X-Man and Lake Drown A's at Papago Park

Xavier Batista walloped two two-run home runs, Junior Lake belted three doubles, scored twice, and drove-in a run, and Steve Clevenger stroked a two-run double, leading the Cubs to a 9-2 victory over the Athletics in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Papago Park Field #2 (AKA "Connie Mack Field") in Phoenix, AZ.

The game was pre-planned as an 11-inning contest, and the game was called in the middle of the 11th inning after all of the Cubs and A's pitchers who were scheduled to throw in the game got their work.

Junior Lake (rib cage fracture rehab) played third-base for six innings and batted six times, hitting once in six of the first seven innings.

He lined a double off the LF fence (near-HR) in his first AB in the top of the 1st, and then scored from second base on a Yasiel Balaguert 4-3 GO (Lake was running on the pitch, and he didn't stop when he got to third-base, putting on the "after-burners" before sliding home safely just ahead of the throw in a cloud of dust). Lake also doubled in the top of the 2nd inning, this time an RBI two-bagger off the right-centerfield fence (another near-HR). He struck out swinging on a breaking ball in the 4th, but doubled again in the top of the 5th (opposite-field line-drive sliced into the RF corner) before scoring on Clevenger's two-run double. Lake popped-out to the first-baseman and grounded into a 6-4-3 DP in his final two AB.

Steve Clevenger (strained oblique rehab) was the starting catcher for the Cubs and was the backstop for the first six innings, and then moved to DH for the rest of the game. He batted five times, and went 1-5 with the big two-run double in the top of the 5th. He also struck out swinging, grounded out to the first-baseman (unassisted), flied out to CF, and reached base on an E-6. He was thrown out trying to steal third-base after the 5th inning double, and was picked-off 1st base after reaching on the E-6. He twisted his ankle on the pick-off and limped off the field after being tagged out by the A's first-baseman.

X. Batista came into the game hitting 182/262/255 with no home runs and just one RBI and 19 strikeouts in 22 Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (61 PA), so hitting a couple of two-run HR in one game probably felt pretty good. 

2012 6th round draft pick RHP Trey Lang was the Cubs starting pitcher and worked 3.2 IP, allowing two runs (one earned) on just one hit (a 4th inning single) with five strikeouts (all five swinging). But he also walked five, hit a batter, and threw two wild pitches, and needed 75 pitches (only 36 strikes) to get the 11 outs (including a 28-pitch 4th inning that he could not even finish). Lang will likely be one of the starting pitchers at Boise, although his control issues are a big problem and have been all year.

Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):

X-1. Junior Lake, 3B: 3-6 (2B, 2B, K, 2B, P-3, 6-4-3 DP, 2 R, RBI)
NOTE: Lake batted six times, hitting 2nd in the top of the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th innings
X-2. Steve Clevenger, C-DH: 1-5 (K, 2B, 3-U, F-8, E-6, 2 RBI, CS, PO)
NOTE: Clevenger batted five times, hitting 3rd in the top of the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 11th innings
1. Kevin Encarnacion, CF: 0-4 (L-7, K, F-8, BB, F-9, R)
2. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 0-5 (4-3, K, K, P-3, K, RBI)
3. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 1-4 (E-5, 4-3, 2B, K, R)
4. Xavier Batista, DH #1: 2-3 (HR, 6-3, BB, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI)
5. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 0-4 (K, L-7, K, K)
6. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 2-4 (1B, P-5, 1B, L-4, R)
7. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-4 (F-9, 1B, F-9, 4-3, R)
8b. Rony Rodriguez, C: 1-2 (K, 1B, R)
9b. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 1-2 (K, 2B)

1. Trey Lang: 3.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R (1 ER), 5 BB, 5 K, 1 HBP, 2 WP, 75 pitches (36 strikes), 5/0 GO/GO
2. Ethan Elias: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 21 pitches (11 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
3. Hunter Ackerman: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 33 pitches (17 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
4. Matt Iannazzo: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 17 pitches (9 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
5. Tyler Bremer: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 28 pitches (20 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO

1. 2B Danny Lockhart - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. C Steve Clevenger - E-2 (errant throw on attempted pick-off at 1st base allowed runner at 3rd base to score unearned run)

1. Steve Clevenger: 2-3 CS, 1 E (see above)
2. Rony Rodriguez: 1 PB


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90's

NOTE: It wasn't a Cactus League Extended Spring Training game, but the Cubs did play an intrasquad game at Fitch Park yesterday (Thursday) morning.

