Ramirez Three-Run Blast Can't Save Cub Bullpen from Imploding Late

Alvaro Ramirez smashed a three-run home run and Yao-Lin Wang and Marcos Perez each threw three innings of shutout ball, but the EXST A’s rallied from a four-run 7th inning deficit and played the EXST Cubs to a 6-6 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Papago Park Field #2 in Phoenix this morning.

The 24-year old 5’8 lefty swinging Ramirez is in his second season in the Cubs organization, after spending three seasons in the Yankees system (he was with DSL Yankees #1 in 2006, DSL Yankees #2 in 2007, and GCL Yankees in 2008, hitting a combined .289 in 161 games at the three stops, with 21 doubles, 13 triples, five HR, and 42 SB, with a 48/85 BB/K). Ramirez was signed by the Cubs as a Minor League Free-Agent last June after he was released by the Yankees, and hit .372 with 24 SB in 58 games for DSL Cubs #1 in 2009. He made the 2010 Peoria Opening Day roster as their “4th OF” out of Minor League Camp, but was sent to Extended Spring Training with fellow Chiefs OF Jesus Morelli about ten days ago when outfielders Francisco Guzman and D. J. Fitzgerald were moved up to Peoria from EXST. (Ramirez hit 244/279/268 in 12 games at Peoria). So far at Extended Spring Training, Ramirez is hitting 276/303/483 in nine EXST games, while playing a stellar CF. And because he was previously released by another organization, he is eligible to be a Rule 55 Minor League FA post-2010.

With three more shutout innings today, LHP Marcos Perez has now thrown 17-1/3 innings at Extended Spring Training, allowing no runs on six hits and one walk, while striking out 16. It would seem likely that Perez is in-line for a promotion to Peoria in the near future, but that all depends on whether there is room for him on the Chiefs roster.

Side-armin' Peoria RHRP Corey Martin (presently on a rehab assignment at Extended Spring Training) threw 1.1 IP in relief today, preserving the tie with an easy 4-up/4-down outing (22 pitches – 14 strikes). Based upon his performance today, Martin (the Cubs 2009 27th round draft pick out of Western Carolina) would appear to be ready to return to Peoria whenever there is room for him on the Chiefs roster, although he was not exactly pitching effectively before he went on the DL (10.38 ERA and a 2.19 WHIP in 8.2 IP).

LINEUP:
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, DH #1: 0-1 (BB, BB, 3-U, BB, 2 R)
2. Rafael Disla, SS: 1-4 (2B, K, 3-1, E-4, RBI, SB)
3. Jesus Morelli, LF: 1-4 (6-5 FC, 1B, K, P-4, SB)
4. Charles Thomas, 3B: 1-3 (1B, 6-4-3 GIDP, BB, 6-3, R, PO)
5. Brandon May, 1B: 2-3 (K, HBP, 1B, 1B, R,)
6. Alvaro Ramirez, CF: 2-4 (1B, F-8, HR, F-7, R, 3 RBI, SB, CS)
7. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-4 (K, 5-4-3 GIDP, K, K)
8a. Blair Springfield, 2B: 1-3 (K, K, 1B+E6)
8b. Arismendy Alcantara, PR-2B: --- (R)
9a. Jose Guevara, C: 0-3 (K, 6-3, 1-3)
9b. Sergio Burruel, C: ---
10. Jae-Hoon Ha, DH #2: 1-2 (1B, BB, 4-3)

PITCHERS:
1. Yao-Lin Wang – 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 4/2 GO/FO, 34 pitches (25 strikes)
2. Marcos Perez – 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 4/4 GO/FO, 48 pitches (31 strikes)
3. Alvido Jimenez – 0.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 19 pitches (8 strikes)
4. Jesse Ginley - 1.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 2 HBP, 1/3 GO/FO, 40 pitches (21 strikes)
5. Corey Martin – 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 22 pitches (14 strikes)

ERRORS: NONE

ATTENDANCE: 15

WEATHER: Partly cloudy with temperatures in the 80’s

 

Comments

So I'm sitting here watching the recorded version of last night's game on mlb.tv, fifth inning, and there is this weird static sound on the broadcast that reminds me of the reporters typing in the background of the old Arne Harris broadcasts. I'd love to know the percentage of folks on here that know what I'm talking about.

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In reply to by champsummers

LOL I forgot the "we wanna hit" chant from the backstage. And, the paper cups being popped. POP! click clack click clack. Then, since my dad was a white sox fan, we'd have to switch to channel 44 and listen to Jack Drees and ask ourselves, why is Walt Williams spitting into his baseball helmut and rubbing it on to his head like he's afraid the glue won't stick? Then, Harry Caray took over the White Sox booth and did things like, "that wouldn't be a home run in a phone booth." And, "Rahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhd Carew" Then, to just confuse the fuck out of my dad and I, who cherished our rivalry, he switched sides. It's a crazy world out there, kids. Be careful.

