Cubs Offense Knocks the Rusin Off Against the Angels – Cubs 8, Angels 1

Spring Game Thirty-Three – Cubs 8, Angels 1
WP – Chris Rusin (1-0) LP – Jered Weaver (2-2) Save – None

wflag.jpgAfter managing six runs over their last two games, the Cubs offense woke up Sunday afternoon in Tempe. Dale Sveum’s team scored all eight runs off Jered Weaver and Jason Isringhausen. On the afternoon the Cubs pounded out 13 hits and hit for the cycle in the eighth.

David DeJesus (2-for-3 with a run scored), Darwin Barney (1-for-3 with a triple, a RBI and a run scored) and Starlin Castro (2-for-2 with a sac fly and a RBI) broke through against Jered Weaver in the sixth and the Cubs scored five runs in 2/3 of an inning off Jason Isringhausen in the eighth. The big hit in the eighth came off the bat of Jeff Baker, a three-run shot off the batter’s eye in center field. Geovany Soto had a good day at the plate as well. Soto finished the afternoon 1-for-2 with a double, a RBI, a run scored and two walks.

Ronald Torreyes (1-for-2 with a RBI), up for the day from minor league camp, contributed a RBI single in the five-run eighth off Jason Isringhausen.

Chris Rusin made the start on Sunday and put together an excellent outing against an Angels lineup with Albert Pujols and a majority of the starting position players. Rusin tossed 5 1/3 innings of shutout ball, did not walk a batter, surrendered just two hits and struck out three. Rusin even worked around three Cubs’ errors, two on back-to-back plays to start the third.

Shawn Camp had his best outing since signing with the Cubs. Camp allowed one hit and struck out three in 1 2/3 innings of shutout ball against the Angels’ ‘B’ team lineup.

The Angels’ lone run came in the eighth off Frank Batista. Maicer Izturis hit a solo shot over the wall in right.

With Sunday’s spring win, the Cubs improved to 11-5-1 on the road in the Cactus League (4-11-1 at HoHoKam Park) …

David DeJesus started the game with a single to right off Jered Weaver. Barney followed with a lineout to short (0-2 pitch). Starlin Castro notched the Cubs second hit of the inning on a 1-0 pitch from Weaver. Castro blooped a single in front of the Angels’ left fielder, Bobby Abreu.

With two on and one out, Alfonso Soriano flied out to left center … and Blake DeWitt popped out to shallow left to end the inning.

Chris Rusin was sharp in the first inning Sunday afternoon. Rusin kept the ball down, which is the key to his success. Bobby Abreu reached on a fielding error by Ian Stewart and Alberto Callaspo followed with a one-out single to center. Rusin struck out Mark Trumbo swinging on three pitches and Kendrys Morales lined out to a leaping Darwin Barney for the third out.

Jered Weaver struck out Ian Stewart (looking) and Marlon Byrd (swinging) to begin the second … and Weaver made both hitters look bad in the process. Geovany Soto worked a walk but despite putting together a good at bat, Steve Clevenger flied out to left center (3-2 pitch) to end the inning.

Chris Rusin retired the Angels’ ‘B‘ team in order in the second.

After David DeJesus and Darwin Barney flied out to left center to start the third, Starlin Castro reached on a bloop single to center. After Weaver threw over a couple of times, Castro took off for second on the first pitch to Alfonso Soriano. Castro beat the throw but was called out. Castro showed his displeasure but it was the right call. Castro’s left leg was too high on the slide and he did not touch the bag before he was tagged out.

The Cubs’ defense, or lack thereof, was on display in the bottom of the third. Chris Rusin did a good job of pitching around the miscues with help from Darwin Barney and David DeJesus.

Ryan Langerhans reached on a fielding error by Blake DeWitt. Dale Sveum has used him at first base for the injured Bryan LaHair for the last two games. Blake DeWitt can barely field his position when he is playing second or third base … first base is not a viable option for DeWitt under any circumstances.

Maicer Izturis hit a routine grounder to short that should have been a double play. Castro fielded the ball but lost the handle on the exchange and the back-to-back errors put runners on first and second with no outs.

