EXST Cubs Face Kelvim Escobar at Diablo Park

Dwayne Kemp drove in the go-ahead runs with a line drive two-run single to right-center in the top of the 11th, but the EXST Cubs could not hold the lead, as the EXST Angels rallied with two runs of their own in the bottom of the frame, as the Cubs and Angels played to a 4-4 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at the Angels Minor League Complex at Diablo Park in Tempe this morning.

The other offensive highlight for the Cubs was provided over the course of an inning by speedy Dominican lead-off hitter Jose Valdez, who reached base after being hit by a pitch to lead-off the top of the 5th, and then proceeded to steal 2nd, 3rd, and home.

For all you Angels fans out there (and you know who you are), RHSP Kelvim Escobar (on the 60-day DL after undergoing shoulder surgery) made a rehab start for the EXST Angels, throwing 1.2 IP (30 pitches) and retiring all five men he faced on three ground outs, a line drive, and a strikeout. 

Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only)...

LINEUP:
1. Jose Valdez, CF: 0-3 (K, HBP, 1-3, 1-3 - 1 R, 3 SB)
2. Hak-Ju Lee, DH #1: 0-3 (L-6, BB, 6-3, L-4 DP - 1 SB)
3. Matt Cerda, C - DH #2: 2-4 (4-3, F-7, 1B, 2B - 1 R)
4. Chris Weimer, 1B: 1-4 (5-3, P-3, K, 1B - 1 R)
5. Jericho Jones, LF: 0-3 (6-3, 6-3, 4-3, HBP - 1 R)
6. Logan Watkins, SS: 2-4 (K, F-7, 1B, 1B - 1 RBI, 1 PO)
7. Dwayne Kemp, 2B: 1-2 (BB, E-6, SH, 1B - 2 RBI)
8. Kevin Soto, RF: 0-3: (K, 6-3 GIDP, 6-3)
9. George Matheus, 3B: 0-2 (BB, 5-3, 3-U)
10. Juan Medina, DH #2 - C: 1-3 (FC, 6-3, 1B)

PITCHERS:
1. Jon Nagel - 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 7/1 GO/FO
2. Tarlandus Mitchell - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 3/0 GO/FO
3. Eduardo Figueroa - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 3/2 GO/FO
4. Yohan Gonzalez - 2.0 IP, 2 H. 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 6/0 GO/FO
5. Marcos Perez - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 3/0 GO/FO
6. Josh Lansford - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 WP   

ERRORS (1):
SS Logan Watkins bobbled a grounder allowing batter to reach base with one out in the bottom of the 3rd inning, eventually resulting in an unearned run.   

CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Juan Medina - 0-2 CS

ATTENDANCE: 16 (including retired MLB LHP Bruce Hurst, who was there to watch his son Kyle pitch for the EXST Angels) 

Comments

Thanks, as always, Arizona Phil.

I was wondering if you had any thoughts on Nagel. I know he's coming back from Tommy John surgery before he was drafted.

Thanks for the report AZ Phil......the Angels pitchers got a lot of ground ball outs and our pitchers weren't giving up walks and hbp like they have been lately.That's incouraging.

Submitted by Raisin101 on Tue, 05/12/2009 - 5:16pm.
Thanks, as always, Arizona Phil.

I was wondering if you had any thoughts on Nagel. I know he's coming back from Tommy John surgery before he was drafted.

=====================================

RAISIN: Jon Nagel pounds the lower part of the strike zone with a hard sinker, sort of a younger version of Randy Wells. He is a big guy (widebody), but he doesn't throw real hard. His sinker is a real good pitch, though. He just keeps pumping it over the plate and gets ground ball after ground ball. So Nagel needs his infielders to make routine plays, but at EXST, the infield defense isn't very consistent.

BTW, the Royals have released RHP Ryan Acosta (Cubs 2007 12th round pick who got 4th round money to give up his NLI to the U. of Georgia), who was somewhat unexpectedly released by the Cubs prior to the start of Spring Training 2009 after struggling with personal demons the past couple of years. Ryan is the son of the one-time Cubs pitching coach Oscar Acosta, who died in a car crash when Ryan was in HS.

AZ Phil: Do you know what kind of demons that Acosta was dealing with? I had been wondering what had happened to him, as I thought he was going to have a bright future with the club after he was signed in 2007.

IIRC, I think his mom got sick or something like that.

I could be way off, though.

The Cubs down early again. Man it would be nice for them to get a nice lead early.

Yahtzee goes yard!!! A-Fonse the other day and now Monopoly today with big HR's. That is the way for the other big bats to pick up ARam and Lee. Now we need to bullpen to hold it...

And now, pinch hit home run for Bobby Scales!

