Snakes Sweep Cubs at Riverview

Francis Martinez smacked a bases-loaded bases-clearing three-run double, Ramon Hernandez belted a two-run double, and Gerard Hernandez drilled a two-run single, leading the Diamondbacks to a 7-3 victory over the Cubs on Field #5, and Fernery Ozuna ripped three singles, scored two runs, and drove-in another, Pedro Marquez hammered a two-run double and a single and scored a run, Chuck Taylor singled, doubled, walked, and scored two runs, and RHSP Luis Madera and three relievers combined to toss a five-hitter with ten strikeouts, helping the D'backs drub the Cubs 11-1 on Field #5, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader played this morning at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

Jose Paniagua cracked a solo home run for the Cubs on Field #5, his third HR in seven Cactus League EXST games since being moved-down from South Bend last month. (Paniagua is hitting 304/348/696 in those seven games, and he leads the EXST Cubs in HR and is third on the team in RBI behind Isaac Paredes and Kevonte Mitchell). 

The doubleheader was planned as two seven-inning games, but the game on Field #5 was called after six innings of play. 

Diamondbacks hitters combined to collect 22 hits and draw eight walks during the course of the 13 innings played on the two fields.   

RHP Stephen Fife (on Iowa 7-day DL since 4/15 - oblique strain) started the game for the Cubs on Field #4, working 3.1 IP (39 pitches - 74% strikes) and allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits (five singles) and no walks, with one strikeout and a 4/4 GO/AO. 

Stephen Bruno (on Tennessee 7-day DL since Opening Day) played 2B for all seven innings on Field #4 and went 0-2 with two fly outs and a walk. This was Bruno's second EXST game (he played 2B for four innings on Saturday at Salt River Fields). 

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only). 

FIELD #5

CUBS SQUAD "A" LINEUP
1. Ruben Reyes, LF: 0-3 (4-3, F-8, P-4)
2. Robert Garcia, RF: 0-2 (BB, E-1, K)
3. Yeiler Peguero, 2B: 1-3 (F-7, P-5, 1B, R)
4. Kevonte Mitchell, CF: 1-3 (F-9, K, 2B, R, RBI)
5. Jose Paniagua, DH #1: 1-3 (HR, K, 1B, R, RBI)
6. Isaac Paredes, SS: 1-2 (6-3, BB, 1B, RBI)
7. Kwang-Min Kwon, DH #2: 0-3 (K, P-6, K)
8. Rafael Mejia, 3B: 0-3 (F-9, F-8, F-9)
9. Jhonny Pereda, C: 0-2 (K, K)
10. Alberto Mineo, 1B: 1-1 (2B, BB) 

CUBS SQUAD "A" PITCHERS
1. Dylan Cease: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 1/1 GO/AO, 48 pitches (28 strikes) 
2. Enrique de los Rios: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 1/2 GO/AO, 40 pitches (22 strikes) 
3. John Michael Knighton: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 2/3 GO/AO, 22 pitches (14 strikes) 

CUBS SQUAD "A" ERRORS: 2 
1. 3B Rafael Mejia: E-5 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely) 
2. 3B Rafael Mejia: E-5 (errant throw to 1st base on infield single allowed baserunner to advance from 2nd to 3rd) 

CUBS SQUAD "A" CATCHERS DEFENSE
Jhonny Pereda: 1-1 CS, 1 PB 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FIELD #4 

CUBS SQUAD "B" LINEUP
1. D. J. Wilson, CF: 2-3 (4-3, 1B, 1B, R)
2. Abraham Rodriguez, RF: 1-3 (4-3, 2B, K)
3. Stephen Bruno, 2B: 0-2 (F-7, BB, F-8)
4. Chris Pieters, DH #1: 1-2 (1B, F-8 SF, 1-U, RBI)
5. Wladimir Galindo, 3B: 0-3 (K, K, K)
6. Kevin Zamudio, 1B: 1-2 (K, BB, 2B)
7. Alex Bautista, LF: 0-3 (K, K, L-4)
8. Rafael Narea, SS: 0-2 (F-7, BB, K)
9. Eric Gonzalez, C: 0-2 (5-3, BB, K)
10. Jose Gonzalez, DH #2: 0-3 (K, F-9, P-5)

CUBS SQUAD "B" PITCHERS:
1. Stephen Fife: 3.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 4/4 GO/AO, 39 pitches (29 strikes)
2. Jose Leidenz: 1.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 0/2 GO/AO, 22 pitches (13 strikes)
3. Manny Rondon: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 3 K, 2 WP, 3/2 GO/AO, 64 pitches (35 strikes)

CUBS SQUAD  "B" ERRORS: 3 
1. C Eric Gonzalez: E-2 (throwing error after bunt allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. SS Rafael Narea: E-6 (errant throw on infield single allowed baserunner to advance from 2nd to 3rd) 
3. 3B Wladimir Galindo: E-5 (errant throw on attempted 5-4 FC allowed runner to reach 2nd base safely) 

CUBS SQUAD "B" CATCHERS DEFENSE
Eric Gonzalez: 1-2 CS, 1 E (see above) 

ATTENDANCE: 14 

WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80's 

Comments

it's gotta be driving wsox fans mad the cubs are getting so much press at home and nationally for their unreal start, while the "hardly anyone expected that" wsox are holding a 23-10 record (and a 6 game lead in the central). they're not being ignored, but their story is being heavily overshadowed by what's going on across town (especially with national coverage). south side can't win even when they're winning. if they keep this up we'll be hearing about a possible WSox vs Cubs WS for months down the stretch, though.

