With Cubs GM Jim Hendry and Pitching Coach Mark Riggins in attendance, LHP Doug Davis (2010 elbow surgery rehab) threw five innings of two-hit shutout ball (63 pitches – 40 strikes) with no walks and eight strikeouts (four swinging), and a 5/1 GO/FO, but the EXST Angels rallied to score five runs over the last three innings to defeat the EXST Cubs 6-3 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning in Mesa.
The game was extended an extra couple of innings to allow Cubs and Angels pitchers to get their scheduled work.
Davis retired the first seven men he faced (1-3, K, 4-3, K, K, K, K) before surrendering a single to RF that was misplayed by RF Xavier Batista (the kid broke back when he should have been moving forward). The veteran southpaw then retired another five in a row (P-9, K, 1-3, 4-3, K) before allowing a clean hard-hit double to right-center with one out in the 5th. The runner was subsequently stranded at 2nd base, however, as Davis racked up his 8th strikeout and induced a 6-3 grounder to get out of the inning.
RHP Todd Wellemeyer (sore hip rehab) followed Davis to the mound and was nowhere near as effective, laboring through two of his four innings of work (needing 20 pitches to get out of one inning, and throwing 19 pitches before the inning was stopped with two outs in another) and allowing two runs on four hits (three singles and a double), two walks, and a WP, with five strikeouts, a GIDP, and 4/1 GO/FO, in 3.1 IP (67 pitches - 38 strikes).
Wellemeyer allowed baserunners in all four of his innings, giving up a lead-off single in the top of the 6th (immediately erased by a 6-3 GIDP), before issuing a two-out four-pitch walk and surrendering an RBI double. Welly struck out the side (all three swinging strikes) in the 7th (around a two-out single), and gave up a single and a walk with one out in the 8th, with both runners moving up on a 6-3 GO before the inning was stopped ("ROLL IT!") after Wellemeyer reached his max pitch limit for that inning.
With the Cubs leading 3-1, Wellemeyer's final inning (the top of the 9th) got off to a bad start when the righthander walked the lead-off hitter and threw a WP, although an F-9 fly out and a strikeout (called third strike) folllowed. At this point hard-throwing RHP (ex-3B) Charles Thomas was brought into the game to try and get the final out and the save, but the big righthander allowed a ringing RBI double and two singles (the last one driving-in the tying run) before he could get an out. Thomas gave up the go-ahead run in the 10th (double, WP, HBP, and RBI single before he could retire a hitter), and then LHP Luis Villalba alllowed two runs (one earned) in the extra tacked-on half inning (1B, BB, SH, 1B+E3).
Although Davis clearly had the better outing of the two, he did it against young Angels hitters who were trying to figure out how to hit the off-speed offerings of a veteran and wily MLB lefty. I suspect the Cubs might want Davis to show if he can be as successful facing the more experienced hitters found at AAA before they hand him the keys to the 5th starter's job.
While Davis and Wellemeyer were facing the Angels, Angel Guzman and Jean Sandoval threw a sim game on Field #1 against Cubs position players not in the starting lineup on Field #3.
Here is today’s abridged box score for the EXST game on Field #3 (Cubs players only):
NOTE: To practice his bunting, Doug Davis took two insert AB (first one with no outs and runner at 1st base in the bottom of the 1st inning, and the other one with a runner on 2nd base and no outs in the bottom of the 5th inning)
X. Doug Davis, P: 0-0 (3-4 SH, 3-4 SH)
1. Jose Valdez, CF: 1-3 (1B, K, F-7 SF, K, R, RBI)
2. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B-DH: 0-3 (F-7 SF, F-7, P-6, 4-3, RBI)
3. Marco Hernandez, SS: 1-4 (1B, 4-3, 6-3, 1-3)
4a. Chad Noble, C: 1-2 (F-7, 2B, R)
4b. Brian Inoa, C: 0-2 (F-7, 4-3)
5. Wilson Contreras, 3B: 1-4 (5-3, 2B, K, K, RBI)
6. Reggie Golden, DH #1: 0-2 (K, BB, K)
7. Blair Springfield, LF: 0-3 (5-3, K, K)
8. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-2 (5-3, K, BB)
9. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 0-1 (HBP, BB, L-9, R, SB)
10. Dustin Harrington, DH-2B: 0-2 (F-8, 1-3 SH, F-9)
1. Doug Davis: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K, 63 pitches (40 strikes), 5/1 GO/FO
2. Todd Wellemeyer: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 67 pitches (38 strikes), 4/1 GO/FO
NOTE: Wellemeyer’s third inning was stopped with two outs when he reached his max pitch limit for that inning
3. Charles Thomas: 1.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 25 pitches (16 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4. Luis Villalba: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 27 pitches (20 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
1B Dustin Geiger E3 - throwing error allowed runner to score from 3rd base with an unearned run
1. Chad Noble: 1-1 CS
2. Brian Inoa 0-1 CS
WEATHER: Sunny and breezy with temperatures in the 80’s