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
CUBS ERRORS: 1
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
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?
#Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.
Fun with FIP
- J. Hammel 3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
- J. Arrieta 2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
- J. Lester 2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
- K. Hendricks 2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
- J. Lackey 3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)