Bobby Abreu hit a sinking liner toward second. Barney made a diving catch and threw to Castro to double off Langerhans. Callaspo followed with a single to right. With runners on first and third with two down, David DeJesus made a nice running catch toward the line to take away a hit from Mark Trumbo … and to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing in the fourth.

Chris Rusin retired the Angels in order in the bottom of the fourth.

Jered Weaver sat down the Cubs in order 1-2-3 in the fifth.

The Angels did nothing against Chris Rusin in the bottom of the fifth.

The Cubs finally got to Jered Weaver the third time through the lineup. David DeJesus started the three-run rally with a bunt single. DeJesus dragged the bunt up the first base line. Weaver fielded and tried to shovel the ball to Cantu but DeJesus beat it out. Darwin Barney launched a 0-1 pitch over Ryan Langerhans in center. DeJesus scored on the triple.

Starlin Castro hit the first pitch into left. Barney tagged and scored … 2-0 Cubs on a bunt single, a triple and a sac fly.

Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging but Blake DeWitt reached on a bloop single to left. DeWitt broke for second on a 0-1 pitch to Stewart. DeWitt made it safely but had to go back to first. Stewart was called for interference. Stewart singled to center on the next pitch. With runners on first and second with two out, Marlon Byrd ripped a double (first pitch) into the left field corner. DeWitt scored and Stewart held at third. Soto walked to load the bases. Steve Clevenger hit the first pitch to second base to end the inning.

Dale Sveum made a host of changes prior to the bottom of the sixth … but Chris Rusin and Steve Clevenger remained the battery. Tony Campana (LF), Reed Johnson (CF), Joe Mather (RF), Jeff Baker (1B), Alfredo Amezaga (SS), Ronald Torreyes (2B) and Blake DeWitt moved to third.

Chris Rusin retired Bobby Abreu on a fly out to left … and Dale Sveum went to the pen. Rusin finished his afternoon by retiring the last eight batters he faced.

Shawn Camp took over and retired Callaspo on one pitch, a grounder to first. Mark Trumbo hit a high chopper to DeWitt at third on a 3-1 pitch. Trumbo beat DeWitt’s throw. Camp ended the inning by striking out Kendrys Morales swinging.

The Cubs did nothing against Scott Downs in the seventh.

Shawn Camp retired the Angels in order in the seventh.

The Cubs put the exhibition game away in the eighth and pounded Jason Isringhausen. The veteran right-hander gave up five runs on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts in 2/3 of an inning … the Cubs hit for the cycle.

Tony Campana led off the eighth with a single to right … and promptly stole second. The Angels pitched out and still could not throw out Campana. Isringhausen uncorked a wild pitch, Campana took third and held when DeWitt walked.

Jeff Baker crushed Isringhausen’s first pitch off the batter’s eye beyond the wall in center … and just like that, the Cubs took a 6-0 lead on Baker’s three-run shot.

Reed Johnson followed Baker’s blast with a triple off the wall in in right center and trotted home when Soto ripped a 2-1 pitch in left center … 7-0 Cubs. After Clevenger and Mather struck out, Ronald Torreyes singled to right center on a 1-0 pitch. Soto scored, 8-0 Cubs and ended Jason Isringhausen’s day.

Dakota Robinson took over and threw one pitch. Alfredo Amezaga grounded out to short to end the eighth.

Frank Batista, up from minor league camp for the day, took over on the hill in the eighth. Batista struck out two batters and gave up a solo home run to Maicer Izturis (right field).

At the end of eight, the Cubs led 8-1.

Other than a two-out walk by Jeff Baker, the Cubs did nothing against Daniel Tillman in the ninth.

Alberto Cabrera pitched the ninth and retired the Angels in order to end the exhibition game.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

The Cubs will make another short trip on Monday afternoon to Scottsdale. The Cubs will take on the Diamondbacks with Jay Jackson making the start for Dale Sveum.

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  • Ripsnorter1

    Bobby Scales signs with the Mets. 

    Yup. AAA contract.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Thank you for re-posting …

      • Chadaudio

        Sort of confused, i thought the Cubs already had him signed to a minor league deal.

        • Ripsnorter1

          So did I.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Scales was granted his release, same as Jason Jaramillo and Trever Miller.

          • Chadaudio

            Thanks Neil.

