A's Pummel Pineiro at Papago Park
Gabriel Santana drove-in four runs with two RBI doubles and an RBI single and Scott Masik doubled twice, walked, scored three runs, and knocked in two more, helping the Athletics thrash Joel Pineiro and the Cubs 10-3 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #2 (AKA "Connie Mack Field") at the Papago Park Baseball Facility in Phoenix, AZ.
The 35-year old Pineiro was making his third EXST appearance after signing with the Cubs on March 30th, and it was (by far) his worst outing of the three.
After easily retiring the first six hitters he faced (1-3, 4-3, K, K, P-5, 1-3), the roof caved-in on Pineiro in the 3rd & 4th innings, as the veteran right-hander surrendered seven runs (all earned) on nine hits (five doubles and four singles) plus two walks in just two innings, What seemed to be different was his sudden inability to get ground balls in the 3rd & 4th, and his aging fastball just doesn't have enough juice to get outs if he can't keep it at knee-level or lower.
No question Pineiro got a ton of ground balls in his first two appearances (a combined 15/2 GO/FO), but today was a different story. And his day could have been even worse if not for one A's baserunner being ruled out after getting struck by a rocket grounder headed for RF in the bottom of the 3rd and another being thrown out at the plate trying to score on a line-drive single to left in the bottom of the 4th.
Cubs Minor League Pitching Coordinator Derek Johnson and Player Development Assistant Darnell McDonald were at today's game and were watching Pineiro closely, and I would have to think they were not favorably impressed. While it's true that he has thrown a high percentage of strikes (74% over his three EXST outings), it might be better if he didn't. He just doesn't appear to have much left in the tank. Plus even without Pineiro, the Iowa starting rotation is already crowded.
THE PITCHING LINES FROM JOEL PINEIRO'S THREE EXST OUTINGS:
4/12 - 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 8/0 GO/FO, 64 pitches (48 strikes)
4/17 - 4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 PO, 7/2 GO/FO, 66 pitches (43 strikes)
4/22 - 4.2 IP, 9 H, 7 R (7 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 3/3 GO/FO, 76 pitches (51 strikes)
TOTAL: 12.2 IP, 16 H, 11 R (11 ER), 4 BB, 9 K, 2 WP, 18/5 GO/FO, 74% strikes, 7.80 ERA, 1.58 WHIP
Alberto Mineo provided most of the Cub offense today, contributing an RBI single, a double, and a walk, while also scoring two runs.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
1. Dalfis Ortiz, 2B: 1-5 (4-3, 1B, K, 3-U, F-7)
2. Varonex Cuevas, 3B: 0-5 (K, 4-6 FC, 6-4-3 DP, K, K)
3. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 1-4 (BB, 5-3, F-8, 1B, K, 2 SB)
4a. Rony Rodriguez, DH: 1-3 (F-9, 6-3, 2B, R)
4b. Eufran Vargas, C: NO AB
4c. Jesse Hodges, PH-DH: 0-1 (4-3)
5a. Alberto Mineo, C-DH: 2-2 (BB, 2B, 1B, 2 R, RBI, CS)
5b. Justin Marra, C: 0-0 (BB)
6. Bryant Flete, SS: 0-3 (6-3, BB, F-7, F-9)
7. Arnaldo Calero, LF: 2-4 (1B, F-9, F-9, 1B, R)
8. Matt Scioscia, 1B: 1-3 (1B, BB, F-9, F-9, RBI)
9. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-3 (4-6 FC, SH-E2, L-7, K, RBI)
1. Joel Pineiro: 4.2 IP, 9 H, 7 R (7 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 3/3 GO/FO, 76 pitches (51 strikes)
NOTE: Pineiro's fourth inning was stopped with two outs and a runner at 1st base
2. David Garner: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 1/1 GO/FO, 26 pitches (10 strikes)
3. Trevor Clifton: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 GIDP, 2/1 GO/FO, 32 pitches (17 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 1
3B Varonex Cuevas - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Eufran Vargas: 0-1 CS, 1 PB
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
LF Arnaldo Calero - threw out baserunner 7-2 trying to score from 2nd base on single to LF
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90's
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.
If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.
If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.
Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.
The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.
I'm with you, Rob. You pretty much summed up how I feel about it.
Been quite the roller-coaster the past two days -- both games, plus the Chapman kerfuffel. How about a couple of nice, comfortable wins before facing Sale? Cubs should definitely wear throwbacks for that game.
The Cubs are stronger defensively than most of the teams they play. In order to capitalize on that, they have to a) put the ball in play and b) run the bases aggressively.
That said, Cabrera has a strong, accurate arm, as witnessed by his 97 outfield assists over 12 seasons--mostly left field but also a lot of center. Bryant is rarely thrown out, but I guess you have to know who's throwing the ball.
On the other hand, Pries won his first start for Iowa, only giving up two HRs in the process. This trade has got some legs yet!
KB now with 0 RBI in his last 10 games and 1 in his last 15, despite having 19 hits in his last 15 games and raising his batting average from .278 to .286 over that span.
Maybe have Zobrist hit 2 and KB hit 4?
Also -- no HR in the last 15 games -- time for a bunch. Starting tomorrow.
Down a run. Fowler on first. Nobody out. KB singles to left, Fowler makes it to third, perfect throw from Cabrera nails KB trying to stretch for 2nd.
So, instead of 1st & 3rd and no out, you have 3rd with one out. It was a perfect throw, but why take the chance with 3-4-5 hitters coming up?
Must be a Cub thing - our lefties can;t get lefties out.
Splitting hairs, but Jake's pitch was poor execution, while KB's play was a poor decision (and the 2nd time he got thrown out trying to stretch in the game). Poor execution happens. Poor decisions are preventable. Speaking of poor decisions -- Baez's steal of 3rd made absolutely no sense.
Didn't Jake cost them the game with a pitch to Frazier?
Missed the play w/Bryant. What happened?
Not a good decision by Bryant in the 9th. That may have cost them the game.
Can we un-do the Montgomery deal? Please?