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Wilfredo Petit: 1-1 CS
2. Erick Castillo: 0-1 CS
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
RF Jose Dore - potential tying run thrown out 9-2 trying to score from 2nd base on single
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90's
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.
If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.
If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.
Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.
The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.