One-third of the way through the season...
Wladimir Galindo belted a three-run home run and an RBI single, Chris Pieters rifled a two-run double, and Andry Rondon and four relievers combined to toss a five-hit shutout, as the Cubs blanked the Giants 7-0 on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex, and RHSP Pedro Silverio hurled five innings of three-hit/one-run ball with no walks & eight strikeouts and Roberto Caro drilled three singles, as the Cubs edged the Giants 4-3 at Sloan Park, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning in Mesa, AZ.
The game on Field #1 was called after seven innings of play, and the game at Sloan Park was called after 6-1/2 innings.
The EXST Cubs record now stands at 32-16-6.
With today's outing, Silverio becomes the second Eugene starting pitcher to go five innings (Jesus Castillo was the first, hurling five innings yesterday).
In EXST Cubs roster news, LHSP Justin Steele (Cubs 2014 5th round pick - George County HS - Lucedale, MS) has been assigned to Extended Spring Training after struggling at South Bend (6.17 ERA - 1.94 WHIP - .308 OppBA - 45 H - 23/37 BB/K in 35 IP - nine GS). Steele will likely be a starting pitcher at Eugene (NWL season begins on June 16th), joining some combination of Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Manny Rondon in the Emeralds rotation (if there isn't room for all of them in the starting rotation, one or two may end up as "piggy-back" relievers).
Also, RHRP P. J. Francescon has completed his 50-game "Drug of Abuse" suspension and has been reinstated from the Restricted List. He celebrated his freedom by working two perfect innings on Field #1. Francescon was the closer at AA Tennessee last season, and it's probably just a matter of time before he's back in the Smokies bullpen.
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):
Electric Cubbieland—Hendricks has another dominant performance.
Gerard Hernandez belted an RBI triple and an RBI single and scored two runs, Ramon Hernandez tripled twice, scored a run, and drove-in two more, and Jazz Chisholm drilled an RBI single and an RBI double, leading the Diamondbacks to an 11-6 victory over the Cubs on Field #1, and Wladimir Galindo singled and tripled, reached base on an HBP, and scored both Cub runs, as the Cubs and D'backs played to a 2-2 tie on Field #2, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
Jose Paniagua went 4-4 (all four hits were singles) and drove-in two runs and Isaac Paredes doubled, singled, walked, and scored a run for the Cubs in a losing cause on Field #1.
RHSP Pierce Johnson (on AAA Iowa 7-day DL since May 5th--retro to May 3rd--with a lat strain) got the start on Field #1 and did not fare well, allowing seven runs (five earned) on seven hits (including a triple and a double) and three walks in 3.1 IP (61 pitches). He did strike out five, however. One more EXST rehab start in which he pitches five innings and gets his pitch count up to 75-80, and Johnson should be ready to return to the I-Cubs starting rotation.
RHSP Jesus Castillo (one of two pitchers acquired from Arizona in the Tony Campana trade in February 2013) had a far better outing on Field #2 than did Johnson on Field #1, working five innings (71 pitches) and allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits. He struck out four and did not issue any walks, although he did hit a batter. So Castillo becomes the first of the Eugene starters to go five innings (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, and Jose Paulino fell short earlier in the week, with Pedro Silverio and Manny Rondon yet to try). Castillo got through the first four innings on only 44 pitches while facing just ten batters, but he needed 27 pitches to get through the 5th (just barely), successfully working out of a runners at 2nd & 3rd and no outs jam (with Enrique de los Rios warmed-up & ready to go in the pen).
Here are the abridged box scores from the games (Cubs players only):
Hendricks (aka, Baby Maddux, El Professor) goes for the series win.
Javier Godard doubled, singled twice, scored twice, and drove-in the winning run with a squeeze bunt, as the Athletics rallied for three runs in the bottom of the 8th and hung-on to edge the Cubs 6-5 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #4 at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.
The Cub cause was aided by Vimael Machin (drilled two singles and a triple, scored a run, and knocked-in another), Rafael Mejia (belted an RBI double, singled, walked, and stole a base), and Michael Foster (singled twice, walked, stole a base, scored a run, drove-in a run, and threw out an A's hitter 7-4 trying to stretch a single into a double), but the bullpen could not hold the lead for the second day in a row.
Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):
It's a new day and a new month. Let's hope that neither one includes Kris Bryant at SS.
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.
If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.
If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.
Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.
The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.