Baby Jordan Goes Yard at Riverview Park
Rashad Crawford walloped a game-tying solo home run over the RF fence in the bottom of the 6th and Luis Hernandez threw three innings of shutout relief, as the Cubs and Diamondbacks played to a 1-1 tie on Field #5, and Carlos Hernandez tossed four innings of one-hit shutout ball and combined with four D'back relievers to blank the Cubs 2-0 on Field #6, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader played this morning at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.
Both games were scheduled to be eight-inning affairs, but the game on Field #5 was called after 7-1/2 innings with the score tied.
RHP Tevor Graham (Cubs 2013 13th round draft pick - Franklin Pierce University) got the start for Squad "A" and threw three perfect innings with six strikeouts on Field #6. Graham has a plus curve, and it was really working for him today.
Five Cub pitchers combined to punch-out 14 Diamondbacks on Field #6, albeit in a losing cause.
Known as "Baby Jordan" in high school because of his basketball prowess, 6'3 Rashad Crawford (Cubs 2012 11th round draft pick out of Mundy's Mill HS in Georgia) is an outstanding defensive CF, but hitting has been a real struggle (just 202/304/256 in 51 games and 197 PA at AZL Cubs 2012-13). He gave up switch-hitting at Extended Spring Training last year and now only hits left-handed, and he has been trying to learn to play "small ball" to take better advantage of his plus-speed, so hitting his first professional HR today was quite a surprise.
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):
CUBS SQUAD "A" LINEUP:
1. Charcer Burks, CF: 0-3 (BB, 6-3, K, F-9)
2. Kevin Brown, LF: 0-2 (F-8, BB, E-4)
3. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 1-3 (F-7, 1B, K)
4. Tyler Alamo, DH: 0-3 (6-3, 4-3, F-8)
5. Justin Marra, C: 0-3 (F-7, 3-U, P-6)
6. Gleyber Torres, SS: 0-3 (P-3, F-9, 6-3)
7. Zak Blair, 2B: 0-3 (K, 3-U, K)
8. Roney Alcala, 1B: 1-3 (3-1, 2B, F-7)
9. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 0-3 (6-3, K, L-5)
CUBS SQUAD "A" PITCHERS:
1. Trevor Graham: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 BR, 0 BB, 6 K, 0/3 GO/FO, 33 pitches (24 strikes)
2. Jeferson Mejia: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 0/2 GO/FO, 36 pitches (21 strikes)
3. Corbin Hoffner: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/FO, 9 pitches (6 strikes)
4, Trey Lang: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 15 pitches (9 strikes)
4. Alberto Diaz: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 PO, 22 pitches (11 strikes)
CUBS SQUAD "A" ERRORS: NONE
CUBS SQUAD "A" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Justin Marra: 1-1 CS
CUBS SQUAD "B" LINEUP:
1. Bryant Flete, 2B: 0-2 (4-3, BB, K)
2. Elliot Soto, SS: 1-3 (F-7, P-3, 1B)
3. Shamil Ubiera, RF: 0-3 (K, 5-3, 1-3)
4a. Eloy Jimenez, DH: 0-2 (5-3, P-4)
4b. Dalfis Ortiz, PH: 0-1 (6-3)
5. Rony Rodriguez, 1B: 1-3 (1B, F-7, 5-3, SB)
6. Adonis Paula, 3B: 0-2 (BB, K, F-9, PO)
7. Mark Malave, C: 0-3 (K, 4-3, K)
8. Ricardo Marcano, LF: 0-2 (K, K)
9. Rashad Crawford, CF: 1-2 (K, HR, R, RBI)
CUBS SQUAD "B" PITCHERS:
1. Adbert Alzolay: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 36 pitches (22 strikes)
2. Luis Hernandez: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 PO, 5/0 GO/FO, 35 pitches (24 strikes)
3. Michael Wagner: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 3/1 GO/FO, 38 pitches (20 strikes)
4. Carlos Llano: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 2/1 GO/FO, 22 pitches (11 strikes)
CUBS SQUAD "B" ERRORS: NONE
CUBS SQUAD "B" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Mark Malave: 1-2 CS
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90's
I love winning! It's, like, better than losing?
You lollygag the ball around the infield. You lollygag your way down to first. You lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you? Larry!
Its too bad Warren didnt get to pitch. He would have saved us.
Whoa -- that Contreras play in the 8th looked too much like a "Schwarber" -- nearly crashed into the wall going full speed, with Heyward doing the same.
New rule: if you are a catcher playing LF, and find yourself sprinting after a fly ball in the gap -- stop, let the CF go after it and get ready to play it off the wall.
Cubs have no spark and no life. Pretty boring to watch these days.
I thought trips to Miami were supposed to be fun. This one sucked.
The bottom half of the bullpen now turns close games into blowout losses. Not good.
Once Fowler went to the DL, the team went into the tank. Wonder if he'll get any love this offseason? Probably not.
6IP, 2ER. The last one scored because of another botched Zobrist DP turn.
And now, a bad throw by KB. Sloppy.
What is it with Hammel always starting well and sucking after a couple months?
Ahhh...sad. Lke a few of you here, I saw him play during the '69-'71 seasons. He was the "hot Zobrist" for the club in August/September of '69 while everyone else was fizzling out...
I predict: "They will play hard and if they give the same effort every day, they'll win a lot of games."
OK, boys -- find a way to win today.
There's some BA is missing too, here's all signing bonus BA doesn't have some:
-6 Hockin $241,000 (slot price), 7 Cruz $75,000 (saved $110,00), 8 Ridlings $120,000 (saved $53,800), 9 Robinson $30,000 (saved $132,300), so far the Cubs have saved an extra $297,100
Zobrist (2B), Hayward (CF), Bryant (3B), Rizzo, Contreras (LF), Montero, Russell, Coghlan (RF), Hammel
Also -- despite losing 6 of their last 10, the Cubs picked up a game on both STL and PIT during that period. Weird, given that they swept PIT and were swept by STL.
Also, I'd like to know if there are numbers to back up my suspicion that there are a lot more fast starts than late June romps. This seems like a time where everybody not named Willson Contreras is looking a little tired and/or banged up a bit.
For once, the Cubs got off to a fast start. Seems like I've been waiting for that for 50 years.Everybody is really gunning for this team, too. It's their playoffs.