Cubs and Angels Tie One On at Diablo Park
Xavier Batista blasted his fourth home run in four games (a solo shot in the top of the 6th that put him into a tie for the team-lead in HR with Jeffrey Baez), Jose Morales hammered an RBI triple, scored a run, and drew a walk, and Carlos Penalver doubled, walked, and scored two runs, as the Cubs and Angels played to a 6-6 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Diablo Park Field #6 in Tempe, AZ.
Junior Lake played six innings at 3B and batted six times, going 1-6. He drove-in a run with an RBI 5-3 GO in the 1st, reached base on an RBI infield single, stole a base, and scored a run in the 2nd, struck out swinging in the 3rd, reached base on a 5-4 FC and stole a base in the 5th, was called out on strikes in the 6th, and struck out swinging in the 7th.
In five Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (26 PA), Lake is hitting 409/500/682 with six doubles, seven runs scored, three RBI, 3/6 BB/K, and 3 SB (1 CS). He has played three of the five EXST games at 3B and two in CF, and he has not commited an error at either position.
RHP Paul Blackburn got the start for the Cubs and was roughed-up in the bottom of the 1st inning, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits (four singles and a triple). Bit then he got into a groove and retired nine in a row.
RHP Armando Rivero relieved Blackburn and was hit hard, allowing three runs on five hits (four singles and a triple) in 1.2 IP. He struck out three (all three swinging).
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
X-1. Jose Morales, DH #1: 1-4 (3B, F-8, F-8, 4-3, BB, R, RBI)
NOTE: Morales batted five times, hitting 2nd in the top of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings
X-2. Junior Lake, 3B: 1-6 (5-3, 1B, K, 5-4 FC, K, K, R, 2 RBI, 2 SB)
NOTE: Lake batted six times, hitting third in the top of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th innings
1. Rashad Crawford, CF: 2-4 (1B, 1B, 3-1, 3-U, R, RBI)
2. Shawon Dunston Jr, LF: 1-4 (1B, K, P-6, K)
3. Xavier Batista, RF: 2-4 (E-9, K, HR, 1B, R, RBI)
4. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 0-2 (BB, BB, K, 4-6-3 DP)
5. Jose Dore, DH #2: 0-2 (K, BB, BB, F-9)
6. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 1-2 (L-7, 1B, 5-3 SH)
7. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-2 (2B, BB, L-4, 2 R)
8a. Wilfredo Petit, C: 0-2 (P-3, P-5)
8b. Erick Castillo, C: 0-1 (5-3)
9a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
9b. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 0-0 (BB)
1. Paul Blackburn: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 5 K, 74 pitches (46 strikes), 4/3 GO/FO
2. Armando Rivero: 1.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 41 pitches (30 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
3. Matt Iannazzo: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 PO, 26 pitches (18 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
4. Tyler Bremer: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 20 pitches (14 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: 1
2B Brad Zapenas - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Erick Castillo: 0-2 CS
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures 100+
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.
I'm with you, Rob. You pretty much summed up how I feel about it.
Been quite the roller-coaster the past two days -- both games, plus the Chapman kerfuffel. How about a couple of nice, comfortable wins before facing Sale? Cubs should definitely wear throwbacks for that game.
The Cubs are stronger defensively than most of the teams they play. In order to capitalize on that, they have to a) put the ball in play and b) run the bases aggressively.
That said, Cabrera has a strong, accurate arm, as witnessed by his 97 outfield assists over 12 seasons--mostly left field but also a lot of center. Bryant is rarely thrown out, but I guess you have to know who's throwing the ball.
On the other hand, Pries won his first start for Iowa, only giving up two HRs in the process. This trade has got some legs yet!