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): 

FIELD #6:

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  

FIELD #5:

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

ATTENDANCE: 16

WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90's 

Comments

So, he hits like Jordan, too.

stupid rain delay with delayed start...i was timing my dinner to be ready for the 8pm start. /firstworldproblems

I know, right? Now you'll have to watch the game sleepy with a belly full of food and a good rain-delay drunk on.

ha. life = hard.

also, game on.

j.arrieta knocked around a bit in daytona...

5.2ip 5h 2bb 7k, 5r/3er (3hr)

t.wood 3r HR...lulz...ARZ, you suck.

...and he follows it up with a RBI double...ARZ, you suck.

I wonder how Travis Wood feels about playing 2B and leading off during his off days...

it's still really weird seeing wrigley so empty. hopefully it will pick up this summer.

they keep announcing attendance in the 27K-30K+ range...even though most of the time it looks like the "butts in seats" attendance is 10-15K at best. i haven't seen bleacher attendance so low since before the sosa/mcgwire HR chase days back in 98.

one really annoying side effect is (at least on CSN feeds) that they keep the field+crowd mics cranked up in volume...though it does lead to picking up a lot more player cussing/anger for side effect lulz.

The attendance may get a little better as the weather warms up, but get used to the generally sparse crowds until the Cubs as an organization start showing some signs of competitiveness. I think it's the right signal for fans to send to management: we're not going to pay big dollars to come to the park until you put out a product worth paying for.

The attendance may get a little better as the weather warms up, but get used to the generally sparse crowds until the Cubs as an organization start showing some signs of competitiveness. I think it's the right signal for fans to send to management: we're not going to pay big dollars to come to the park until you put out a product worth paying for.

I absolutely agree. And if they're not going to put out a competitive product, at least play the kids pretty much exclusively and abandon that platoon bullshit. Why should fans pay to watch guys like Barney, Valbuena and Schierholtz? There's no excuse, especially, for not playing Olt every day, I don't care if he is hitting a buck ninety. This is the only real opportunity to see what he's got, and figure out if they need Bryant to stay at third or move him to OF.

Junior Lake is a lot more fun to watch than Kalish or Sweeney.

On the other hand, Lake has a steep learning curve, which he might navigate a little more quickly knowing he could be riding the bench tomorrow. While on the bench, he might contemplate what he will do differently the next time the pitcher throws one of those tantalizing-but-high fastballs.

The manager should talk softly but carry a big pencil (for writing the lineup card).

IMO it's the big dollars part of it that's keeping people away. Going out to Wrigley on a whim is fun regardless of how the Cubs are playing, but not if you're spending $70+ for a ticket and $9/beer. That's what 60" HDTVs are for.

I propose this new rule for Cubs' management: The most expensive ticket in the park should be no higher than the total number of wins from the previous season. A Dugout Box for $66 would get some butts in the seats!

Do they still have the stupid f-ing ticket queue on ticket day? That thing has totally turned me off to buying Cubs tickets. Oh, yeah, I know, I could pay more than face value if I purchase from the 'legal' Cubs scalper.

Personally, the drive to Cincy takes just as long for me as the drive to Chicago, so these days I just go to Cincy to watch the Cubs play.

Stub hub you can get in the park for under $10.00

Phil, any fresh observations on Mejia or Luis Hernandez, the giants? Does Hernandez look like he throws hard, or not particularly? Mejia is pretty fast, I think, although obviously control is not so much.

Strange..so platooning Olt and Lake...kinda..Ruggiano against a righty too and hitting second.
Interesting lineup I suppose?

Recent comments

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  • ESPN game tonight, btw.

  • Cardinal way #48
    "negligent transmission of STDs"

    http://mlb.nbcsports.com/2016/05/01/carlos-martine...

  • 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

  • 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:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/making-too-much-of-...

  • 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.

  • Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.

    Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.

  • He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.

    He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.