Cubs 2012 2nd round draft pick RHP Duane Underwood got the start for Squad "A" and threw four innings of no hit/no run ball, walking one and striking out four. He was simply outstanding.

Cubs 2012 5th round draft pick LHP Anthony Prieto threw three innings of shutout ball for Squad "B," allowing one hit (a single to the lead-off hitter in the top of the 1st inning) and one walk, while striking out two. He also picked a runner off 1st base. (Prieto has a nifty pick-off move).

The game was scoreless through the first seven innings, and then both squads broke through in the 8th.

Francisco Sanchez roped an RBI triple and a single and drew a walk for Squad "A," and Trevor Gretzky stroked an RBI double and a single and scored a run for Squad "B."

Steve Clevenger was the starting catcher for Squad "A" and was behind the plate for the first six innings (catching Underwood and Jasvir Rakkar), and he batted four times, going 0-3 with a walk.

Jose Morales was the starting catcher for Squad "B" and was the backstop for five innings (catching Prieto, Armando Rivero, and Corbin Hoffner). He also batted four times, going 0-3 with a walk.

Here is the box score from yesterday's intrasquad game:

X. Steve Clevenger, C: 0-3 (K, BB, 1-3, F-7, SB)
NOTE: Clevenger batted four times, hitting third in the top of the 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 7th innings
1. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 1-4 (1B, K, K, L-7, PO)
2. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 0-4 (F-8, K, 5-3, F-7)
3. Xavier Batista, RF: 2-4 (5-3, 5-3, 1B, 2B, PO)
4. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 0-3 (4-3, K, BB, L-1)
5. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 0-4 (5-3, K, K, F-8)
6. Neftali Rosario, DH: 1-3 (5-3, F-8, 1B, R)
7. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 2-2 (BB, 1B, 3B, RBI)
8a. Kevin Encarnacion, LF: 0-1 (P-4, 1-U SH)
8b. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 0-1 (K)
9b. Justin Marra, C: 0-1 (P-5)

X. Jose Morales, C-DH: 0-3 (BB, 1-3, 4-6-3 DP, 4-3)
NOTE: Morales batted four times, hitting third in the bottom of the 1st, 4th, 6th, and 7th innings
1a. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 1-3 (K, K, 1B)
2. Trevor Gretzky, 1B: 2-4 (F-7, 4-3, 1B, 2B, R, RBI)
3b. Garrett Schlecht, DH-LF: 1-2 (K, 1B, RBI)
4b. Erick Castillo, DH-C: 1-2 (5-3, 1B, CS)
5. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 2-4 (L-7, L-4, 2B, 1B, R)
6a. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-2 (F-9, F-8)
6b. Mark Malave, PH-3B: 0-2 (3-1, K)
7. Jose Dore, 3B-SS: 0-3 (K, K, BB, K, R)
8. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 1-3 (K, 4-3, 1B, R, RBI)
9. Alberto Mineo, DH #3: 1-3 (4-3, F-7, 2B, R, 2 RBI)
10. Rashad Crawford, LF-CF: 1-3 (3-1, 1B, 3-U)

1. Duane Underwood: 4.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 46 pitches (28 strikes), 4/4 GO/FO
2. Jasvir Rakkar: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 25 pitches (19 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
3. Chad Martin: 1.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R (5 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 35 pitches (21 strikes), 4/0 GO/FO
NOTE: Bottom of 8th inning was stopped with two outs when Martin reached his pre-planned max pitch limit for the game
4. Jorge Diaz: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 20 pitches (13 strikes)

1. Anthony Prieto: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 PO, 42 pitches (26 strikes), 4/2 GO/FO
2. Armando Rivero: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 18 pitches (11 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
3. Corbin Hoffner: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 13 pitches (10 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
4. Juan Francisco: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 2 WP, 26 pitches (16 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
5. Luis Villalba: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 32 pitches (22 strikes), 0/5 GO/FO



1. Jose Morales: 0-1 CS
2. Erick Castillo: 1 PO

Justin Marra: 1-1 CS



strictly limiting s.strasburg's innings/use last year in order to get him in top shape for this season was a great idea...2012 playoffs fail...2013 payoff fail.

-edit- panic averted...evidently it was his lower back he injured...which for some reason on this super human athlete is located on top of his right shoulder he was holding while walking off the mound. he had "nats nation" scared for a couple hours after being removed in the 2nd.

Does the guy in the green pullover jacket look a lot like Tom Ricketts?


He does....

Hill showing off his natural power...

It does look like Ricketts.

