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)
8a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
8b. Rony Rodriguez, C: 1-2 (K, 1B, R)
9a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
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
CUBS ERRORS: 2
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)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
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:
CUBS SQUAD "A" LINEUP:
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)
9a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
9b. Justin Marra, C: 0-1 (P-5)
SQUAD "B" LINEUP:
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)
1b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FOURTH TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
2. Trevor Gretzky, 1B: 2-4 (F-7, 4-3, 1B, 2B, R, RBI)
3a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
3b. Garrett Schlecht, DH-LF: 1-2 (K, 1B, RBI)
4a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
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)
SQUAD "A" PITCHERS:
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)
SQUAD "B" PITCHERS:
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
SQUAD "A" ERRORS: NONE
SQUAD "B" ERRORS: NONE
SQUAD "A" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Jose Morales: 0-1 CS
2. Erick Castillo: 1 PO
SQUAD "B" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Justin Marra: 1-1 CS
I can relate to that, E-Man. I don't think I'll enjoy watching a high-stakes away game like this on TV. I've watched a lot of games this season after they ended or at least after the Cubs got out to a decent lead. Since they usually win, I've gotten to see a lot of baseball.
But in this case I think we should probably all watch the game live, and not let the pressure exceed the pleasure.
Remember, as I told my wife when our kids went off to college -- this is a good thing! Enjoy it!
Fully agree -- can't prove it. But, the numbers are what they are, and a lot of his OF games have come in Aug & Sept, when he has been killing the ball otherwise. And, knowing how baseball players love routine, it seems logical that it could at least be a a factor.
Really, really, really hope I'm wrong on this.
Indeed! It has been absolute blast -- from getting swept by the Phillies to sweeping the Giants, I have always enjoyed being part of this group. Hope we have a lot more games to talk about this year.
Yes, cheers to me! I've noticed a fairly strong correlation between my tenure and Cubbie victories.
And thanks to Michael for our new diggs--and to y'all for sticking around!
CHEERS to CT Steve for keeping this alive in 2015. Who would have thought that the season would have been so successful to this point? Thank you CT STEVE!
I think I may be too nervous to watch the entire game. I will probably watch in bits and pieces - and constantly check MLB App. I will be like Blockhead: Nervous Nellie.
You can't prove the performance is because he played the OF. You just can't. Sorry.
BTW, Bryant hit .168 in July playing 3B exclusively.
oh man, early on it seems like he made at least 1 stupid baserunning blunder per game and almost every single one turned into a positive for the cubs. it was magical.
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?
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!