            I guess I’m still confused though, does that mean that the Cubs still pay the contract they originally signed him to? (sorry for the dumb question)

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Not a dumb question …

            No, they are not on the hook for any money to Bobby Scales. He signed a non-guaranteed minor league deal.

          • Chadaudio

            Thanks so much Neil!

  • Ripsnorter1

    Aaron Heilman–you know, of Jim Qlueless fame, was released by the Hard up Mariners.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Brett Wallace was #2 in all of MLB with a .460 OBP while leading off an inning in 2011. 

    He was sent to the minors today.
    Congrats to Mr. Wallace.

    • Tony_Hall

      Unfortunately, he wasn’t as good when not leading off an inning…

  • Ripsnorter1

    Dale Sveum was ranked #29 of the 30 managers in MLB.
    Only Robin Venture is ranked lower, and of course, he has exactly zero managerial experience.
    http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2012/04/01/ranking_the_major_league_managers/?page=full 

    • cubtex

      Well Sveum only has 12 games so that ranking is kind off bogus.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Not bogus. Realistic. He has only 12 games experience, and Ventura has zero. Very realistic.

        And if you listen to Sveum’s comments, well, he deserves to be #29.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Please see my response.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      You did not mention that Nick Cafardo always ranks the first time managers at the bottom of his list. Mike Matheny is ranked right above Sveum and Ventura.

      • Ripsnorter1

        And I would agree. They are novices, so they are really unknowns.

      • RynoTiger

        well of course he didn’t mention that Neil…posting on a fan site is like playing out the art of politics…you only mention information or stats when it helps your argument and leave it out when it contradicts or diminishes your point

    • Ryjo723

      And what exactly is your point…?

  • Ripsnorter1

    Stats that are very valuable to know…if Jim Qlueless is your GM…..

    In 2011, all the cleanup batters stole 226 bases and were caught 99 times, and all the batters hitting eighth stole 227 bases and were caught 100 times.’’ And, “Over the last five seasons, the batter with at least 2,000 plate appearances with the lowest cumulative batting average is Detroit’sBrandon Inge at .227. Carlos Pena is next at .236.’’  

    What shocks me is that Mr. 196 pulled off a .236. Didn’t think it would be quite that high.

  • cubtex

    Defense will no doubt be a big problem this year. IMO…Worse at 1B. Better at 3B. Same everywhere else.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Stewart does seem to have a better glove. 

      LaHair…..

      Of course the Cards were #27 in MLB in 2011, and they figured out a way to win it all. 

      • Ryanports

        I agree that the cubs defense will still not be very good this year, but I expect it to be better than last year. I think Castro and Barney will both improve. I also think that when Byrd is moved and Jackson takes over CF, that will also be an improvement. And when Rizzo ends up taking over for LaHair at some point, that will also be an upgrade. I’m not saying Rizzo will be better than Pena, but while the defense may not look great today, at the very least I bet it will look alot better by the end of the year, and probably more likely, it will look better around June or July. 

        • cubtex

          Agreed. I think Rizzo will be an upgrade as well as Jackson.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Just looked at Baseball Reference….
            Jackson in CF is a .979 career CF….984 in AAA Iowa in his 45 games there.

            So he’s not perfect yet. 

            Byrd in .988 career. .988 last year.
            Can’t knock Byrd too hard with the glove.

            Rizzo is a definite improvement over LaHair’s glove.

            And really, our greatest holes defensively have been:

            SS
            Matt Garza
            2B
            LF

          • cubtex

            I am sure at this stage of their careers….BJax will have more range in CF than Byrd.

          • Ryanports

            And ideally, Castillo will be healthy this year and hopefully he can continue to develop and play everyday in Iowa. Then when Soto hopefully gets traded, he can take over the catching duties at the major league level full time. IF, Castillo, Jackson and Rizzo are all up in a few months, the cubs defense will be much better than it stands today. I am really pulling for Castillo. I would love to see the cubs with a solid defensive catcher for years to come.

  • paulcatanese

    Thanks Neil, good re-cap. I guess the Cubs got it by the “Angels in the outfield”.

  • Agustinrexach

    I dont see how Aaron Heilman, K. Greg and Will Ohman shouldn’t be in the mix right now. Solid Economical guys are hard to find…