Bianco Blast the Difference-Maker at Talking Stick
Justin Bianco hammered a solo home run leading off the bottom of the 5th to break a 1-1 tie, and it was just enough as the Diamondbacks edged the Cubs 2-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Whirlwind Field at Salt River River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.
Junior Lake continued his rehab, batting six times (once in each of the first six innings) and playing shortstop for seven innings.
Lake grounded a single through the box leading off the top of the 1st and scored the Cubs only run of the game on a wild pitch later in the inning, struck out (swinging) in the top of the 2nd and then again in the top of the 3rd, grounded out to shortstop in the 4th, struck out swinging in the 5th, and hit into a 6-4 FC in the 6th. He also handled seven chances flawlessly in the field, and was the “middle-man” in two 4-6-3 double plays.
Lake is scheduled to play in one more EXST game (at Fitch Park tomorrow), before rejoining the Tennessee Smokies on Thursday or Friday.
RHP Rob Whitenack (June 2011 TJS) got the start for the Cubs and threw three innings (40 pitches) of no-hit shutout ball, allowing one walk while striking out two (5/2 GO/FO).
Here is the abridged box score from today’s game (Cubs players only):
X. Junior Lake, SS: 1-6 (1B, K, K, 6-3, K, 6-4 FC, R, CS)
NOTE: Lake batted six times, once in each of the first six innings
1. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 2-3 (1B, F-8, 1B, SB)
2. Javier Baez, DH-SS: 0-3 (K, K, 4-6 FC, SB)
3. Rock Shoulders, 1B: 0-3 (K, F-8, 4-3)
4. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-2 (BB, 6-3, 4-3)
5. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 0-3 (K, F-8, K)
6. Dan Vogelbach, DH #2: 0-2 (K, BB, P-6)
7a. Anthony Giansanti, C: 0-1 (F-9)
7b. Neftali Rosario, C: 0-2 (K, K)
8. Yasiel Balaguert, LF: 1-2 (1B, 5-3)
9a. Jair Bogaerts, 3B: 0-1 (L-9 DP)
9b. Danny Lockhart, 3B: 0-1 (3-1)
1. Rob Whitenack: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 40 pitches (23 strikes), 5/2 GO/FO
2. Carlos Martinez: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 33 pitches (16 strikes), 4/2 GO/FO
3. Alvido Jimenez: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 26 pitches (15 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
4. Luis Villalba: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 12 pitches (9 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
5. Roderik Pichardo: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 10 pitches (7 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: NONE
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Neftali Rosario: 0-3 CS
WEATHER: Sunny and breezy with temperatures in the 80’s
Apparently the Yankees had the choice of either Gleyber Torres or Eloy Jimenez in the Chapman deal, and they chose Torrers.
Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.
Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.
He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.
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.