April 2012

LaHair's grand slam made it by a hair.

When the Chicago Cubs were up 9 (nine!) to nothin' over the St. Louis Cardinals, the best word I could come up with was "exotic".

Because that's how it felt.
Two days in a row of massive Cub bat-damage?
That's like being on some island in National Geographic where the lizards all have fur and bring you rum drinks.

Baez Can Do Whatever the...

Javier Baez belted a three-run home run and Yasiel Balaguert stroked an RBI triple and scored on a Jair Bogaerts RBI single, as the Cubs plated five runs in the bottom of the 4th en route to a 5-1 victory over the Angels in Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.

Cubs Late Rally Tops Angels at Diablo

Dan Vogelbach, Danny Lockhart, and Xavier Batista drove-in the runs, as the Cubs rallied for two in the 8th and two more in the 9th to defeat the Angels 5-3 in Extended Spring Training action this morning at Diablo Park Field #3 in Tempe, AZ.  


Baez & Vogelbach Demolish Giants

Javier Baez slugged a three-run home run, tripled twice, drove-in four runs, and scored three more, Dan Vogelbach crushed a towering two-run home run over the RF screen and onto Camelback Road, and Garrett Schlecht blooped what proved to be a game-winning RBI single to short LF with two outs in the top of the 7th, as the Cubs swept the Giants by scores of 4-3 and 9-3 in an Extended Spring Training split squad doubleheader this morning at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ.


Both games were seven-inning affairs.


Late Dinger the Difference as Brewers Edge Cubs

Chris McFarland led-off the bottom of the 8th with a moon-shot solo home run over the LF fence and onto the roof of a portable classroom at Frank Borman Elementary School, breaking a 1-1 tie and giving his team the lead, as the Brewers scored one in the 7th and one in the 8th to edge the Cubs 2-1 in Opening Day Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #7 (Paul Molitor Field) at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix, AZ.


Cubs Recap for April 7, 2012

I didn't get to do a major league recap and I'm off on vacation this week. Apologies in advance if things get untidy around here. As for the major league game, it was déjà vu all over again. Marmol and Wood blowing a second consecutive game, the bullpen blowing a win for Garza or the Cubs just blowing a game, pick whatever storyline suits your needs...it's like choose-your-own adventure Cubs storytime.

I-Cubs Still Looking for Way Out

Round Rock hasn't had any trouble getting into the jet stream above Principal Park. The Express have belted four homers in two games including a back-to-back pair Friday night off of Casey Coleman that were the difference in the 4-3 contest. But the home team remains homerless, having split the first half of a four-game set to open the season.

I-Cub Jabs Outpoint Round Rock Roundhousers

Tuesday night I endured a local school board meeting. It comes with the territory of my day job. I sat glassy-eyed in the gallery, my mind drifting ahead 48 hours at which point I would be sitting in the stands on Opening Night at Principal Park, cracking open peanut shells instead of stifling yawns.

Game 1 Recap - So Yeah, That Happened

I can't really afford the time to pour into these game recaps as I'd really like, so I'll just comment briefly on the bigger WTF moments.

Today, the honor goes to Kerry Wood and Dale Sveum in the 8th. Granted, I got called to a meeting just as Wood was imploding, but let's take at the play-by-play.

- K. Wood relieved R. Dempster
- I. Desmond stole second
- R. Zimmerman walked
- I. Desmond to third, R. Zimmerman to second on wild pitch
- A. LaRoche walked
- J. Werth walked, I. Desmond scored, R. Zimmerman to third, A. LaRoche to second

Javier Baez Takes Maholm Deep at Fitch Park

Paul Maholm threw 5-2/3 innings (77 pitches), allowing three runs (all earned), seven hits (including two doubles, a triple, and a Javier Baez tape-measure home run), two walks, and a HBP, with five strikeouts and 5/5 GO/FO, in intrasquad action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.


A round of applause for Arizona Phil and his Cubs ST coverage!

I thought I knew a little about baseball til I started reading your posts here at TCR, Arizona Phil.
The depth of your knowledge and your frank, watchful eye have kept us all deeply in the loop of our favorite team.
Thanks.

And now...2012!
Whatever the hell it turns out to be. 

Volstad Goes Four at Fitch & Castro Leads Cubs to Victory at HoHoKam

Chris Volstad threw four innings (67 pitches), allowing two runs (only one earned) on six hits (all singles), with no walks and eight strikeouts, and Jeffrey Baez singled twice, tripled, drove-in a run, and stole a base, in Extended Spring Training intrasquad action this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.

Samardzija throws 4-2/3 of a No-No at Fitch Park

Jeff Samardzija threw 4-2/3 innings of no hit ball, Luis Flores clubbed a solo home run, Shawon Dunston, Jr hammered a two-run homer, and Carlos Penalver had three hits, scored a run, and drove-in another, in Extended Spring Training intrasquad action this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.


Matt Garza Stones Bees at Fitch Park

Matt Garza threw four innings of shutout ball, allowing two hits and no walks with six strikeouts, Adrian Cardenas slugged a 420+ foot three-run HR over the CF fence, Welington Castillo drove-in three runs with a two-run double and a sacrifice fly, and Blake Lalli had four hits, leading the Iowa Cubs to an 8-1 victory over the Salt Lake Bees (Los Angeles Angels AAA affiliate) on Field #3, and Casey Coleman threw four innings of one-run ball, but knuckleballer Joe Zeller was tagged for four runs, as the Arkansas Travelers (Angels AA affiliate) defeated the Tennessee Smokies 5-1 on Field #2, in Cactus League minor league game action this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ  


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  • trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.

    eric leal's (high-A) progression through the minors should be worth watching even if only projects to be an mid/end-rotation starter.

    we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).

    crunch 2 hours 54 min ago view
  • As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.

    I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.

    billybucks 3 hours 14 min ago view
  • Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.

    billybucks 3 hours 15 min ago view
  • Wow - Pierce Johnson with an ERA of 8.01 in 42IP!

    What a stud prospect! Must be pitching with a pierced johnson.

    Looks like Ryan Williams is the only legit prospect there. That is sad...

    The E-Man 3 hours 17 min ago view
  • Well it would seem that's all they need now. "Stropy" can have his moments, but he's been more consistent post-asg.

    The E-Man 3 hours 26 min ago view
  • Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.

    I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.

    billybucks 3 hours 53 min ago view
  • Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?

    Maybe the three-headed dragon?

    John Beasley 4 hours 9 min ago view
  • Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth

    Eric S 4 hours 40 min ago view
  • Three amigos time?

    7-8-9th

    jacos 4 hours 55 min ago view
  • he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs

    crunch 9 hours 11 min ago view
  • Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.

    billybucks 9 hours 52 min ago view
  • ...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.

    I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.

    He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.

    billybucks 9 hours 56 min ago view
  • How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.

    videographer 11 hours 51 min ago view
  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 13 hours 39 min ago view
  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 14 hours 13 min ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 14 hours 27 min ago view