Wrigleyville bars open at 11
Hawks drop puck at 4
Cubs first pitch at 6

Bring the family to Wrigley tomorrow night!

You mean, bring The Hangover dudes to Wrigley tomorrow night, right?

9th inning...tie game...bud black (SD) subs in 3 players off the bench...leaving only backup catcher n.hundley.

odd use of the bench in a tie game.

c.richard...who was supposed to pitch tomorrow...is on to pitch the 16th for SD.

no one left on the bench for them...n.hundley came into the game in the 13th.

SD wins in the 17th...fun game.

Jeff Beliveau sent back down to AAA for a one day roster stay. Rays must have realized they are out of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Enterprise Captain Chris Archer vs Ubaldo Jimenez (Revenge is a dish best served cold) today

AZ Phil - do you know what's up with Marcelo Carreno (Jeff Baker trade)?

Good to see Lake come back and just start raking.

Jesse Rogers‏@ESPNChiCubs
Rafael Dolis placed on DL with forearm strain...Blake Parker called up from Iowa...Alex Burnett DFA to mske room on 40 man, per Cubs

Forearm strain...

j.hammel (BAL) fail...

- V. Martinez homered to deep right
- J. Peralta homered to deep left
- A. Avila homered to deep center
- M. Tuiasosopo hit by pitch

...and ejected for throwing at a batter...which is kinda b/s since it was a low-80s slider and that's rarely a purpose pitch for hitting a batter.

...and it's turned into a team-effort BAL fail...

- T.J. McFarland relieved J. Hammel
- A. Garcia singled to shallow right, M. Tuiasosopo to second
- O. Infante doubled to left, M. Tuiasosopo scored, A. Garcia to third
- A. Dirks walked
- M. Cabrera homered to deep left, A. Garcia, O. Infante and A. Dirks scored

8 runs in, 0 outs in the 4th.

...p.fielder finally makes the 1st out on a fly out to LF.

Reminds me of watching the end of the Cubs game Saturday night.

Recent comments

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  • You can't prove the peformance is because he played the OF. You just can't. Sorry.

    BTW, Bryant hit .168 in July playing 3B exclusively.

  • Not surprised about Lester but bit surprised about Hendricks. Guessing that if something happens to Arietta right away they go to Lester but if they've burned relievers and are in extra innings they go to Hendricks.

  • My kids' 8:30pm (ET) bed time will be waived tonight (They are Rizzo & Castro fans). We'll get geared up in our Cubs apparel and will watch this as a family. I am stoked. Go Cubs!

  • Bryant: Base running adventures.

  • Remember Bryant's home-away splits, too.

    Wrigley: 21 HR, 59 RBI, .311/.408/.629
    Road: 5 HR, 40 RBI, .243/.333/.360

  • Good Lord this season has flown by so far. I need more Cubs gifs--the four on the MLB.com article today are not enough. I need a 100 best moments of the season listicle of gifs.
    Rizzo: The slide, the catch.
    Russell: All the defense.
    Bryant: Pelting the video board.
    Soler: 125 MPH ground balls.
    Schwarber: DINGERS, surprising LF catches.
    Fowler: Walks, the many walks he should have had on 3-2 BS strike calls.
    Baez: That 3B play.
    Ross: Walk-up music? Bullpen appearance?
    Denorfia: Walk-off.
    Castro: Walk-offs.

  • No evidence other than 8 hits and 0 HR in 45 AB....

    I just think hitters like their routines -- think Boggs or Ted Williams -- and messing with that routine adds an element of change. I want my best hitters in their normal routines.

  • evidently i was busy burying context and meaning.

    i was excited about this playoff season kicking up in the drama of that environment, but it was stated insanely muddled.

  • Woke up early and couldn't get back to sleep in excitement/anticipation. Go Cubs Go!

  • The only issue with this dead horse is that there's no evidence that his performance during those games is solely due to playing the OF. I would tend to agree that I'd rather see him play 3B, though.

  • What do you mean by new format in this instance? The second wildcard team with a one-game playoff has been around since 2012.

  • Doubled over with anxiety today. GO CUBS.

  • Illuminati.

  • May the best team win, and subsequently humiliate the Cardinals.

  • I love arriving here first thing in the morning, adding a few moronic posts (moranic for any Cardinals fans who may be trolling), and reading the sage posts of all you guys. Most knowledgeable fans on any forum, by far. So post like crazy today and help give TCR some visibility!

    I told my wife last night that I'm going to need a support system for tonight's game. Tonight is going to be a lot harder on me than it is going to be on these rookie bad asses.

  • James Russell elected free agency.