Archive - May 28, 2019 - story

Cubs Rehabbers Shut-Down D'backs at Riverview

SP Erick Leal tossed five innings of one-run ball and four relievers combined to hurl five shutout innings, leading the Cubs "B" team to a 3-1 victory over the Diamondbacks in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Tuesday morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was pre-planned as a ten-inning contest. 

At one point Cub pitchers retired 14 D'backs in a row. 

Four Cubs pitchers on Active Rehab at EXST saw action in the game: 

1. Erick Leal: FB 89-90 - CV 76-78 (62 pitches - 15 swings & misses)   
2. Tony Barnette: FB 90-91 - SL 81-84 
3. Danny Hultzen: FB 94-97 - SL 85-86 (12 pitches - seven swings & misses) 
4. Chad Hockin: FB 90 - SL 84-86 

In his three EXST game outings Hultzen has been unhittable. He has thrown three shutout innings (75% strikes) with eight strikeouts while allowing no walks and just an infield single and a weak P-6. His max FB velo has increased from 92 to 96 to 97 and his SL velo increased from 84 to 86 in a span of eight days. The difference seems to be that he has changed to a lower arm-slot (a lot like Andrew Miller circa 2015-16) which apparently puts less-stress on his shoulder and has led to a stunning uptick in his velo.

Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):

Cubs @ Astros: Lester vs. Martin (Game 53)

CHC (30-22): LHP Jon Lester (3-3, 2.68 ERA)
HOU (36-19): RHP Corbin Martin (1-1, 4.97 ERA)
First pitch 7:10pmCDT

The Cubs mounted a comeback bid yesterday, but it wasn't enough to overcome Hamels' rough start in the series opener. Jon Lester heads to the mound to even things out tonight. He's looked very hittable in his last two starts, allowing nine earned runs on 17 hits (three homers) in 8.1 innings pitched. Michael Brantley is 8-24 off of him with 9 strikeouts. Josh Reddick it 2-10 with 4 whiffs. No other active Astro has more than 3 at bats against him.