Is That Arrieta?
Dylan Cease fired three innings of shutout ball, Vimael Machin lined a triple off the CF Batter's Eye and scored and Alex Bautista rifled an RBI double into the LF corner to highlight a two-run 7th, and then Bautista ripped an RBI single through the box into CF and Yohan Matos followed with an RBI triple high off the LF screen (near HR) to spark a two-run 9th, as the Cubs plated five runs over the final three innings and defeated the Brewers 6-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #7 (AKA "Paul Molitor Field") at the Maryvale Baseball Park Complex in Phoenix, AZ.
Cease threw a higher percentage of strikes (62%) today than in any previous outing (he usually struggles to throw strikes, typically throwing 50-55% strikes), breaking his curve for called strikes time & again, and humming his heater consistently knee-high at 98-99 MPH (per both the Brewers & Cubs guns -- for example, 99-99-99-98-99-99-98-98-99-99-99 in the bottom of the 2nd). He even got a swing & miss on a change-up (the pitch that is his "work-in-progress").
Cease allowed four hits (three singles and a double) over his three-inning stint, but three of the hits were opposite-field grounders, and the fourth was a broken-bat humpback liner looped over the shortstop's head and into short left.
Cease was so dominating that one of the Brewer pitchers seated behind home plate asked "Is that Arrieta?" as Cease dropped his knee-bending hook to get ahead 0-2 and then blew unhittable gas past the last two Brew Crew hitters for strike-three in the bottom of the 2nd (stranding runners at 2nd & 3rd). It's unusual when the other team's pitchers are mesmerized by an EXST opponent who isn't a major league rehabber.
Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only)
1. Yonathan Perlaza, 2B: 0-3 (F-8, 4-3 DP, 6-3, BB)
2. Vimael Machin, SS: 1-3 (BB, F-8, 3B, F-7, R)
3. Wladimir Galindo, 3B: 0-2 (F-8 DP, E-9, F-9 SF, BB, 2 R, RBI, SB)
4a. Jose Paniagua, 1B: 1-2 (1B, 6-3)
4b. Alberto Mineo, 1B: 0-1 (BB, K, R)
5. Alex Bautista, CF: 2-4 (L-5 DP, F-8, 2B, 1B, R, 2 RBI)
6a. Kwang-Min Kwon, RF: 0-2 (K, 5-3)
6b. Yohan Matos, RF: 1-2 (F-8, 3B, RBI)
7a. Ricardo Marcano, LF: 0-2 (6-3, K)
7b. Jonathan Sierra, LF: 1-2 (2B, 5-3, R)
8. Rafael Mejia, DH #1: 0-2 (K, BB, K)
9a. Tyler Payne, C: 1-2 (L-8, 1B)
9b. Jhonny Pereda, C: 0-1 (K)
10. Abraham Rodriguez, DH #2: 1-3 (1B, 3-6-1 DP, E-1)
1. Dylan Cease: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 BALK, 1 PO, 1 GIDP, 3/0 GO/AO, 53 pitches (33 strikes)
2. Aaron Crow: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 8 pitches (5 strikes)
3. Jose Paulino: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 2/1 GO/AO, 31pitches (17 strikes)
4. Pedro Araujo: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/AO, 15 pitches (10 strikes)
5. Alexander Santana: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 3/0 GO/AO, 13 pitches (6 strikes)
6. Tyler Peitzmeier: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 1/0 GO/AO, 6 pitches (5 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 1
3B Wladimir Galindo: E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Jhonny Pereda: 1-2 CS
WEATHER Sunny with temperatures in the 90's
Cubster 4 hours 22 min ago (view)
per Tribune: Kimbrel's OK, just working on his changeup (formerly his fastball).
Arizona Phil 16 hours 42 min ago (view)
The Cubs have released RHRP (and their erstwhile closer) Brandon Morrow. There is no indication that they plan to re-sign him to another (different) 2020 minor league contract without the Article XX-B $100K retention bonus provision (as happened with Jason Kipnis last week).
crunch 20 hours 9 min ago (view)
rizzo takes another day off (lower back). ross says the club is "exercising caution."
klye ryan is expected to join the team tomorrow after some mysterious holdup.
Ryno 20 hours 46 min ago (view)
Has anyone seen Darvish's pitch "The Supreme"? Isn't it just a sinker?
Ryno 20 hours 54 min ago (view)
In other words: This lineup sucks.
Arizona Phil 21 hours 11 min ago (view)
Jason Kipnis was released on June 29th and then he was re-signed to a new (different) 2020 minor league contract that does not require a $100K retention bonus if he is not added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List by 2020 MLB Opening Day (7/23).
Brandon Morrow remains on his original 2020 minor league contract which pays him a $100K retention bonus if he is not released by 7/18 or added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List by 7/23.
Eric S 21 hours 16 min ago (view)
There is that re Kimbrel - at worst, just another year on the books.
July 1st is Bobby Bonilla Day - the day that check is cut and paid annually.
Cubster 21 hours 22 min ago (view)
On the bright side regarding Kimbrel. It doesn't have the lasting bad side as the Mets arrangement with Bobby Bonilla. Unless they want to re-negotiate Kimbrel's terms.
Eric S 22 hours 48 min ago (view)
Watching the last night's highlight clip was not encouraging either as discussed here: https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2020/07/08/craig-kimbrels-intrasquad-performance-is-a-reminder-of-the-concerns-that-already-existed/
crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)
i still can't believe this front office paid anyone 16m a year to throw 60-70ip...
Eric S 1 day 12 hours ago (view)
Unfortunately, Kimbrel in Cub mid season form as well, giving up a two out, two run oppo homer to Willson.
Kimbrel Cub stats which I tried to bury but were dug up again: gave up a career high 9 home runs in only 20 2/3 inning, averaged a career high 9.1 hits allowed per 9 innings and served up a 6.53 ERA for his troubles. And no full spring training build up period again. Still hopeful he's got something left in the tank this year and next but man, he's got my full attention going into the season
BobbyD 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
Hmm. Never thought about it that way. Maybe it is a very stable genius?
crunch 1 day 15 hours ago (view)
maybe he's hoping it'll be bad enough to flip the population odometer over to 0 after humanity is wiped from the planet. let's give him more time to see if he's right before we get too down on him.
crunch 1 day 15 hours ago (view)
"Shohei Ohtani threw just 15 of his 50 pitches for strikes in an intrasquad game Tuesday. Trent Rush had him at eight walks, a hit by pitch and six wild pitches before he was shut down for a day. "
crunch 1 day 15 hours ago (view)
anthony rizzo is in mid-season form.
he sat out today with lower back tightness.
BobbyD 1 day 17 hours ago (view)
Well, back in February (I think; that was about 17 years ago now), our diaper staining commander in his own mind declared we had 15 cases in the U.S. and that would quickly go to zero. 130k dead and rapidly rising now 4 months later I still have brain dead neighbors in SoCal saying if Biden gets elected we're screwed. I wonder what they think screwed looks like.