Golden to Kane County as Cubs Edge A's at Fitch Park
Shawon Dunston Jr and Brad Zapenas collected three hits a piece, Francisco Sanchez stroked a two-run single and a double, and Loiger Padron tossed three innings of one-hit shutout ball, as the Cubs edged the Athletics 4-3 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa, AZ
The game was pre-planned as a ten-inning contest so that all of the A's and Cubs pitchers who were scheduled to throw today could get their work.
In EXST Cubs roster news, OF Reggie Golden has been promoted to Kane County.
The Cubs 2010 2nd round draft pick out of Wetumpka, AL, Golden suffered two torn knee ligaments while running the bases as a member of the Peoria Chiefs in April 2012, and missed the balance of the 2012 season. He looked rusty at Minor League Camp this past March, and so he was left behind at Extended Spring Training to get into better playing shape.
Golden was mired in a 1-22 slump through his first 11 Cactus League Extended Spring Training games, but turned things around beginning on April 30th. He ended up hitting 250/384/400 in 24 Cactus League EXST games (73 PA), with four doubles, one triple, one HR & 12 RBI, 12/19 BB/K, and two SB (no CS), but he was especially hot over his last ten games (35 PA), hitting 400/486/533 with two doubles, a triple, and eight RBI over that span.
Also, RHRP Larry Suarez has been moved-up to Daytona.
In five Cactus League EXST games (7.0 IP), Suarez allowed one run (earned) on six hits and a walk with six strikeouts (1.29 ERA & 1.00 WHIP). Suarez struggled to throw strikes in Minor League Camp, and was left behind at Extended Spring Training to build up arm strength and work on his mechanics.
Now 23, the 6'4 270 Suarez was signed as a 16-year old "bonus baby" out of Venezuela on July 2, 2006 (the first day of the 2006 International Signing Period). He has occasionally shown flashes of talent (he was the closer for a while at Peoria last season), but has mostly been a disapointment. He is eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league free-agent (AKA "six-year free-agent") post-2013 if he is not added to the Cubs 40-man roster or agrees to a 2014 minor league successor contract by the 5th day following the conclusion of the 2013 World Series.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
1. Shawon Dunston Jr, DH #1: 3-5 (1B, 3-U, 1B, K, 1B, R)
2a. Alberto Mineo, C: 1-3 (1B, K, K, R)
2b. Wilfredo Petit, C: 0-2 (F-8, 4-6-3 DP)
3. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 1-4 (1B, K, F-9, 5-3)
4. Steve Clevenger, 1B-DH: 1-3 (BB, F-7, 1B, F-7)
5. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 0-4 (L-8, 6-3, F-9, 6-3)
6. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 3-4 (1B, 1B, 1B, K, R, RBI)
7. Jose Dore, LF: 1-4 (4-6-3 DP, 2B, P-6, 4-1, R)
8. Mark Malave, 3B: 0-4 (K, K, L-6, K)
9. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 2-4 (P-3, 1B, 2B, K, 2 RBI, PO)
10a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
10b. Xavier Batista, 1B: 1-2 (K, 1B)
1. Loiger Padron: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 41 pitches (23 strikes), 3/5 GO/FO
2. Alexander Santana: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 2 WP, 44 pitches (27 strikes), 5/1 GO/FO
3. Matt Iannazzo: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 PO, 37 pitches (20 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
4. Tyler Bremer: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 8 pitches (6 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
5. Angel Mejias: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 19 pitches (11 strikes), 1/1 GO/GO
CUBS ERRORS: NONE
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Alberto Mineo: 1-2 CS
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
LF Jose Dore - runner thrown out 7-2 attempting to score from 2nd base on two-out single
WEATHER: Mostly cloudy with temperatures in the 90's
BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).
TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.
TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.
Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.
Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.
Think Baby Maddux.
Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.
Kyle is on the far left.
I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.
Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.
That was good!
Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.
My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.
Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.
Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.
How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?
Call me lost.
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.
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:
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.