I predict that he will be the next player to have his name spelled with an exclamation point. (Bobby Scales!)

Only Ne!f! can have that. It is the only thing he has left...:)

I think it would be Sca!es.

time to start paying attention...

Am I crazy or were the wrigley nuts chanting MILTON BRADLEY just after his shot.

anyone there?

I mean how Cubs fan is that????

So did you guys talk about Brenley's observation that Soto is still hurt? His hand has always slipped off the bat handle as he swings. Is he fucked? Dr. Hechct?

haven't heard this lately about Soto. He did get a single and a walk tonight...so we're just waiting on power and rbi's.

Seems that his shoulder is OK and that was an earlier malady for him.

sorry if I spelt the good doctor's name. :-)

Quick question to MLB.

DVR is temporarily una fucking vailable????????????

My divorce lawyer, who is the meanest bastard on earth, will be in touch with you. And he'll make the Cloverfield monster look like a rose in your fucking ass.

Thanks.

I like Kemp, but man, he's got a stacked deck in front of him at 2nd base.

AzPhil - How's Watkins looking defensively overall? The error comment piqued my interest, and obviously, one error does not make a conclusion, but I am just curious if you think he moves well enough for the position and has the reactions to potentially try to develop there long run. IIRC, some folks were thinking 2nd/CF for him (maybe even you, my memory is a bit shoddy these days). Does it look like Watkins could stick at short? I'm just curious, because IIRC a previous post of yours, you said that Hak-ju might outgrow short.

Two other quick questions - Cerda and his defense, and how has Jericho's bat been? Has he been making good contact?

juanpierrewood. classic.

Submitted by toonsterwu on Wed, 05/13/2009 - 1:46am.
I like Kemp, but man, he's got a stacked deck in front of him at 2nd base.

AzPhil - How's Watkins looking defensively overall? The error comment piqued my interest, and obviously, one error does not make a conclusion, but I am just curious if you think he moves well enough for the position and has the reactions to potentially try to develop there long run. IIRC, some folks were thinking 2nd/CF for him (maybe even you, my memory is a bit shoddy these days). Does it look like Watkins could stick at short? I'm just curious, because IIRC a previous post of yours, you said that Hak-ju might outgrow short.

Two other quick questions - Cerda and his defense, and how has Jericho's bat been? Has he been making good contact?

===========================================

TOONSTER: Logan Watkins is an "athletic" defender who has the range to play middle infield, and he has plenty of arm, too, but he throws almost sidearm, so he probably will end up at 2B rather than SS or CF.

Matt Cerda is still working on his defense behind the plate, but he didn't look good when he was moved to 2B last month, so I doubt that the Cubs will move him again to 2B even if he continues to struggle at catcher. They'll likely just give him as much time as he needs to develop, even if it means spending two or three years in Mesa. He's sort of a long-term investment.

Jericho Jones got sick at the end of Minor League Camp and although he's healthy now, he still looks sluggish at bat and in the field. Hopefully he will get it going soon, but he's definitely really struggling right now.

Chris Weimer and Dwayne Kemp have been the team's hottest hitters so far, while Jae-Hoon Ha shows the most promise as a hitter.

AZ Phil was right about Jericho getting sick but he is back hitting over .400 for the spring and has been working on pitch recognition; increasing his walks and decreasing his strikeouts.He has been hitting off a machine that throws 96mph from 52 feet to fine tune his pitch recognition and bat speed.He reports early everyday to get in extra work and says his arm strength is better than ever.( he's thrown out several runners from lf this spring )He got to hit in a simulated game vs "animal" ( Julio Castillo)a week or so ago and ripped his 95-97mph fastball for several hits including one off the wall and one gapper.For those who don't know who Julio Castillo is.....he is the pitcher who got suspended after the brawl in Peoria last season. He is allowed to work out but not allowed to participate in the EXTST games.I also heard that after yesterdays game the players were surprised to find one of their two team vans had been stolen out of the parking lot during the game. They had to wait an extra 30 minutes to get another van from Mesa.

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  • 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 1 min 37 sec ago view
  • If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.

    billybucks 9 hours 4 min ago view
  • Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."

    billybucks 9 hours 47 min ago view
  • This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.

    Charlie 9 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 10 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 10 hours 7 min ago view
  • new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup

    crunch 10 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 10 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 10 hours 40 min ago view
  • I'm liking this rookie Nathan.

    CTSteve 10 hours 41 min ago view
  • Richard DFA'd. Meh...

    The E-Man 13 hours 32 min ago view
  • Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.

    Charlie 16 hours 4 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 16 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 16 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 18 hours 36 min ago view
  • I'm with you, Rob. You pretty much summed up how I feel about it.

    JoePepitone 20 hours 55 min ago view