Spencer Hits Early and Often at Extended Spring Training

Xavier Batista and Blair Springfield drove-in two runs a piece in a four-run Cubs 2nd, and Matt Spencer whacked a home run over the RF fence leading-off the bottom of the 3rd, as the EXST Cubs held-on to defeat the EXST A's 6-5 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.



At Extended Spring Training while rehabbing from a broken toe suffered last month in Minor League Camp, Matt Spencer hit in each of the first five innings of today’s game (he batted in all nine innings yesterday), going 2-4 with the solo HR, a single, and a walk. He left the game after playing just five innings, possibly an indication that he has completed his rehab assignment and will be re-joining the AA Tennessee Smokies tomorrow or Monday. (Spencer was acquired from the Oakland A's last December along with pitchers Jeff Gray and Ronny Morla for IF-OF Jake Fox and INF Aaron Miles).


Trailing 1-0, the Cubs erupted for four runs in the bottom of the second inning. Spencer led-off with a line single, Charles Thomas drew a walk, and Sergio Burruel was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Then with one out, 18-year old Dominican slugger Xavier Batista ripped a double off the LF fence to drive-in two, and with two outs, Blair Springfield lined a single to right-center to plate the other two runs.


The Cubs scored their final runs of the day in the bottom of the third inning. Spencer hit a lead-off HR over the RF fence, and then Vismeldy Bieneme drew a walk, Pin-Chieh Chen singled to right (Chen’s second hit of the day) sending Bieneme to 3rd, and Charles Thomas bounced an RBI single with a lot of top-spin through the box and into CF to knock-in Bieneme.


The Cubs bullpen did a pretty good job in the middle innings, at one point retiring 13 A's batters in a row. 20-year old Dominican LHP Marcos Perez was especially impressive, throwing two perfect 1-2-3 innings, striking out three, and doing it while throwing only 14 pitches (13 for strikes!). In two apperarances so far for the EXST Cubs, Perez has thrown four perfect innings (29 pitches - 24 strikes), with four strikeouts.  If the Peoria Chiefs are in need of another lefty reliever (and it would appear they are), I would think that M. Perez is definitely a strong candidate to get tabbed. 


In EXST Cubs roster news, LHP James Leverton has been moved up to Peoria, replacing RHP Jon Nagel, who was placed on the Chiefs 7-day DL. Leverton struck out all four batters he faced in his only EXST appearance last Monday.   


Here is today’s abridged box score (EXST Cubs players only):


NOTE: 1B Matt Spencer batted in each of the first five innings, getting five plate appearances total in the game.


LINEUP
X. Matt Spencer, 1B: 2-4 (4-3, 1B, HR, BB, 4-3, 2 R, RBI)
1. Vismeldy Bieneme, 3B: 0-2 (4-3, BB, 6-3, R)
2. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 2-3 (1B, 1B, F-8, CS)
3a. SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES
3b. Melvin Camarena, 1B: 0-1 (F-8)
4. Charles Thomas, DH #1: 1-2 (BB, 1B, P-4, R, RBI)
5a. Sergio Burruel, C: 0-1 (HBP, 6-4-3 GIDP, R)
5b. Jose Guevara, C: 0-1 (K)
6. Arismendy Alcantara, SS 0-3 (P-7, 1-3, K)
7. Xavier Batista, RF: 1-3 (2B, 5-4-3 GIDP, 6-3, R, 2 RBI)
8. Manuel Pestana, LF: 0-3 (5-3, K, F-8)
9. Blair Springfield, DH #2: 1-3 (1B, P-4, P-4, 2 RBI)
10. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 0-2 (K, K)


PITCHERS:
1. Luis Liria – 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 1/4 GO/FO, 50 pitches (32 strikes)
2. John Mincone – 2.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 PO, 3/1 GO/FO, 34 pitches (18 strikes)
3. Marcos Perez – 2.0 IP, 0H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 14 pitches (13 strikes)
4. Yohan Gonzalez – 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 33 pitches (21 strikes)


ERRORS (1):
2B Pin-Chieh Chen E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base with one out in the top of the 3rd inning – did not score).


CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Sergio Burruel: 0-1 CS, 1 PB


OUTFIELD ASSIST:
LF Manuel Pestana threw out batter 7-4 trying to stretch a single down LF line into a double with no outs in the top of the 2nd inning.


ATTENDANCE: 16


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80’s

Comments

Z might have some competition for the Silver Slugger this year. Lincecum's 3-3 with 3 RBI in the 5th in LA.

woah cora (NYM)...and this NYM/STL game is f'n good.

bases loaded, 2 out, bottom 12...carrer 0 for 1 pitcher jason motte hits for himself...strikeout. nice.

to the 13th...

14 inning games don't just expose bullpens: The FOX announcers are frigging terrible--sports announcing is generally terrible, but FOX is especially intolerable.

Just did it again with Hawkesworth. Tony, feel free to use your backup catcher at any point during this game.

