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
His control is still off with a lot of overthrowing of his fastball. Mariners haven't been able to take advantage of it so far but it still doesn't seen like he's had a start this year where his mechanics have been great start to finish.
Why is that disconcerting, OB?
He was a big key to the crazy start, a big key to the end of last year, a big key in not beating the Mets (although lots of help from a tired inexperienced team there), so although the team as a whole can get through a series with a good Jake it will be tough with a bad Jake. I don't think it's realistic to have the insanely great Jake again, but maybe it is. Seeing today's box score it appears maybe it is - but I haven't been able to tune in yet.
IMO Jake is really the key to winning the World Series, but maybe I'm putting too much emphasis on one player.
The reports that they offered EITHER Jimenez or Torres for Chapman are a little disconcerting. I hope 1) Those reports are wrong, and 2) if they are not wrong, that they will hold on to him, as the team could use the outfield depth. I have only seen him in the futures game, but he looks like a keeper.
Very nice. I saw him in Lansing in May. I'm still stunned that he hit a 400-foot foul ball onto Larch Street ... which is going the other way for a right-handed batter. It was perhaps the most amazing swing I've ever seen a minor league player take. I should also mention that it was about 40 degrees out at the time. Not that it's evidence of anything per se, but I feel his plate approach is way more advanced than Soler was at this stage in his development and that the comparisons aren't really fair to Jimenez. 50/50 chance I'll go to Midland tonight for the low-A debut of Oscar de la Cruz.
Eloy Jimenez grand slam tonight. Hoping Soler power returns and gets hot but future looks bright in the outfield regardless.
Finished the night 4-5, with two doubles - 32(!) on the season - along with the grand slam. Sick
Meanwhile, out West:
SF is 2-11 since the break, lead over LA is down to one game, and they are running out Cain and Peavy this weekend against the Nats. Challenging times by the Bay.
Thanks for the updates Phil. Too bad about Frazier.
The Cubs have released RHRP Scott Frazier (2013 7th round dfraft pick - Pepperdine).
A Cubs pitching coach told me in Spring Training 2014 that he thought Frazier had the best pure stuff in the organization. Absolutely electric fastball & breaking ball combo. Other pitchers would gather behind the screen just to watch him throw "live" BP. That's how amazing he was.
Got a chance to see Diamondbacks RHSP Zack Greinke (15-day DL - strained oblique) throw a rehab start at Sloan Park Friday night. Four of the first seven AZL Cubs hitters singled and the Cubs did score an unearned run in the bottom of the 1st inning, but then Greinke got serious and struck out five in a row.
ZACK GREINKE: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 5 K, 4/0 GO/AO, 49 pitches (34 strikes)
Have fun - It may be good for Arrieta to be facing a team that doesn't know him as well as the NL teams. A nice shutout would do wonders for his confidence. He is confident in public but baseball is hard and he could use a boost, I'm sure.
Me too. I'll be at the game tomorrow and would love to see Good Arrieta.
Last few games have been the April version of the Cubs that disappeared completely the past two months.
Hope they can sustain it.
Don't sell yourself short, Judge.
I love this team.
Looks like Mother Nature is trying to call this fight.