Burks Bases-Loaded Triple Sparks Cubs to Victory at Diablo Park
Charcer Burks belted a bases-loaded triple to ignite a four-run 2nd and later reached base on a walk and an HBP and scored two runs, and Adonis Paula went 3-3 with three singles and two runs scored, leading the Cubs to an 8-6 victory over the Angels in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training game played this morning at Diablo Park Field #7 in Tempe, AZ.
Ex-Cub Trevor Gretzky singled, doubled, walked, stole a base, scored a run, and collected two RBI for the Angels. It appears that Gretzky is now only playing 1B (he was shuttled back & forth between 1B and LF when he was with the Cubs).
Four Cubs made their U. S. Cactus League EXST game debut today, including 6'5 19-year old Dominican RHP Luis Hernandez (three runs allowed on four hits and a walk plus two WP in 2.0 IP), 19-year old Venezuelan RHP Adbert Alzolay (a 1-2-3 nine-pitch 9th inning to get the save), 19-year old Dominican 3B Adonis Paula (the aforementioned three singles in three AB with two runs scored), and 21-year old Dominican RF Shamil Ubiera (0-2 with a walk and a run scored).
Paula and Ubiera have two years experience each in the DSL, while Hernandez and Alzolay made their pro debuts last season, Hernandez with the DSL Cubs, and Alzolay with the VSL Cubs. Ubiera's 17-year old brother Luis (also an outfielder) will make his pro debut with the DSL Cubs this season, after signing with the Cubs last November.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
1. Elliot Soto, SS: 0-5 (5-3, 6-3, P-4, 5-3, F-8, RBI)
2. Erick Castillo, C: 1-4 (6-3, BB, 1B, 6-3, K, R, 2 RBI)
3. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 0-3 (BB, BB, F-7, 5-3, F-9, SB)
4a. Tyler Alamo, DH: 1-3 (5-3, K, 1B, RBI)
4b. Antonio Valerio, PH-DH: 0-2 (5-3, K)
5a. Matt Scioscia, 1B: 1-2 (BB, 1B, 5-4 FC, R)
5b. Roney Alcala, 1B: 0-2 (P-6, 3-U)
6. Giuseppe Papaccio, 2B: 0-5 (P-3, 6-4 FC, K, 5-3, K)
7a. Shamil Ubiera, RF: 0-2 (BB, 5-4-3 DP, 1-3, R)
7b. Rony Rodriguez, RF: 0-0 (HBP, R, SB)
8a. Adonis Paula, 3B: 3-3 (1B, 1B, 1B, 2 R)
8b. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 1-1 (1B, RBI)
9. Charcer Burks, LF: 1-2 (3B, HBP, F-9, BB, 2 R, 3 RBI)
1. Trevor Clifton: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 2/1 GO/FO, 33 pitches (18 strikes)
2. Tyler Ihrig: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 3/0 GO/FO, 25 pitches (15 strikes)
3. Jose Paulino: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 43 pitches (25 strikes)
NOTE: Paulino's first inning was stopped with two outs and bases loaded
4. Luis Hernandez: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 2 WP, 2/2 GO/FO, 36 pitches (23 strikes)
5. Adbert Alzolay: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 3/0 GO/FO, 9 pitches (7 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: NONE
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Erick Castillo: 1-7 CS
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
CF Jeffrey Baez - threw out baserunner 8-6 after runner over-ran 2nd base
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 80's
In all seriousness the Cubs have the fewest amount of games played in the NL which means they're gonna be facing quite the grind later on including 24 games in a row at the end of June and beginning of July so I hope he does get a few days off.
Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?
Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]
ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.
cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.