Eloy Goes Deep and Strop Continues Rehab at Diablo Park
Raul Linares ripped a game-winning walk-off RBI double with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, as the Angels rallied from a four-run deficit to edge the Cubs 7-6 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Diablo Park Field #7 in Tempe, AZ.
Eloy Jimenez belted a three-run home run and an RBI single, Jeffrey Baez singled twice, walked, stole a base, and scored three runs, and Kevin Brown singled twice, walked, and scored two runs to help the Cubs take an early 4-0 lead, and Nataniel Delgado doubled twice and scored and Trevor Gretzky laced a two-run triple to aid the Angel comeback.
The Angels collected six doubles and one triple among their nine hits.
RHRP Pedro Strop (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL - groin) continued his EXST rehab with a shutout inning (18 pitches - 10 strikes). Strop was not as sharp this morning in Tempe as he was on Saturday in Scottsdale, as he walked one and was behind in the count on just about every hitter, but he did not allow a hit, he struck out two, and he got the third out on a broken bat 5-3 GO.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
1a. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 2-2 (BB, 1B, 1B, 3 R, SB)
1b. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-1 (K)
2a. Kevin Brown, LF: 2-2 (1B, BB, 1B, 2 R)
2b. Oliver Zapata, LF; 0-1 (K)
3. Eloy Jimenez, RF: 2-4 (HR, K, 1B, F-8, R, 4 RBI)
4a. Justin Marra, 1B: 1-2 (BB, 3-U, 1B)
4b. Alberto Mineo, 1B: 1-1 (1B)
5. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 0-4 (F-8, E-5, K, 6-4-3 DP)
6. Mark Malave, DH #1: 0-4 (6-4 FC, 5-3, L-6 DP, 1-3)
7. Zak Blair, 2B: 1-4 (K, 1B, 4-3, F-7)
8. Erick Castillo, C: 1-4 (4-3, 1B, 4-3, 6-3)
9. Varonex Cuevas, SS: 0-3 (F-7, P-6, F-7)
10. Shamil Ubiera, DH #2: 0-3 (F-9, 5-4-3 DP, F-7)
1. Frailyn Figueroa: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 1/1 GO/FO, 21 pitches (13 strikes)
2. Pedro Strop: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 18 pitches (10 strikes)
3. Trevor Clifton: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 8/1 GO/FO, 63 pitches (37 strikes)
4. Adbert Alzolay: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 31 pitches (12 strikes)
5. Victor Salazar: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 31 pitches (18 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 1
SS Varonex Cuevas: - E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHER DEFENSE:
Erick Castillo: 1-2 CS
WEATHER: Sunny & a bit breezy with temperatures 100+
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
So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.
And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):
i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.
there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.
I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.
O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already.