Angels Nip Cubs at Diablo Park
Xavier Batista and Blair Springfield each had two hits, a run scored, and an RBI, but the EXST Angels rallied for five runs in the bottom of the 8th to edge the EXST Cubs 7-6 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Diablo Park in Tempe this morning.
Rebel Ridling (appendectomy with complications) once again was a DH, getting five Plate Appearances in the first seven innings. He roped a liner into the LF corner in his first AB (but only managed to get to 1st base), then was called out on strikes in his second PA, before grounding out three times in a row (1-3, 5-3, 5-3) to complete his day at the plate. While he seems to be swinging the bat OK, he also seems to be running a bit gingerly.
2009 3rd round pick LHP Austin Kirk (Owasso HS – Owasso, OK) started the game for the Cubs, and labored through 2.2 IP (54 pitches), allowing two singles, a triple, and two walks (albeit only one run). RHP Tarlandus Mitchell followed and couldn’t find home plate, walking three batters and hitting another one in addition to allowing two singles and a double, but only one run over his 1.2 IP (51 pitches).
20-year old Dominican LHRP Marcos Perez continues to throw strikes, coming into the game today with the bases loaded and getting out of the jam with a strikeout. Perez allowed just a bunt single in 1.1 IP of work (13 pitches – 12 strikes), while striking out three. In three Extended Spring Training appearances so far, Perez has thrown 5.1 IP of shutout ball, allowing just one hit (a bunt single) and no walks, while striking out seven. And he has thrown the 5.1 IP on just 42 pitches, of which 36 were strikes. That in itself will likely catch the eyes of the Cubs Player Development people.
LHP (ex-OF) Drew Rundle pitched one inning, throwing seven balls in a row before finally finding the strike zone, at which point he threw five strikes in a row, getting a strike ‘em out/throw ‘em out DP and a 1-3 comebacker to the mound to get out of the inning unscathed.
But Carlos Rojas had a nightmare from hell outing, allowing five runs on five hits (a single, two triples, and two home runs, plus a HBP) while getting just one out in the 8th, as the 19-year old Venezuelan RHP took the loss.
The game featured one very unusual occurrence. With Charles Thomas on 3rd base and Xavier Batista on 1st and one out in the 7th, Melvin Camarena hit a pop up behind home plate that the Angels catcher caught near the screen. But seeing that the Angels pitcher was just standing on the mound watching, an alert Thomas broke for home plate and scored on what was a sacrifice fly to the catcher! (And then Batista quietly tippy-toed into 2nd base while the Angels stood around trying !o figure out what just happened).
On the EXST injury front, Manuel Pestana left the game after jamming his right shoulder while sliding head-first into a base in the top of the 2nd inning.
In EXST Cubs roster news, RHP Chris Carpenter (sore shoulder) has completed his rehab assignment at Fitch Park and has rejoined AA Tennessee after pitching in only one Extended Spring Trauining game (1.2 IP last Friday).
Here is today’s abridged box score (EXST Cubs players only):
NOTE: DH #1 Rebel Ridling batted in five of the first seven innings, getting five Plate Appearances total in the game.
X. Rebel Ridling, DH #1: 1-5 (1B, K, 1-3, 5-3, 5-3)
1. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 1-3 (P-5, F-9, 1B, BB, CS, R)
2. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 1-4 (F-7, 4-3, K, 2B, R, 2 RBI)
3. Charles Thomas, 1B: 1-3 (5-3, 5-3, BB, 1B, 2 R, RBI)
4a. Sergio Burruel, C: 0-2 (F-7, 1-3)
4b. Jose Guevara, C: 0-1 (BB, K)
5a. Manuel Pestana, LF: 1-1 (2B)
5b. Xavier Batista, LF: 2-3 (2B, 6-4 FC, 1B, R, RBI)
6. Melvin Camarena, RF: 0-3 (5-3, K, P-2 SF, K, RBI)
7. Ping-Chieh Chen, 2B-DH: 0-3 (4-3, 4-3, L-8)
8. Blair Springfield, DH-2B: 2-3 (K, 1B, 1B, R, RBI)
9. Vismeldy Bieneme, 3B: 0-3 (1-3, 6-3, K)
1. Austin Kirk – 2.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1/6 GO/FO, 54 pitches (33 strikes)
2. Tarlandus Mitchell – 1.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 2/2 GO/FO, 51 pitches (24 strikes)
3. Marcos Perez – 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 13 pitches (12 strikes)
4. Drew Rundle – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 12 pitches (5 strikes)
5. Carlos Rojas – 0.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R (5 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 2 HR, 1/0 GO/FO, 35 pitches (21 strikes)
P Marcos Perez E-1 (overthrow at 1st base on bunt single allowed batter-runner to move up to 2nd base)
Sergio Burruel – 0-1 CS
Jose Guevara – 1-1 CS
WEATHER: Sunny & very breezy, with temperatures in the 80’s.
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.
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.