Brewers Rally Late to Edge Cubs at Fitch Park
Tyler Roberts blasted a solo HR over the LF fence and onto 8th Street to ignite a two-run 9th inning, as the Brewers scored two in the 8th and two in the 9th to overcome a 3-0 deficit and edge the Cubs 4-3 in Arizona Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa.
The game was scoreless through the first 4-1/2 innings, before the Cubs plated two runs in the bottom of the 5th to take a 2-0 lead. Jeimer Candelario ripped a lead-off triple down the RF line and scored the Cubs first run on a Yasiel Balaguert RBI GO, and then after Shawon Dunston Jr and Kelvin Freeman reached base on one-out singles (super drag bunt hit by Dunston), Wilfredo Petit drove-in Dunston with a two-out RBI single.
The Cubs scored again in the bottom of the 7th. Balaguert led-off the inning with a line-drive double into the LF corner, and after moving up to 3rd base on a Trey Martin line single to left, scored the Cubs third and final run of the day on a Ben Carhart RBI GO.
The Cubs did threaten to score again in the bottom of the 8th, as Mark Malave and Danny Lockhart singled with no outs and moved-up to 2nd & 3rd on a sacrifice bunt, but Malave was thrown-out at the plate (2-1) while trying to score from 3rd on a WP, and Jesse Hodges flied out to deep right to end the inning.
Four Cubs pitchers combined to throw a one-hit shutout with nine strikeouts through the first seven innings (the one hit being a broken bat single), but then the Brewer offense woke up as the Cub bullpen imploded. Trey Lang surrendered two runs on three walks and a single in a 32-pitch 8th (Lang had major control issues, throwing just 12 strikes), and lefty reliever Sam Wilson gave up the game-tying Roberts HR on an 0-1 pitch leading off the 9th and then allowed the go-ahead run to score when he threw a two-out WP (and forgot to cover home) after the Brew Crew loaded the bases on two singles and a walk.
This was the first 2013 AZIL game for the Cubs, but it was the 8th game for the Brewers. (The Cubs started Instructs later than usual this year).
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
1a. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 0-1 (BB, K)
1b. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-2 (K, 1B)
2a. Kevin Encarnacion, CF: 0-2 (3-6-3 DP, 3-1)
2b. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-1 (K, 3-U SH)
3a. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 1-2 (K, 3B, R)
3b. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 0-2 (6-3, F-9)
4a. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 1-3 (L-9, 5-3, 2B, R, RBI)
4b. Jose Dore, RF: 0-1 (K)
5a. Shawon Dunston Jr, LF: 2-2 (1B, 1B, R)
5b. Trey Martin, LF: 1-2 (1B, K)
6a. Kelvin Freeman, 1B: 1-2 (6-4-3 DP, 1B)
6b. Ben Carhart, 1B: 1-2 (6-3, 1B, RBI)
7a. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-2 (5-3, F-8)
7b. Frandy de la Rosa, SS: 0-2 (K, K)
8a. Wilfredo Petit, C: 1-2 (6-3, 1B, RBI)
8b. Erick Castillo, C: 0-0 (BB)
9. Charcer Burks, DH #1: 1-3 (1B, K, 3-U, CS)
10. Mark Malave, DH #2: 1-2 (3-1, BB, 1B)
1. Jose Arias: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 0/4 GO/FO, 25 pitches (18 strikes)
2. Trevor Clifton: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 33 pitches (18 strikes)
3. Dillon Maples: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 3/0 GO/FO, 19 pitches (15 strikes)
4. Johermyn Chavez: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 20 pitches (9 strikes)
5. Trey Lang: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 2/1 GO/FO, 32 pitches (12 strikes)
6. Sam Wilson: 0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 1 WP, 28 pitches (17 strikes)
NOTE: Top of the 9th inning was stopped with two outs when Wilson reached his pre-planned max pitch limit
CUBS ERRORS: 1
SS Carlos Penalver - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Wilfredo Petit: 0-1 CS, 1 PO
2. Erick Castillo: 0-5 CS
ATTENDANCE: 24 (mostly scouts)
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 80's
Also, glad to see Zobrist coming around with RISP after my remarks last week. Heh!
ESPN reporting heyward day-to-day with an injured wrist
ESPN game tonight, btw.
Cardinal way #48
"negligent transmission of STDs"
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Twitterverse reporting that Heyward is dealing with a sore right wrist
Cardinal way #47
See ya on parrot chat
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST...
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex:
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.
It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.
I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.
I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.
This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:
Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!
Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.
Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.
Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.
Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.