Cubs Win One & Tie Another at Riverview Park
Eloy Jimenez belted an RBI triple and Rony Rodriguez and Justin Marra drilled RBI singles to highlight a three-run 1st inning, Oliver Zapata, doubled, singled, and walked, and Erick Castillo smacked a pinch-hit solo home run, helping the Cubs defeat the Giants 5-3 on Field #5, and Kevin Brown tripled, singled, walked, and scored a run, and Roney Alcala (RBI ground out & a two-run single) and Arnaldo Calero (two run-scoring doubles) drove-in three runs a piece as the Cubs rallied from a four-run deficit to tie the Giants 6-6 on Field #6, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.
Ryan Jones slugged a two-run HR, doubled and scored, and singled for the Giants on Field #6.
Justin Ruggiano (Cubs MLB 15-day DL - hamstring) and Casper Wells (AAA Iowa 7-day DL - back spasms) continued their EXST game rehabs, with Ruggiano playing RF with Squad "B" on Field #5 and Wells playing RF with Squad "A" on Field #6.
Ruggiano played RF for four innings and then moved to DH for one more inning, getting three Plate Appearances in the game. He struck out (swinging) in his first AB, drew a walk his second time up and then (apparently feeling a bit frisky) was thrown-out trying to steal, and he flied out to right in his third PA. He also commited an error, dropping a line-drive that was hit right at him (eventually leading to an unearned run scoring).
Wells played RF for eight innings and went 1-3, with a pop out to 1st, a bloop double (he later scored), a line-out to CF, and a walk.
Meanwhile, C-1B-3B Mark Malave is no longer switch-hitting, He is now batting only RH (and actually has been for a while). Malave drives the ball with more authority RH. and from what I've seen so far, he does not appear to be adversely affected hitting RH versus RHP.
Last year OF Rashad Crawford gave up switch-hitting, opting to hit only LH (to take better advantage of his plus-speed), and that move has worked out well for him.
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):
CUBS SQUAD "B" LINEUP:
1. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 1-3 (1B, K, HBP, 6-4-3 DP, R, SB)
2a. Justin Ruggiano, RF-DH: 0-2 (K, BB, F-9, CS)
2b. Erick Castillo, PH: 1-1 (HR, R, RBI)
3. Eloy Jimenez, DH #1: 1-3 (3B, 5-3, BB, 6-3, R, RBI)
4. Rony Rodriguez, 1B: 2-4 (1B, K, 5-3 DP, 1B, R, RBI)
5. Oliver Zapata, LF: 2-3 (1B, 2B, L-4, BB, RBI, PO)
6. Justin Marra, C: 1-4 (1B, 1-3, F-7, K, RBI)
7. Elliot Soto, SS: 1-4 (L-1 DP, 1B, 6-3, L-8, R)
8a. Adonis Paula, DH #2: 1-1 (1B)
8b. Ricardo Marcano, PH-RF: 1-2 (2B, 4-3, RBI)
9. Bryant Flete, 2B: 2-3 (6-3, 1B, 1B)
10. Dalfis Ortiz, 3B: 0-3 (5-3, 1-3, E-1)
CUBS SQUAD "B" PITCHERS:
1. Tyler Ihrig: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 1 PO, 1 GIDP, 5/2 GO/FO, 61 pitches (41 strikes)
2. Adbert Alzolay: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 3/2 GO/FO, 30 pitches (18 strikes)
3. Greyfer Eregua: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 3/0 GO/FO, 39 pitches (25 strikes)
4. Carlos Llano: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 0/2 GO/FO, 22 pitches (11 strikes)
CUBS SQUAD "B" ERRORS: 3
1. RF Justin Ruggiano - E-9 (dropped line drive allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
2. 2B Bryant Flete - E-4 (dropped infield pop fly allowed batter to reach 2nd base safely and unearned run to score)
3. C Justin Marra - E-2 (overthrow on pick-off attempt at 2nd base allowed runner to advance to 3rd)
CUBS SQUAD "B" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Justin Marra: 0-2 CS, 1 E (see above)
CUBS SQUAD "A" LINEUP:
1. Gleyber Torres, SS: 1-4 (BB, 6-3, 5-3, 1B, 4-1)
2. Zak Blair, 2B: 2-5 (4-6-3 DP, 3-U, K, 1B, 1B)
3a. Casper Wells, RF: 1-3 (P-3, 2B, L-8, BB, R)
3b. Shamil Ubiera, RF: 0-1 (6-4-3 DP)
4. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 2-5 (L-8, 1B, L-7, K, 1B, R)
5. Kevin Brown, LF: 2-4 (3B, BB, 1B, 1-3, L-5, R, CS)
6. Roney Alcala, 1B: 1-4 (6-3, 1B, L-7, E-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, SB)
7. Mark Malave, C: 1-4 (1B, 5-U FC, 4-3, E-6, R)
8. Arnaldo Calero, DH: 2-4 (4-3, 2B, K, 2B, 3 RBI)
9. Charcer Burks, CF: 0-4 (F-7, F-8, P-2, K)
CUBS SQUAD "A" PITCHERS:
1. Trevor Clifton: 3.1 IP, 5 H, 5 R (5 ER), 2 BB, 7 K, 1 HR, 1 WP, 2/1 GO/FO, 67 pitches (37 strikes)
2. Corbin Hoffner: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 6/1 GO/FO, 28 pitches (20 strikes)
3. David Garner: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 1/2 GO/FO, 25 pitches (13 strikes)
4. Alberto Diaz: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 32 pitches (23 strikes)
CUBS SQUAD "A" ERRORS: 2
1. 3B Jesse Hodges - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. SS Gleyber Torres - E-6 (two-base throwing error allowed batter to reach 2nd base safely)
CUBS SQUAD "A" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Mark Malave: 1 PB
CUBS SQUAD "A" OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
CF Charcer Burks - baserunner doubled-off 2nd base 8-4 after line out to CF
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 90's
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?
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
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:
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.
Weird home stand -- 3-1, with 2 rainouts, vs. two teams that will lose 100 games. Feels oddly disappointing.
Miserable baseball weather all week -- hopefully better weather will get the bats going. Not just walking, but actually hitting.
That strike call on LaSterlla was terrible
I was hearing some talk that John Mallee is trying to change Heyward's swing. Wonder if that is lending itself to the slow start.
at least it wasn't a "nobody showed up" stomping.
anytime you wanna jumpstart your season would be nice, heyward.