Hoff-POWER! Act Getting a Bit Old
Micah Hoffpauir hit a three-run homer and reached base three times, Mike Fontenot drove in four runs with a two-run homer and a two-run triple, and Sam Fuld smacked a solo home run, scored two runs, and threw a runner out at the plate, as the Cubs thrashed the Texas Rangers 10-4 at Surprise Stadium today.
Ted Lilly got the start, and worked two shutout innings, leaving unscathed thanks to a runner (Frank Catalanotto) being thrown out at the plate after a two out double by Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the bottom of the second.
The Cubs had taken the lead in the top of the frame, throwing up a seven spot on Rangers starter Scott Feldman.
Doug Deeds led off the Cubs second with a triple, and scored on an RBI single by Luis Rivas. So Taguchi then reached base on an error and Ryan Theriot singled to load the bases. After the runners advanced on an RBI ground out by Reed Johnson, Hoffpauir slammed a three-run blast, his second homer in three days. Geovany Soto singled with two outs, and then Fontenot followed with his two-run shot.
The Rangers came back with single runs off J. R. Mathes in the 3rd (a Ryan Theriot error followed by two singles) and 4th (a single, a double, and an RBI GO), before the Cubs took an 9-2 lead in the top of the 6th.
Reed Johnson reached base leading off the inning after being hit by a pitch, and pinch-runner Sam Fuld moved up to second on a two-out walk to Mark Johnson. Fontenot then followed with a two-run triple to plate Fuld and Johnson.
The Rangers scored two off Rocky Roquet in the 7th to narrow the Cub lead to 9-4, as Adam Melhuse smashed a one-out bases loaded double. But the potential third run was cut down at the plate.
Fuld led off the 8th for the Cubs with a solo HR, and Jake Fox followed with a double, but was left stranded when DH Jason Dubois struck out, Mark Johnson grounded out, and Bobby Scales struck out.
Cubs pitchers retired the last seven Rangers batters on three ground outs and four punch-outs, and Cubs pitchers racked up 12 strikeouts for the day. Andruw Jones struck out three times (not easy to do in a Spring Training game).
The Cubs return to Mesa tomorrow to play the White Sox.
BTW, I was not at today's game (Surprise is like half-way to California), so I was forced to follow the game via "live" box score.
Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 53 min ago (view)
I understand why it feels unsettling. I remember the series well (though I, unlike Theo, actually was in high school). Anyway, I view it as a chance to right previous wrongs in the same way we stomped StL out of the playoffs in 2015, or the way the Nationals got to burn through two teams last year that had dumped them out of October in previous seasons.
But if we lose, of course that was 17 years ago so it's two extremely different organizations.
Arizona Phil 7 hours 54 min ago (view)
DJL: All players on Optional Assignment to the minors must be recalled on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season, even if the player has not spent at least ten days on Optional Assignment. Players cannot be optioned to the minors again until Spring Training.
Arizona Phil 8 hours 15 min ago (view)
CHAMP: No option year is spent just by calling up a player to MLB. An option year is spent only if a player on an MLB 40-man roster is optioned to the minors for at least 20 days in a given season.
Also, Brailyn Marquez is (was) eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft in December, so the Cubs were going to add him to the 40 on 11/20 anyway. They just did it a couple of months early.
bradsbeard 11 hours 25 min ago (view)
Not sure if serious, but Theo became the Red Sox GM in 2002. It's true though, there probably aren't many people in the organization besides Ricketts and Crane Kenney who have any strong feelings about that series.
Craig A. 12 hours 23 min ago (view)
I wonder if anyone on the Cubs cares or even remembers the odd events when the Marlins played the Cubs in 2003. I think Theo was in high school. To this old fart it will be more than a little unsettling to watch this post-season match-up. At least we can be fairly certain there will no fans grabbing for foul balls.
bradsbeard 15 hours 51 min ago (view)
Which is kind of annoying. Nobody really picked the Cubs to win this division pre-season. I guess Mattingly gets some credit for guiding the Marlins through their positives but even just letting them play that one game with half the team sick should knock him out of consideration. Meanwhile Ross kept a tight ship and the Cubs has no positives all year. I'd say Ross or Tingler should get it over Mattingly.
crunch 17 hours 8 min ago (view)
cubs finish 34-26 (1st, division)...they play MIA on wednesday.
good start for d.ross, but the manager of the year is most likely going to d.mattingley (MIA) or j.tingler(SD).
crunch 17 hours 45 min ago (view)
...or he won't make it out of the 8th
0.2ip 2h 3bb 1k, 5r/er...2 wild pitches
there's some great stuff in that arm. mid/high-80s slider, "changeup" around 90mph, fastball 97-99mph...all effortless. 21 years old and never pitched above A-ball.
crunch 17 hours 51 min ago (view)
crunch 17 hours 55 min ago (view)
rough debut...doubt we're going to see him in the 9th.
Charlie 18 hours 2 min ago (view)
Reminds me a little of Jeff Samardzija's debut. Adrenaline throwing straight gas but all over the place. Samardzija threw a fastball all the way to the backstop in his debut (2008).
crunch 18 hours 4 min ago (view)
back to back 3-2 count 6-pitch walks.
he's not in the zone. he's throwing almost totally fastballs, too.
crunch 18 hours 5 min ago (view)
alzolay's gotta be locked in for a start given what he's done lately.
i wonder what role j.lester will be given. if he's starting, hopefully he's the 3rd/4th starter, if at all. someone will probably give him a 2021 contract if he doesn't retire...hope it's not the cubs giving that contract, though.
crunch 18 hours 8 min ago (view)
dude's thrown a 97mph and 98mph fastball to start and both looked like he was barely expending effort.
unfortunately, neither were near the plate.
Charlie 18 hours 11 min ago (view)
So, Alzolay gets at least one October start, right? He'd be a weapon out of the pen if the Cubs had more than two believable starters ready.
crunch 18 hours 12 min ago (view)
Q goes 2 effective (2ip 2h 1bb 2k, 0r/er) and here comes b.marquez...