They don't even care enough to show up to games.

They are 27th in home attendance and 29th in total attendance. That is just terrible.

They are use to it, and actually feed off it

from today's Tribune...
Catcher Miguel Montero will join Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday to begin a rehabilitation assignment and could be activated from the 15-day disabled list by this weekend. Montero has been sidelined since April 25 because of lower back tightness.

from mlbtr...
One more from (BA, Matt) Eddy, who adds that the Reds traded outfielder Pin-Chieh Chen to the Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations. The 24-year-old Chen, signed by the Cubs as a free agent out of Taiwan prior to the 2010 season, has climbed as high as Double-A in the minors, spending parts of four seasons at that level and compiling a .236/.344/.327 batting line there. Baseball America rated him as Chicago’s No. 31 prospect prior to the 2012 season but didn’t rise higher than that on their prospect rankings.

The Cubs have purchased the contract of RHSP Alex Sanabia (ex-MIA) from los Toros de Tijuana (Mexican), and he will be assigned to AAA Iowa. Stephen Fife will have maybe one more EXST rehab start (probably next Saturday) and then he'll be back at Iowa, too. 

Also, LHP Tyler Ihrig (Cubs 2013 23rd round pick - Marin CC) has been released. Ihrig has the Bugs Bunny curve that maybe hits 60 MPH, and his fastball isn't much faster. The rubber-armed lefty swingman was most-recently assigned to Myrtle Beach, but he was constantly moved around from affiliate-to-affiliate (wherever he was needed). He carried all of his belongings with him whenever his team left on a road trip, because he never knew when he would be get moved up or down.  

PHIL: How is Bruno doing? You used to be high on his bat, while not so much on his glove.

E-MAN: Stephen Bruno lacks the athleticism, versatiity, and defensive chops to be a "supersub," so it's pretty much 2B or bust for him. 

Unfortunately for Bruno, the Cubs like to keep versatile multi-positional infielders at AAA (presently it's Kawasaki, Negron, Alcantara, and Watkins, plus JC Perez can play 2B-3B), so Bruno spent the 2014 & 2015 seasons playing 2B at AA Tennessee, and in fact he was moved-down to the AA Tennessee squad the last week of Minor League Camp this season. So if it weasn't that he was placed on the Tennessee DL on Opening Day, he'd be back at Tennessee in 2016, too. Except now Chesny Young has taken over the starting 2B job at Tennessee, where he's hitting 322 with a 431 OBP ,and has committed only one error. 

The best thing that could happen to Bruno is getting traded or released or maybe selected in the AAA Phase of the December 2016 Rule 5 Draft, so that he can get a new beginning in a different organization where his path forward (at least to AAA if not to MLB) is a bit more open. 

Fowler CF, Heyward RF, Bryant LF, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist 2B, Baez 3B, Russell SS, Ross C, Lester P

The 1969 Cubs had four HOFers. How many do you think the 2016 Cubs will have? Jenkins vs Arrieta Santo vs. Bryant Banks vs. Rizzo Williams vs ?

No Cubs with at least 2 years of service time are currently on a Hall of Fame pace. This is an incredibly difficult level to achieve and maintain.

It will be interesting to see if modern stats start to become more important for HOF than absolute numbers (hits, HR, wins, etc.). Right now, it's still mostly about how many hit & HRs a hitter has and how many wins a pitcher has. WAR, OBP, OPS never seem to get mentioned -- it's almost like voters don't want to retroactively apply stats that didn't exist at the time.

The stat writers are mostly online, and online writers only got their BBWAA (sp?) memberships about 4 years ago. So in 6 years or so, the evaluation process will take a step forward, then continue to slowly modernize from there.

to be fair, ob% has played well into the HOF discussion even if it was "well, he walked a lot and we gotta take that into consideration" rather than the ob% stat, itself. WAR is as much of a hard sell on some as it is an easy sell for others...and there's more to it for those that don't like it than "stuck in the past" or "anti-advanced-stats." hell, there's not even consistent WAR values. right now j.arrieta is #1 overall WAR with baseball-reference's NL values and not even in the top 10 with fangraph's version.

There are some voters who will select their WAR cutoff number and maybe move a couple guys to either side of the line, but for most voters, I expect it will be just another point of reference. bWAR, fWAR, allWARs - just numbers in a sea of digits.

I always got the sense most HOF voters treated OBP like Dusty does -- it's the wimp's way of getting on base. Real hitters hit their way on!