Brewers Rally Late to Edge Cubs at Fitch Park
Tyler Roberts blasted a solo HR over the LF fence and onto 8th Street to ignite a two-run 9th inning, as the Brewers scored two in the 8th and two in the 9th to overcome a 3-0 deficit and edge the Cubs 4-3 in Arizona Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa.
The game was scoreless through the first 4-1/2 innings, before the Cubs plated two runs in the bottom of the 5th to take a 2-0 lead. Jeimer Candelario ripped a lead-off triple down the RF line and scored the Cubs first run on a Yasiel Balaguert RBI GO, and then after Shawon Dunston Jr and Kelvin Freeman reached base on one-out singles (super drag bunt hit by Dunston), Wilfredo Petit drove-in Dunston with a two-out RBI single.
The Cubs scored again in the bottom of the 7th. Balaguert led-off the inning with a line-drive double into the LF corner, and after moving up to 3rd base on a Trey Martin line single to left, scored the Cubs third and final run of the day on a Ben Carhart RBI GO.
The Cubs did threaten to score again in the bottom of the 8th, as Mark Malave and Danny Lockhart singled with no outs and moved-up to 2nd & 3rd on a sacrifice bunt, but Malave was thrown-out at the plate (2-1) while trying to score from 3rd on a WP, and Jesse Hodges flied out to deep right to end the inning.
Four Cubs pitchers combined to throw a one-hit shutout with nine strikeouts through the first seven innings (the one hit being a broken bat single), but then the Brewer offense woke up as the Cub bullpen imploded. Trey Lang surrendered two runs on three walks and a single in a 32-pitch 8th (Lang had major control issues, throwing just 12 strikes), and lefty reliever Sam Wilson gave up the game-tying Roberts HR on an 0-1 pitch leading off the 9th and then allowed the go-ahead run to score when he threw a two-out WP (and forgot to cover home) after the Brew Crew loaded the bases on two singles and a walk.
This was the first 2013 AZIL game for the Cubs, but it was the 8th game for the Brewers. (The Cubs started Instructs later than usual this year).
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
1a. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 0-1 (BB, K)
1b. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-2 (K, 1B)
2a. Kevin Encarnacion, CF: 0-2 (3-6-3 DP, 3-1)
2b. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-1 (K, 3-U SH)
3a. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 1-2 (K, 3B, R)
3b. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 0-2 (6-3, F-9)
4a. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 1-3 (L-9, 5-3, 2B, R, RBI)
4b. Jose Dore, RF: 0-1 (K)
5a. Shawon Dunston Jr, LF: 2-2 (1B, 1B, R)
5b. Trey Martin, LF: 1-2 (1B, K)
6a. Kelvin Freeman, 1B: 1-2 (6-4-3 DP, 1B)
6b. Ben Carhart, 1B: 1-2 (6-3, 1B, RBI)
7a. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-2 (5-3, F-8)
7b. Frandy de la Rosa, SS: 0-2 (K, K)
8a. Wilfredo Petit, C: 1-2 (6-3, 1B, RBI)
8b. Erick Castillo, C: 0-0 (BB)
9. Charcer Burks, DH #1: 1-3 (1B, K, 3-U, CS)
10. Mark Malave, DH #2: 1-2 (3-1, BB, 1B)
1. Jose Arias: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 0/4 GO/FO, 25 pitches (18 strikes)
2. Trevor Clifton: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 33 pitches (18 strikes)
3. Dillon Maples: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 3/0 GO/FO, 19 pitches (15 strikes)
4. Johermyn Chavez: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 20 pitches (9 strikes)
5. Trey Lang: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 2/1 GO/FO, 32 pitches (12 strikes)
6. Sam Wilson: 0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 1 WP, 28 pitches (17 strikes)
NOTE: Top of the 9th inning was stopped with two outs when Wilson reached his pre-planned max pitch limit
CUBS ERRORS: 1
SS Carlos Penalver - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Wilfredo Petit: 0-1 CS, 1 PO
2. Erick Castillo: 0-5 CS
ATTENDANCE: 24 (mostly scouts)
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 80's
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
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.