Cubs Pitchers No Match for A's Fast Break Offense
Oakland A's 2012 1st round draft pick (#11 overall) Addison Russell walked, tripled, and belted a two-run home run, Vicmal de la Cruz clobbered a solo home run and an RBI double, Reynaldo Mateo blasted a two-run HR, and Matt Olson singled twice and drove-in two runs, as the Athletics out-slugged the Cubs 13-8 in Arizona Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.
Meanwhile, Jesse Hodges hammered a two-run home run and a double, Jorge Soler drilled a two-run triple, Marco Hernandez roped an opposite-field two run double, and Tim Saunders doubled, walked, stole a base, and drove-in a run, to help propel the Cub offense.
The 18-year old 6'1 210+ Hodges (2012 NDFA - Victoria, B. C.) was signed by the Cubs last month to a 2013 contract ("Signed for Future Service") after starring for the Canadian Junior National Team at the IBAF 18U Baseball World Championship in South Korea. He was used as a DH in today's game, but he is a third-baseman by trade.
It was a real slugfest at Fitch Park today, as the A's pounded-out 15 hits, including eight extra-base hits (four doubles, a triple, and three home runs), while the Cubs collected eleven hits, including six extra-base hits (four doubles, a triple, and home run).
Cubs 2012 3rd round draft pick RHP Ryan McNeil (Nipomo HS - Nipomo, CA) had an especially poor outing, allowing three home runs in one inning (not easy to do at Fitch Park Caverns), while Cubs 2012 6th round draft pick RHP Trey Lang (Gateway CC) surrendered four doubles in 2.1 IP.
Cubs catcher Wilson Contreras left the game after injuring his right calf while throwing-out a runner at 2nd base on an inning-ending "strike 'em out - throw 'em out" DP in the 5th. He had to be helped off the field and appeared to be in intense pain.
A number of Cub executives were at today's game, including Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Jason McLeod, and Randy Bush.
And just to confirm what I mentioned here last week, Tim Cossins has replaced Brandon Hyde as the Cubs Minor League Field Coordinator. (Hyde was promoted to Director of Player Development after Oneri Fleita was fired). Cossins worked with Hyde in Miami, when Hyde was the Marlins bench coach and Cossins was the Marlins minor league catching instruction coordinator.
Still no word on who will be replacing Dennis Lewallyn as the Cubs Minor League Pitching Coordinator. (Lewallyn took a minor league coaching position with the Atlanta Braves last week). Ron Villone (peoria), Jeff Fassero (Tennessee), Anderson Tavarez (DSL Cubs #1), and Rick Tronerud (Fitch Park Rehab) have been working as the pitching coaches at Instructs.
Here is the abridged box score from today’s game (Cubs players only):
1. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 1-4 (L-5, F-8, L-3, 2B, R)
2. Albert Almora, CF: 1-4 (4-3, 1B, 5-3, E-9, R)
3. Jorge Soler, RF: 1-4 (3-1, K, F-8, 3B, R, 2 RBI)
4. Dan Vogelbach, 1B: 1-4 (F-8, 1B, P-4, 4-3, RBI)
5. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 1-4 (6-3, 5-3, 1B, F-9, R)
6. Yasiel Balaguert, LF: 1-4 (4-3, F-8, 1B, P-4, R)
7. Marco Hernandez, SS: 1-4 (P-6, K, 2B, 3-1, R, 2 RBI)
8a. Wilson Contreras, C: 0-1 (4-3)
8b. Justin Marra, PH-DH: 1-3 (1B, K, 3-1, R)
9a. Jesse Hodges, DH #1: 2-2 (2B, HR, R, 2 RBI)
9b. Chadd Krist, C: 0-2 (5-3, K)
10. Tim Saunders, DH #2: 1-2 (F-9, BB, 2B, RBI, SB)
1. Trey Lang: 2.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 44 pitches (28 strikes), 6/0 GO/FO
2. Corbin Hoffner: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 32 pitches (19 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
3. Juan Carlos Paniagua: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 40 pitches (25 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
4. Carlos Martinez: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 12 pitches (8 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
5. Ryan McNeil: 1.0 IP, 4 H, 5 R (5 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 3 HR, 49 pitches (24 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: 1
CF Albert Almora - E-8 (three-base fielding error on ground single to CF allowed batter to circle the bases and score unearned run)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Wilson Contreras: 1-1 CS
WEATHER: Sunny and hot with temperatures in the 90’s
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."
When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.
If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.