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).
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?
#Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.
Fun with FIP
- J. Hammel 3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
- J. Arrieta 2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
- J. Lester 2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
- K. Hendricks 2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
- J. Lackey 3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k
he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.
JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.
My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.
Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...
joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1
not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.
really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.
Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.
Classic Scully - great stuff.
Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)
Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:
"And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."