Cubs Drop Contest at Diablo
Matt Cerda reached base three times on a single, a double, and a walk, but there just wasn't much other Cubs offense on display, as the EXST Angels defeated the EXST Cubs 3-1 in Extended Spring Training action at the Angels Minor League Complex at Diablo Park in Tempe this morning.
Three converted position players saw action on the mound for the Cubs today, and while RHP (ex-3B) Josh Lansford struggled with his control, 20-year old Dominican RHP (ex-SS) Gian Guzman and LHP (ex-OF) Ryan Sontag (2008 23rd round pick out of Arizona State) looked good, particularly Sontag, who worked quickly, fired strikes and punched out all four Angels batters he faced.
Exclusively an outfielder in his college days at Arizona State and in his first season in pro ball at Boise last year (where he hit an anemic .218 with only five XBH), Sontag was a combination OF/LHP in high school (8-3 1.45 ERA), and he also pitched occasionally in his freshman year at Michigan State before transferring to ASU and moving the outfield full-time. So it's not like pitching is a foreign language for him.
But the crew-cut 5'10 200+ 23-year old Sontag hardly fits the classic image of a pitcher. A few stocky lefties have had successful big league pitching careers (1954 A. L. MVP Bobby Shantz was only 5'6 145!), but it is unsual to see a body-type like Sontag's throwing off a mound these days.
Nevertheless, Sontag decided to give pitching a whirl in Minor League Camp this past March, and so far the results have been quite promising. He has pitched well in all of his EXST game outings so far, and he looks like he could advance rapidly through the system s a lefty reliever.
Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Jose Valdez, CF: 1-3 (1B, BB, 5-3, K - 1 R)
2. Dwayne Kemp, 2B: 1-3 (SH, K, 2B, K)
3. Matt Cerda, DH #1: 2-3 (2B, 1B, BB, F-8 - 1 RBI)
4. Chris Weimer, LF: 0-4 (FC, FC, K, K)
5. Juan Medina, 1B-C: 1-4 (GIDP, FC, 4-3, 1B)
6. Kevin Soto, RF 2-4 (2B, 1B, F-8, K - 1 CS)
7. Alvaro Sosa, C-1B: 2-4 (F-8, 1B, F-8, 1B)
8. George Matheus, 3B: 0-4 (E-5, GIDP, K, FC)
9. Robert Bautista, SS: 0-2 (BB, F-7, K)
10. Jose Made, DH #2: 0-2 (BB, 4-3, 4-3)
1. Tarlandus Mitchell - 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR
2. Josh Lansford - 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 2 HBP, 2/2 GO/FO
3. Cedric Redmond - 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 3/2 GO/FO
4. Gian Guzman - 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 GIDP, 4/0 GO/FO
5. Ryan Sontag - 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K
Alvaro Sosa - 1-2 CS
Juan Medina - 1-1 CS
Arizona Phil 2 min 30 sec ago (view)
The Cardinals have to play the doubleheader on Monday at Detroit if either the games impact who or who does not get into the playoffs, or if the games will determine whether the Cards or Cubs finish 1st in the division and get home field advantage in the Wild Card series.
Charlie 1 hour 15 min ago (view)
Maybe he should stick with it for a while.
Hagsag 5 hours 26 min ago (view)
Cardinals have two games left with Detroit, not the Cubs.
blockhead25 11 hours 7 min ago (view)
Ahh, 2 games against the Tigers, but seems to imply they'd only play those games if it will impact which teams make the playoffs. If the Cardinals win their last 2, I don't believe the other games could impact which Team makes it. Why would Detroit have any incentive to win those games? Well, hope the Cubs won one of the next 2 so it doesn't matter.
crunch 11 hours 52 min ago (view)
yeah, it may be another team. i just know they have a possible monday double header...unless i got that wrong, too.
blockhead25 12 hours 23 min ago (view)
Cubs? We played the cards the full 10 slate?
if Cards make playoffs, I would think they'd want nothing to do with having to play a double header Monday to improve playoff seeding.
crunch 12 hours 31 min ago (view)
the cubs may or may not have to play a doubleheader vs STL on monday depending on the next game or 2...i think
blockhead25 12 hours 34 min ago (view)
How did the Cubs not just clinch the division?
Aren't the Cards only scheduled for 58 games?
beat Cards can do is 31-27. Worst Cubs can do is 33-27.
crunch 12 hours 53 min ago (view)
j.baez is batting left handed...and hits a double.
CWS have a position player "pitching"
crunch 12 hours 55 min ago (view)
2nd contreras homer...no bat flip, no staring down the pitcher, quick trip around the bases, into the dugout.
crunch 12 hours 56 min ago (view)
i wish more non-AFL winter league was televised. dominican, puerto rico, etc...you can straight up showboat if you've earned it on a play without having to deal with retaliation (most of the time). bat flips, pitcher celebrations, swagger home run trots, etc...all fair game. it's you know...fun.
Craig A. 13 hours 20 min ago (view)
Plunking a guy for a bat flip only proves the pitcher has thin skin and short fingers. I'm glad Contreras scored.
Cubster 13 hours 35 min ago (view)
I goofed wrt Bluejays/Astros. They clinched a WC #2 and 8 seed but Houston has a lock on West div team 2. The Indians will be 7 seed and wild card #1, abd team #3 from the central
crunch 13 hours 36 min ago (view)
hey, guess who just got a fastball in the back.
crunch 14 hours 25 min ago (view)
that contreras bat flip, tho...
Cubster 15 hours 54 min ago (view)
Cards lose game 1 of DH w Brewers