Cubs Outlast Angels at Fitch Park

Yasiel Balaguert doubled twice, singled twice, walked, drove-in two runs, and scored three more, Junior Lake stroked a double and an RBI single, walked, and scored two runs, Rony Rodriguez singled twice, doubled, knocked-in three runs, and scored another, and Xavier Batista belted an RBI triple and a single and scored a run, helping the Cubs defeat the Angels 10-8 in Cactus League Extended Spriung Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa, AZ.  

RHP Trey Lang (Cubs 2012 6th round draft pick) got the start and had another rough outing, allowing six runs (all earned) on six hits (three singles, two doubles, and a triple), two walks, and an HBP, plus three wild pitches, in 4.1 IP (72 pitches). He did strike out five (all five swinging), but he was bouncing his breaking ball and had difficulty throwing his fastball for strikes.

In EXST Cubs roster news, catcher Neftali Rosario (Cubs 2011 6th round draft pick) has been moved up to Kane County. It's probably just a temporary thing, however, because Rosario was hitting just 091/167/136 in 11 EXST games (24 PA), and had missed some time with an ankle injury. Rosario was doubtful to even make the Boise roster, much less a permanent promotion to KC.  

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

1. Kevin Encarnacion, LF: 1-5 (E-3, L-4, 4-3, 2B, P-6, R)
2. Junior Lake, CF: 2-4 (6-4-3 DP, K, 2B, 1B, BB, 2 R, RBI)
3. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 4-4 (BB, 2B, 1B, 2B, 1B, 3 R, 2 RBI)
4. Xavier Batista, 1B: 2-5 (K, 1B, 3B, 1-3, K, R, 2 RBI)
5. Rony Rodriguez, DH: 3-5 (1B, 2B, 4-3, 1B, K, R, 3 RBI)
6. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 1-4 (3B, L-5, F-7, 4-6 FC, R, RBI)
7. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 0-3 (F-7, 6-3, 4-3, HBP)
8. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-4 (K, F-7, 5-3, K)
9. Jose Morales, C: 0-2 (BB, 4-3, BB, 3-6-3 DP, R)

1. Trey Lang: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 6 R (6 ER), 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HBP, 3 WP, 72 pitches (42 strikes), 5/3 GO/FO
2. Orbandy Rodriguez: 1.2 P, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 27 pitches (22 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
3. Carlos Martinez: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 33 pitches (20 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO  
4. Mike Hamann: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 12 pitches (9 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO

1B Xavier Batista - E-3 (fielding error on infield single allowed batter to advance to 2nd base)

Jose Morales: 1-1 CS


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90's 


Midwest League All-Stars

Dan Vogelbach, Bijan Rademacher(DL), Rock Shoulders, Tayler Scott, Felix Pena(DL) & Nathan Dorris

Go figure: three Kane County pitchers in Midwest League all-star game, and not one of them named Pierce Johnson.

Expecting him to be promoted before the game anyway?

I'm sure you're all aware of this, but at some point the Cubs went from a terrible offense to a middle of the road one (7th in runs scored in NL, 8th in OPS).

Overall, 3rd in SLG, 12th in the new boss, same as the old

today they have Barney & Ransom batting 1st and 2nd versus the lefty Vargas...sure.

I think the sight of Cubbie Blue woke Pujols up.

Castro seemed unsure what happens after ball four.

"Eh, ball what?"

"Ball Four son, get your ass to first"

"Eh shit, I lost count, not suppose to let ball four go by. Alfonso tell me you only hit home runs if you swing. Plus me and Castillo have a bet on who will swing at more bad pitches."

bad Matt Garza tonight...

Addison Reed blows a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the 14th against the Mariners.

After 0-0 through 13, WSox get 5 in the top of the inning. Reed gets the first guy and then 4 straight singles, before K'ing Jason Bay and giving up a tying grand slam to Kyle Seager.

To the 15th...


woo...scrubbies tie in the 5th.

ransom 3r HR.

lulz...cubs pull off a double steal with soriano+hairston with 2 outs and soriano the lead runner. that's keeping them off guard.

cubs take the lead in the top 6th...3 hits to start the on 1st/2nd, 0 out...vargas is done.