Yeah, that was really strange. Bottom of the inning, runners on 2nd and 3rd, the Mets walk Pujols with Blakesworth in the on deck circle--you'd think they'd at least make it look like they were going pinch hit for him. Then bases juiced with two outs, they let him hit for himself. That's a lot of questionable.

this game is f'n crazy...to the 17th

tony larussa is officially retarded..or about to look like a genius.

now pitching in the top 18th...felipe lopez.

He doesn't look like he's ever thrown from the mound before. His throwing motion looks like he's pitching batting practice. 76 mph fastballs that he's having trouble throwing for strikes.

The crazy thing about Felipe Lopez pitching is that Kyle Lohse is playing left field. ?????

my god...it...worked...

I hate the Cardinals.

joe mather pitching now...

this is f'n stupid.

The craziest part about LaRussa's "strategy" might have been not using Franklin before the 17th when he's the home team. Who does that?

Maybe we need Mather and Lopez for our bullpen.

Seriously, I hate the Cardinals. And I hate to see such stupid managing almost succeed.

Guess you can't get shut out for 19 innings if you have Pujols in your lineup.

they're gonna score off the position players, right?

dear god.

I hear both teams are going to fire their hitting coaches after the game.

Jesus, how cocky is LaRussa?

12 hits, 10 BB's no runs. Wonder when that last time that happened was.

Not to mention trying to steal with the best hitter in 20 years up at the plate, down by one in the 19th.

No kidding. What was that steal attempt all about?

What a dunderhead.

What a game.

no doubt...and with a great ending on the "who should win" side of things.

I wouldn't call it great. I'd call it less bad. The Mets are pretty hosey with their big budget and failure to win consistently. They remind me of something I can't quite put my finger on.

Monday: Randy Wells vs. Jonathan Niese
Tuesday: Carlos Zambrano vs. Mike Pelfrey
Wednesday: Carlos Silva vs. Oliver Perez
Thursday: Tom Gorzelanny vs. Johan Santana

tough draw for Gorz...

still no lineup yet for today

Theriot (SS),Byrd (CF),Lee (1B),Ramirez (3B),Nady (RF),Soriano (LF),Baker (2B),Soto (C), Dempster(P)

will Theriot ever get a day off this season?

starting fontenot at SS doesn't seem like something lou's ready to commit to...be interesting to know how much pre-game infield fonte takes at SS whether he's playing there or not that day.

Theriot isn't going to sit on many days that a lefty starts.

But I agree--I don't think Lou has much interest in using Fontenot at SS. I think he just wanted to make sure that he had room on the roster for Nady, Tracy, and Colvin.

"will Theriot ever get a day off this season?"

After Sept 1 he'll get time off while Castro plays, unless the Cubs are in the playoff picture.

Rough go for Jason Marquis today.. did not record an out.

Final line: 0IP 4H 1BB 7ER

Here's all the damage the Brewers did:

Weeks 1B, Counsell 1B, Braun RBI 1B, Fielder HBP, McGehee bases loaded BB, Edmonds bases loaded HBP, Zaun RBI 1B.

Then Miguel Baustisa came in and gave up a single, a sac fly, and a Counsell granny.

Ten in the first for the Brewers.

Not resting Theriot will work out really well, since he has a consistent track record of running out of gas in the second half - 20 points lower avg in the second half for his career, and 45 points lower avg in September than August.

is yahoo stattracker being flakey for anyone else?

i havent been able to have it work for 2 days now...freezes at 95%

We need some Marmol aid.

Cubbery at its finest.

i propose renaming the bullpen the bullshitpen

It's funny. I had to leave to do a bit of grocery shopping in the top of the 8th. I thought, is it possible that we can finish this out without any Cubbery?

Why do I even ask? It's like I keep getting back together with a girlfriend that consistently breaks my heart. I'm Cubby whipped. I'm also fairly self loathing about it these days. How's that saying go? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 102 times, fill me up with Thorazine.

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  • When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.

    I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 58 min ago view
  • Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.

    The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.

    Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 1 min ago view
  • If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.

    billybucks 13 hours 4 min ago view
  • Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."

    billybucks 13 hours 47 min ago view
  • This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.

    Charlie 13 hours 57 min ago view
  • I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.

    They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.

    However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.

    The E-Man 14 hours 4 min ago view
  • I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
    - They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
    - Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.

    billybucks 14 hours 7 min ago view
  • new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup

    crunch 14 hours 19 min ago view
  • Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.

    .500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.

    blockhead25 14 hours 24 min ago view
  • ...i hate espn.

    nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.

    oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.

    crunch 14 hours 40 min ago view
  • I'm liking this rookie Nathan.

    CTSteve 14 hours 41 min ago view
  • Richard DFA'd. Meh...

    The E-Man 17 hours 32 min ago view
  • Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.

    Charlie 20 hours 5 min ago view
  • 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.

    chitownmvp01 20 hours 37 min ago view
  • 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.

    chitownmvp01 20 hours 39 min ago view
  • The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.

    billybucks 22 hours 36 min ago view