Overall, I would say today's game was lost with Derek Lee's idiotic check swing. That turned the tide of the game. Rose, the Reds' pitcher, was all over the place and Lee just totally killed us with his inability to lay off a low and outside pitch against a pitcher that Xavier Nady, who has admitted to sort of sucking cuz of not enough at bats, had no problem getting a walk from. I watched the game but missed Starlin's error, but I watched the replay and it was a total botch but it was a hard hit ball. Not too big a deal. Overall, I love his patience at the plate. He takes nasty curve balls. He just watches them come in. I hope nobody trains him away from that. "oh! look at that nasty sucker, I think I will not swing at that, thank you very much." "oh, look at that, he hung the same thing up." I watched all his at bats and he looks like a natural hitter. They'll try to expose him on the outside corner because of the way he bats but I think he'll just lay off. Forget small sample size. This dude looks for real. I'm old and blue in the balls, and I'm sayin', this baby faced little bastard is here to stay. My track record for rookie Cubs excitement is this: Lee Smith -- first time I saw him, I think he sort of stuck up the joint but I called my dad, who was a Sox fan, into the room, and smiled, saying, look at this!!! Mark Grace -- good vibes, very happy, wanted more power Hee Seop Choi -- Can't miss I told everyone. Hits to all fields, cannot fai That's it, for me, when it comes to Cubs kiddies. I'm sure someone else will say, "well whattabout so and so?" All I'm saying is that I don't get charged up easily. This kid has me charged up. His approach to the plate, his ability to go with the pitch at this age? WTF is that? Honestly, I don't even care how this season goes now. I'm old, and blue. I'm ready to pass the baton. I know now, that I don't have to give up. I know there is hope. I know we all can believe in this. But we need to all hold hands, from the badlands of Arizona to the goodlands of Arizona (wait, are there any goodlands in AZ? AZ PHIL?) Yes. This is monumental. And, this is Chicago. Starlin, you may as well schedule your knee surgery now.

Ok, I'll bite... I'm sure someone else will say, "well whattabout so and so?" ----- I remember Mike Harkey's Wrigley debut vs Phils in Sept 88. Seeing him warming up in the Cubs bullpen with that big 6'5" frame plus a power arm and getting a bit misty eyed with visions of the Cubs finally getting a home grown ace. ...fast forward to an injury plagued 36-36 career...but the dreams of seeing a great one at the beginning of his career is powerful stuff. Godspeed to our little Starlin and a big goofy grin to all those who still got misty-eyed from his first at bat vs the Reds.

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In reply to by Cubster

I was at Harkey's debut too. If memory serves, he hit the first Phillie he faced in the head. Would have been nice to have a healthy Harkey around in '89. Would have been nice to have a healthy Harkey around any time. He almost had a no-hitter against the Padres in '90 which was, oddly enough, broken up by former Cub Champ Summers. And as for another Wrigley memory for us oldsters - does anyone else remember back in the early seventies when the firemen in the station on Waveland would blow a siren after a Cub homer? The team wasn't all that great at the time - the Jose Cardenal, Rick Monday team. And the songs Frank Pellico would play on the organ for different players. For Kessinger he'd play the standard "South." For Cardenal he'd play "Jesus Christ Super Star" I suppose because he was the closest thing the Cubs had to a super star at the time. Anyone remember any other songs?

this aram slump is getting stupid. i think 120-ish ab's is enough to determine he's just not dialed-in yet and soriano/soto are a bit more productive. 2 weeks ago was his last extra base hit and his only hit today so far was an infield single that didn't roll foul. also, tyler colwin is god. cubs lead...woo.

A quote from Bruce Miles' blog today: "The big problem is an understaffed bullpen, and we’ll have more in tomorrow’s paper and online about how that’s the result of a front-office miscalculation than anything else."

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In reply to by artskoe

I don't blame Lou. He had the exact same situation in the second game of the year in Atlanta. Dempster had pitched into the 8th inning but gives up a double to Jason Heyward to lead off the inning. Piniella pulled Dempster and put in Grabow who promptly gave up a home run to Chipper Jones to give the Braves the lead and ultimately a win. Yesterday's game was similar. Dempster was pitching really well. The Cubs were winning 3-2. With two men on and two outs in the 7th inning, Piniella went out to talk to Dempster. He apparently heard what he wanted to hear and left Demp in the game. Next batter (Votto) hits the ball out of the park. It really is a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. Considering what the bullpen has done so far this year, I can't blame him for not trusting them.

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In reply to by Dusty Baylor

"Votto has 6 HR's against RHP, 1 against LHP this season He hits .314/.399/.560 against RHP career He hits ..302/.375/.492 against LHP career" ========== My guess is that Votto sees a lot more righties than lefties, so it makes sense that he would hit more homeruns off of righties. You're correct, Votto hits pretty well no matter which side the pitcher throws from. I don't think it matters what Lou does. If he brings in Marshall and Marshall gives up the homerun, then people bitch because Lou should have known the bullpen sucks. Since he left Dempster in, people complain because he didn't go to the bullpen. It's a no win sitiuation. In hindsight, I wish he had changed pitchers. But during the game, my thinking was that he should stick with Dempster.

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