Cubs And Giants Rally to Victory at Indian School Park
Shilo McCall lined a walk-off two-run double into the left-centerfield alley with two outs in the bottom of the 9th to cap a three-run rally as the Giants edged the Cubs 4-3 on Field #1, and Arnaldo Calero looped an RBI single over the second-baseman's head into short right field to tie the game in the top of the 8th and Tyler Alamo shot a sharp grounder through the box into CF for what turned out to be the game-winning RBI single in the top of the 9th, as the Cubs derailed the Giants 2-1 on Field #2, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader played this morning at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ.
RHPs Erick Leal and Trevor Graham were the starting pitchers for the Cubs, and both threw three innings of shutout ball. Leal had the more-impressive outing of the two because he had to pitch around two errors, striking out four and inducing two timely DP grounders to get out of trouble. RHP Luis Hernandez "piggybacked" with Leal and also threw three innings (the three middle innings) on Field #1, although he did surrender a run, two hits, and three walks.
Jorge Soler continued his EXST rehab assignment with Squad "A" on Field #2, playing RF for five innings and getting a total of five Plate Appearances (one in each of the first five innings). He went hitless in the game, although he did reach base once. Specifically he grounded out 6-3 in the 1st inning, was called out on strikes (a three-pitch AB) in the 2nd, reached base after being hit by a pitch (left shoulder) in the 3rd, grounded out 6-3 again the 4th, and flied out to the warning track in front of the Batter's Eye in CF (400+ feet from home plate) in the 5th.
In four EXST games this week, Soler has totaled 20 Plate Appearances. He is 3-17 with an RBI double (line drive into the LF corner) and two singles (both ground singles, one of which drove-in a run), two fly outs (one of which was an RBI sacrifice fly), ten ground outs (all ten being one or two-hop choppers hit to the left-side of the infield), and he reached base on an E-1. He has struck out twice (once swinging and once looking), and he has reached base twice on an HBP (he was hit in the lower back and on the left shoulder). He has yet to draw a walk He has played RF twice (both times for five innings), and he does not appear to be favoring his right leg while running, although he has been just jogging to 1st base on the ground outs.
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):
CUBS SQUAD "A" LINEUP:
X. Jorge Soler, RF: 0-4 (6-3, K, HBP, 6-3, F-8)
NOTE: Soler batted 3rd in the top of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings
1. Gleyber Torres, SS: 0-2 (BB, BB, K, K)
2. Zak Blair, 2B: 0-3 (F-7, K, HBP, 6-3)
3. Shamil Ubiera, LF: 1-4 (5-3, 2B, K, 5-3)
4. Kevin Brown, 1B: 2-4 (E-1, K, 1B, 2B, R)
5a. Varonex Cuevas, DH #1: 0-1 (K, BB)
5b. Tyler Alamo, PH-DH: 2-2 (1B, 1B, RBI)
6. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 1-4 (K, F-8, 4-3, 1B)
7. Antonio Valerio, C: 0-4 (5-3, 4-1, K, K)
8. Charcer Burks, CF: 1-3 (K, BB, 1B, 6-4 FC, R, SB)
9a, SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
9b. Arnaldo Calero, DH-RF: 1-2 (K, 1B, RBI)
CUBS SQUAD "A" PITCHERS:
1. Trevor Graham: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K, 2/2 GO/FO, 65 pitches (36 strikes)
2. Michael Wagner: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 1/1 GO/FO, 31 pitches (20 strikes)
3. Alberto Diaz: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 PO, 3/2 GO/FO, 22 pitches (10 strikes)
4. Francisco Carrillo: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/3 GO/FO, 24 pitches (18 strikes)
CUBS SQUAD "A" ERRORS: 1
2B Zak Blair - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS SQUAD "A" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Antonio Valerio: 2-3 CS
CUBS SQUAD "B" LINEUP:
1. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-3 (BB, K, L-8, K)
2. Alberto Mineo, 1B: 1-4 (L-8, K, 1B, 3-U, SB)
3. Oliver Zapata, LF: 0-4 (K, 4-3, K, 4-3)
4a. Eloy Jimenez, RF: 1-3 (6-3, P-3, 1B)
4b. Ricardo Marcano, RF: 0-1 (K)
5. Rony Rodriguez, DH: 0-3 (BB, F-7, K, F-8, R)
6. Elliot Soto, SS: 2-4 (1B, 4-3, L-8, 1B, R, SB)
7. Adonis Paula, 3B: 1-4 (1B, L-9, K, K, R)
8. Erick Castillo, C: 1-3 (2B, 6-3, E-6, RBI)
9. Dalfis Ortiz, 2B: 1-3 (1B, K, K, RBI)
CUBS SQUAD "B" PITCHERS:
1. Erick Leal: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HBP, 2 GIDP, 4/1 GO/FO, 52 pitches (34 strikes)
2. Luis Hernandez: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 1 PO, 3/3 GO/FO, 60 pitches (34 strikes)
3. Greyfer Eregua: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 0/2 GO/FO, 23 pitches (18 strikes)
4. Yomar Morel: 0.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 29 pitches (21 strikes)
CUBS SQUAD "B" ERRORS: 2
1. 3B Adonis Paula - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. SS Elliot Soto - E-6 (two-base throwing error allowed batter to reach 2nd base safely)
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80's
"Terms of the deal were not disclosed."
Theo inks five year extension
PC tonite at PNC
Not as a major factor, but could be a tie-breaker. But, yeah, on performance and experience, it's Coghlan.
Arrieta’s 2.85 ERA would be good enough to lead 26 other teams. He's 3rd on #Cubs behind Hendricks (1.99) and Lester (2.28)
Meanwhile on the SouthSide
For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.
[Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]
tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.