CHC (40-35): LHP Jon Lester (4-6, 4.43)
Jose Paniagua belted a walk-off solo home run with one out in the bottom of the 9th, as the AZL Cubs scored two runs in the 6th, one in the 7th, one in the 8th, and one in the 9th to overcome a four-run deficit and edge the AZL Mariners 9-8 in Arizona League action last night at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.
W - Hendricks (3-4), MLB's average length of game, magic.
L - Niese (3-8), that Home Run Big Apple thingy, losing your game summary right before publishing.
S - Motte (3)
Things to Take from This Game
1. Hendricks with a good outing.
Kyle Hendricks pitched 6 efficient, scoreless innings, giving up just one walk and three hits. He struck out six with lots of movement - if not always command - on all of his pitches. Other than a one-out double that was quickly pitched around, he wasn't in trouble at all. The defense also was flawless, save a bad route and awkward catch by Fowler.
2. The offense continues to struggle.
There isn't much to say about the offensive performance. Castro walked twice. Bryant had a hit and a walk. The scoring came from a no-doubt double by Szczur that scored Bryant. We loaded the bases, once, so there was that...
3. The bullpen delivered.
Rondon, Strop, and Motte each had convincing scoreless innings to preserve a 1-0 lead.
The 2 hour and 22 minute, happy details, below
CHC (39-35): RHP Kyle Hendricks (2-4, 4.46)
After this weekend's Cardinals sweep of the Cubs, many fans have been wondering if this really is as much of a rivalry as the media makes it out to be. The perception seems to be that the fans are not as into it as they are other rivalries (perhaps White Sox, Royals), and that it has been a mostly one-sided match-up in recent years. While it is difficult to measure the first claim, we can examine the second. The table below shows the last 20 years of Cubs-Cardinals match-ups, including the head-to-head record for that year and each team’s overall winning percentage at the end of the season. Overall, the Cubs’ record vs. the Cardinals for the past 20 years has been 147-165, or a .471 winning percentage, which suggest the teams have played each other at much closer to parity than perceptions suggest. The Cubs have mostly held their own. This is even more impressive when looking at the season winning percentages. The Cardinals have had the better season record in 15 of the last 20 seasons, yet the Cubs have taken 9 of the head-to-head matchups. In several seasons (2005, 2006, and 2010) the Cubs far exceeded expectations: below-.500 Cubs teams dominated much better Cardinals teams on the season. These are small sample sizes and anything can happen in a short series, so we can’t take much away from this. But it should at least be clear that the Cardinals have had an advantage in the rivalry in recent decades but that is largely due to them fielding far superior teams, and that advantage hasn’t been as big as we might think.
Dillon Dobson (SF 2015 23rd round draft pick - Appalachian State) belted a two-run triple and an RBI double, and Nathaniel Javier and Matt Winn (SF 2015 14th round draft pick - VMI) clubbed solo home runs, helping the AZL Giants hammer the AZL Cubs 11-6 in Arizona League action last night on Field #1 at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.
CHC (39-34): RHP Jason Hammel (5-2, 2.65)
Wladimir Galindo reached base four times (two singles, a walk, and a HBP), scored two runs, and drove-in two more and Robert Garcia singled twice, doubled, scored two runs, and drove-in four, as the AZL Cubs drubbed the AZL Giants 11-4 in Arizona League action last night on Field #2 at Indian School Park.
The start of the game was delayed for about 45 minutes while a haboob (desert dust storm) roared through Scottsdale with winds gusting up to 50 MPH.
The Cubs and Giants players and coaches scrambled to get inside the clubhouse as the wall of dust approached, but it looked a lot scarier than it really was. The umpires apparently hadn't been told about it, because they came out of their room and walked onto the field, except nobody was there. They looked at each other as if to say, "Are we at the right park?"
CHC (39-33): RHP Donn Roach (7-1, 2.21 for Iowa)
CHC (38-34): RHP Jake Arrieta (7-5, 3.07)