Angels Snatch Tie from Jaws Of Cubs Victory
Pin-Chieh Chen had three hits and drove-in two runs, but the EXST Cubs could not hold a five-run lead in the 9th, as the EXST Angels rallied (BB, 1B, WP, E-4, 2B, P-7, 3B, F-8 SF) to tie the game at 7-7 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training play at Diablo Park Field #3 at the Tempe Buttes this morning. The game was stopped with two outs in the bottom of the 9th after the Angels tied the game on a SF.
The 6’1 lanky 18-year old lefty swinging Chen (signed to a $300K bonus out of Taiwan last June) has been relegated to DH duty for the past couple of weeks at Extended Spring Training due to a sore throwing arm, but his hitting certainly has not been adversely affected. Through the EXST Cubs first 24 games, Chen is hitting 372/426/395, and leads the team in BA (minimum 24 PA) and OBP, and is tied for the team lead in stolen bases and RBI. While Chen almost always bunts at least once in every game (he laid down a beautiful bunt for a hit leading off the game today), he also has good bat speed and can hammer a line-drive when needed. When his arm was healthy, it was strong enough to play SS, but scatter-gun to the extent that the farther the throw, the more off-line (same problem Eric Patterson had as a Cub prospect). As a result, Chen is a better fit at 2B. Offensively, Chen is a lot like Hak-Ju Lee and Logan Watkins, using speed to his advantage on the bases, and capable of playing either “small ball” as a lead-off hitter, or getting the big line-drive to the outfield with men in scoring position (as he did twice today).
Here is today’s abridged box score (EXST Cubs players only):
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, DH #1: 3-4 (1B, K, 1B, 1B, 2 RBI)
2. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 1-4 (4-6-3 GIDP, 2B, 4-3, 3-2 FC, R)
3. Brandon May, 1B 1-4 (1-3, K, K, 1B, RBI)
4. Charles Thomas, 3B: 1-4 (4-3, 5-3, F-8, 2B, R)
5a. Luis Flores, C: 1-3 (P-5, 6-3, 3B, R)
5b. Sergio Burruel, C: 0-0 (BB)
6. Albert Hernandez, LF: 2-3 (1B, 1B, L-6, F-8 SF, R, RBI)
7. Alvaro Ramirez, CF: 1-3 (P-6, 5-3 SH, 1B, L-7, RBI)
8. Xavier Batista, RF: 1-4 (2B, P-5, 5-4-3 GIDP, K, R)
9. Blair Springfield, DH-2B: 0-3 (6-3, K, 3-1, RBI)
10. Rafael Disla, 2B-DH: 1-2 (K, 3B, HBP, 2 R, SB)
1. Tarlandus Mitchell – 3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1/4 GO/FO, 55 pitches (37 strikes)
2. Jose Rosario – 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 GIDP, 4/2 GO/FO, 41 pitches (23 strikes)
3. Drew Rundle – 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 PO, 1/2 GO/FO, 22 pitches (12 strikes)
4. Rogelio Carmona - 1.1 IP, 3 H, 5 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 0/2 GO/FO, 33 pitches (23 strikes)
1. 2B Rafael Disla E-4 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely – did not score)
2. 2B Blair Springfield E-4 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely – eventually scored unearned run)
Luis Flores: 2-3 CS
Sergio Burruel: 0-1 CS
WEATHER: sunny & cloudless with temperatures in the 80’s
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.
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.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
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.
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.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
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.
...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.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
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.