Cubs up 1 in the bottom of the 7th...I'm sure this will go smoothly.

Wonder where the 8th inning bullpen roulette wheel will land?

we have a winner.

j.russell blows it in the 8th. tie game.

James Russell's turn to eff it up.

hector rondon...tie game in the 9th...this could be interesting, aka, over soon.

2 outs, man on comes the cubs uber-closer...keven "really?" gregg

...and it's to the 10th with a K.

rizz-OH! with a 3 run, 2 out, double.

cubs lead 8-5.

Tony Two Sacks

Hollansworth sounds like like Jason Bateman from " dodgeball"

/on the Ocho

AZ Phil, do you know the extent of Jae-Hoon Ha's injury? Is he in Arizona? Thanks. Also how agout his partner Dae-Eun Rhee?

Ask for something around here...

And you get it. Yesterday I wondered out loud how many pitchers picked in the first round have had a decent career that has lasted 3 years, and, sure enough, you morans came up with more than one list. I'm still not really sure I'd like to see a top three pick spent on a pitcher. I'm not so interested in whether or not they actually live up to potential - that's always a crap shoot whether they are pitchers or position players. My only reason for not wanting to take a top three pick on a pitcher is the injury factor. I wouldn't expand that to an entire first round, though. If the Cubs were picking, say, 15th in the first round, and they chose a pitcher, I really wouldn't care either way.

One thing seems clear - there don't seem to be any can't misses. I wanted Bryant until I saw Rob's point about him, now I'm not so sure (I'm easily swayed by anything close to a reasonable argument, especially by people who know a lot more than I do about something).

I do wonder though, and I'm way too lazy to research it, if Bryant isn't considered special now because he simply got bigger and stronger in college. Could be in high school he had some pop but nothing overwhelming. Somebody mentioned - maybe crunch, that Bryant was a no field third baseman.

Whoever they pick, I really want somebody who can come in and help the team this year. Bring him up!!

I don't think this article was linked yesterday.

I'm sure Bryant will have a perfectly reasonable career. I'd be more stoked about him if batted from the left side and was a good bet to stay at third base. But I think Gray and Appel will also have perfectly reasonable careers, with Gray having the most upside of the 3. And the Cubs could use some immediate help in the rotation of course. Plus, despite the fact that TheJedi are on a 5-year plan, by Year 5, they need to be contending for a playoff spot or I don't even think Ricketts will be that patient.

If the Cubs were playing the long game, I'd say go with Frazier or Meadows. But for the immediate needs, I'd definitely go Grey if he's available. 100 mph fastballs have a high rate of having major league careers. Although I do think Gray will need a few seasons in the minors to work on his control, while I believe Appel should be in the majors by 2014. I'd say even 2013, but they'll probably let his arm take a break.

"no field" 3rd is a bit strong, but a lot of people believe he won't stick there.

i imagine he'll get a chance to try it out, but a lot of people doubt he'll be able to stick there. his reaction time there is supposedly a bit slow and he's racked up a concerning amount of errors there in college...but they use aluminum bats there and college is a place where (thanks to those bats) people look more at the footwork/reaction-time/arm more than the errors.

my main concern about bryant is that he's a he's going to want to get paid...his power is off-the-charts and he's going to demand top loot with an extra year of college to leverage. given the cubs slot it's not that much of a concern, though...the worst that could happen is he'd want same/similar loot as gray/appell.

ESPN's playoff odds calculator still gives the Cubs an 11% chance of making the playoffs this year. That's better than 11 other teams, despite the Cubs being in a division with three teams on pace for the playoffs. It's roughly the same odds as the Phillies, who are at .500 in a weak division despite poor play.

I've been the first to admit this year's Cubs are OK and not terrible, but the record is what it is, and the sell-off is pending. If ESPN wants 10-to-1 that the Cubs make the playoffs, I'll happily take that.

Recent comments

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  • it's day old news, and it's got nothing to do with the cubs, but ichiro signed a $2m deal with MIA (with a $2m option for 2017).

    neat. 41 years old and damn close to 3000 hits.

    also, rain delays suck.

  • take that giants

  • I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.

  • Per Jesse Sanchez at, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus. 

  • 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.