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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  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 3 hours 31 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 6 hours 29 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 6 hours 42 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 6 hours 50 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 6 hours 56 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 7 hours 14 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 7 hours 50 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 8 hours 8 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 8 hours 10 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 8 hours 28 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 8 hours 35 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 9 hours 31 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 9 hours 48 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 9 hours 53 min ago view
  • First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.

    Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.

    The E-Man 11 hours 3 min ago view
  • Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.

    "Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."

    In the comments here: http://www.thecubreporter.com/05242016/cub-power-d...

    QuietMan 11 hours 42 min ago view