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


1. Wilfredo Petit: 1-1 CS
2. Erick Castillo: 0-1 CS

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 



dejesus leadoff HR, bottom far so good for the cubs in the battle of the cubs 1st round pick pitchers.

2 really horrible cubs base running errors on the night and we're not even out of the 2nd...especially the valbuena screwup.

also, lol ninja 2 run HR.

1-3, bottom 2nd.

AZ Phil: I know you reported when Josh Conway got hurt but is there a formal diagnosis? Is his problem surgical? Please update what you can, as you now mention that he's out for the season.


Don't know if you caught the comments from 5/11 -- "Per the Tribune: "Pitching in an extended spring game in poor conditions at the Brewers' Maryvale, Ariz., complex, the Cubs’ Josh Conway was lost for the season with a stress fracture in his elbow."

Phil added -- "JOE P: Josh Conway has a cast on his right arm, from shoulder to finger-tips."

Phil will have to add any further updates, if he has any.

Thanks. I obviously missed that. Miss a little, miss a lot.


Help wanted: proofreader/editorial assistant

Sullivan in the Trib this morning:

"It was the first series triumph for the Cubs since Aug. 25-26, when they also beat the Rockies two out of three."

The Cubs are actually starting to do some little things I like. Soriano's throw last night and Castro's relay was good to watch, like I was actually watching a professional baseball team. Rizzo working the count with a guy on base in the fifth and his late inning double to right, clearly not going for the home run there. And I know some disagree with me here, but I like the aggressiveness on the bases. It forces mistakes.

A quick look at this year's results -- haven't the Cubs won 3 series in 2013 befe this one?

2 of 3 vs. Pirates ot start the season, 3 of 4 vs. Marlins, 2 of 3 vs. Nats.

Reply from the Trib on the Sullivan article:

It was the Cubs first home series win since August. Home is the key word and it was missed in the fast work on deadline last night.

We’ll set the record straight tomorrow.

Mike Kellams
Tribune Sports

~sings~ "Golden sparkles fill your eyes..."

Recent comments

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  • BRADSBEARD: I haven't noticed any new rule or a change in the interpretation of an existing rule happening in Advanced Instructs, I don't know what rules will be tested in the AFL, although almost all recent rule changes and new interpretations of existing rules (the home plate collision rule, replay, time clock between innings, et al) do get their start in the AFL.  

  • Yep

  • AZ Phil: I've heard that the AFL will be testing out a new force out rule that would affect break-up plays (like the Utley play). Have you heard anything about this new rule and any details about it? Are they testing it out at the advanced instructs as well?

  • Pretty sure I already know the answer to this, but since I will be in NYC next week I want to confirm... If the Cubs were to advance to the NLCS, the winner of LAD/NYM would have home field based on being a division winner (as opposed to Cubs by virtue of better record), correct?

  • CUBSTER: This "hammy" is on the other leg I heard last night. See you at the ballyard today young man!

  • Lulz

  • Oh what do you know, Cubster? Go back to your day job.

    --- Ducks, puts on Cardinals cap, runs.

  • Russell had a severe hamstring last year while with the A's system, forcing him to miss the first half of 2014. I've even wondered if his injury last year was a component of Billy Beane putting him on the trade market. He was quoted saying that last year's injury was a 10 out of 10 when it happened. Last night he said his hamstring soreness was a 1/1.5 out of 10. Hamstring injuries are tricky though, so I'd expect the medical team to be overly cautious here.

  • ...I want to reinforce the observation that there was no sea of red in the crowd. The usual Cardinal fans roaming the stadium were few and far between.

    Also, almost every 2 strike pitch brought the fans to their feet. Good for those in knee rehab.

  • "1st team hit hit 6HR in a game in the postseason." rises above obvious...i checked it with the official fact-finding commission of Douche, Douche, and Douchestein. they agreed with you, but they're a bunch of f'n douches so who cares?

    btw, the cubs are 2-1 in the post-season series.

  • I should be able to watch the game on the NFL replay app, whatever that thing is called. I've got it on my iPad. This is the first year I haven't forced myself to somehow watch every game - no I take that back, last year was - in quite some time. Last year was so unbearable, no pun intended.

    You make some good points about Cutler, and I was a holdout defender of Cutler for a long time. I gave up on him a bit after one too many dumb interceptions, but last year doesn't count. Trestman was the worst coach in Bears history.

  • Nice little reportage there!. I think you're older than me. Considerably older. Maybe several generations. Working out is so essential, especially as age kicks in, isn't it? I still lift weights, and so I'm confident that when I get to be at the hip breaking age, mine won't be a statistic. But I have a ways to go for that to be a concern.

  • What was impressive to me is that the Cubs won despite poor base running, several defensive miscues, Russell leaving due to injury, Arrieta having an off game and getting knocked out early, and Rondon giving up 2 runs in the 9th. If they can win a game like that... 

  • I was there too. The crowd was absolutely electric. People were standing for every big and semi-big moment, from the first inning on. It felt incredibly strange and exhilarating to see the Cubs (the Chicago bleepin' Cubs!) score playoff insurance runs on the Cardinals. What a game. One to remember.

  • 14 in attendance. What's the record for attendance in the fall? I guess I should ask what the record attendance listed is in one of your recaps.

  • I was there too, with my grown son. This is my miracle year-- I rose to the top of the season ticket list after eight years, completely unexpectedly, and my wonderful wife agreed to put the ticket fee on the emergency credit card. The whole point of course was that the Cubs were going to be good this year, and then for a while, so to get season tickets with the guaranteed shot at the postseason was incredible timing. We got to the remote lot at 4:10 after stopping at Nhu Lan for our usual banh mi sandwiches, only to find the lot full, way earlier than normal.