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
take that giants
I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.
Per Jesse Sanchez at mlb.com, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus.
BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).
TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.
TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.
Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.
Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.
Think Baby Maddux.
Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.
Kyle is on the far left.
I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.
Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.
That was good!
Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.
My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.
Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.
Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.
How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?
Call me lost.
Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.
I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:
Carl Crawford $20MM
Brandon McCarthy $17MM
Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
Darwin B $2.2MM
Dan Haren $10MM
Matt Kemp $18MM
Brian Wilson $10MM
Ryan Webb $2.2MM
Dee Gordon $2.5MM