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
5 times in the last 3 games, Cubs have taken the lead or tied the game in the bottom half, only to give up runs in the top half.
I'd like to see stats on opposing pitcher batting average. It's probably not real, but seems like we give up hits all the time to f-ing pitchers.
Tony Four Sacks # 27
Hammel has k'd Votto twice.
Sore Ribs doesn't worry me too much. Getting a "precautionary MRI" has me assuming he is going to be out at least a few days, possibly more.
Maybe he got injured diving for the ball in LF? I really hope it's not code for a "strained oblique"....
Our starting pitching kinda sucks for #3-5.
Schwarber out with "sore ribs"
/sorry to interrupt the magic number talk
JOHN B: Pierce Johnson and Rob Zastryzny were likely 2015 AFL candidates ( I mentioned them as likely candidates to get assigned to the AFL in an article about the AFL last month) because they are starting pitchers who missed part of the season due to injuries and they need to accrue more innings. Guys who have been pitching regularly as starters have thrown too many innings to be considered, so it probably came down to Johnson, Zastryzny, and Duane Underwood Jr, with Underwood odd man out because he hasn't pitched above Hi-A.
Schwarber stays back and hammers a 3-2 change-up that was down and away. Very impressive.
And a good job to drive the ball to RF to advance the runner in the 8th. Encouraging.
It looks like the Cubs "post-season clinch number" is 25 right now: http://lyle.smu.edu/~olinick/riot/national_league.html
Is the magic number 25 or 26?
Agreed, to my untrained eyes he does look better than last season. Not a finished product yet and hopefully he will continue to improve, but if he plays solid middle infield defense he will stick in the majors.
Phillips smiled at Strop and gave him a thumbs up.
That pitch Schwarber hit is the kind he's been missing a lot of lately. When Schwarber struggles it reminds me of how hard it is to hit baseballs at that level. It doesn't seem like they've found a weakness, just that he isn't seeing the ball that great and just missing. Same with Rizzo the last few days.