C. J. Edwards Faces Diamondbacks at Riverview Park
The AZL Diamondbacks took advantage of four walks (including three bases-loaded walks that forced-in three runs) to plate seven runs in the 5th inning, and cruised to a 12-6 victory over the AZL Cubs Monday night at Cubs Park at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.
Gleyber Torres grounded out to end the game, but before that he reached base four consecutive times (single, walk, RBI single, and RBI triple) on the heels of last night's game at Salt River Fields when he reached base all six times he batted (two singles, two doubles, and two walks), for a total of ten consecutive Plate Appearances over the two games without being retired.
2014 13th round draft pick Kevonte Mitchell (Kennett HS - Kennett, MO) continued his hot hitting, lacing three singles, while also stealing a base, scoring two runs, and collecting an RBI. He also made a fine running catch in CF. Torres, Mitchell, and Eloy Jimenez (who walked twice) are easily the top three position player prospects on the AZL Cubs right now (no others even close).
Cubs top pitching prospect RHP C. J. Edwards (Tennessee 7-day DL - right shoulder inflamation) got the start for the Cubs (his second AZL rehab start) and worked 3.2 IP (62 pitches - 35 strikes), allowing one run on one hit and three walks with six strikeouts (four swinging and two looking) and a 4/1 GO/FO.
Edwards threw 40 fastballs, ten curves, eight change-ups, and four sliders among his 62 pitches, working his fastball at 91-94 MPH throughout the game. He also touched 97 once and 96 twice in the top of the 1st inning, getting lead-off hitter Isan Diaz to bounce-out 5-3 on a broken-bat chopper on a 97 MPH heater for the first out of the game, before blowing two 96 MPH fasballs past Cliff Pennington (rehabbing in the AZL) to end the top of the 1st, as the veteran MLB infielder struck out swinging.
After the 1-2-3 1st inning (5-3, K, K), Edwards allowed his lone run in the top of the 2nd, walking the lead-off hitter on a 3-2 pitch and the third hitter on a 3-1 pitch, before Stewart James grounded an RBI single to right on a 2-0 pitch. Edwards then struck out the next two men on six pitches (both "strike three" pitches swinging on curve balls) to retire the side and strand the D'back runners at 1st & 3rd.
Edwards had an easy 1-2-3 eight-pitch 3rd inning (K, 1-3, 1-3), and he easliy retired the first two men he faced in the top of the 4th (K, 6-3) and went 0-2 on the third hitter, before throwing four balls in a row out of the strike zone for his third walk of the game. At that point he was relieved.
Edwards had good velocity and kept it throughout his outing, and he was able to throw four different pitches for strikes, although he did struggle a bit to command his "hot" fastball (he threw only 55% of his fastballs for strikes).
5'8 LHRP Alberto Diaz had a nightmare outing (one of the ugliest I've seen out here in a while), entering the game with two outs and the bases loaded in the top of the 5th, and then walking the first three men he faced on 13 pitches, followed by a two-run single, before finally getting final out of the inning, He walked the first man he faced in the top of the 6th on four pitches before hitting the next batter (Henry Castillo) on the knee (had to be carried off the field), and then he was mercifully relieved.
2014 12th round drat pick RHP Tanner Griggs (Angelina JC) followed Diaz and had a poor outing, too, allowing four runs on six hits (five singles and a double) and two walks (plus a WP) in 2.1 IP.
LHP Andin Diaz (the "other" A. Diaz) finished the game for the Cubs and had a typical (impressive) outing, firing mid-90's gas and a mid-80's slider and striking out two (both swinging) in 1.2 IP, but by then it was just too late to make a diifference.
It was a very long game (thanks to all the walks), and AZL Cubs manager Jimmy Gonzalez got tossed in the top of the 9th for arguing balls & strikes (he felt Cubs pitchers had been getting "squeezed" all night long, and he wasn't going to take it anymore!), and he did a pretty good Lou Piniella impression, too, by getting his "money's worth" after he was tossed (going fully-animated jaw-to-jaw in home plate umpire Mike Carroll's face, and then drop-kicking his cap as he trudged off the field).