Cubs Whitewash Dodgers at Fitch Park
Four pitchers combined to toss a four-hit shutout, as the Cubs blanked the Dodgers 2-0 in AZ Instructional League action this aftenoon at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa.
Both Daury Torrez and Jose Rosario threw three innings of shutout ball with four strikeouts, but Rosario was especially effective, retiring nine of the ten men he faced (allowing no hits and one walk as he recorded the rare three-inning save).
Dodgers pitchers were just about as good, as starter James Campbell and four relievers combined to allow just three singles and one walk. Both of the Cub runs were unearned, thanks to four Dodger errors.
The defensive gem of the day was turned-in by Cubs CF Rashad Crawford, who raced at full speed into the right-center alley before making an inning-ending diving catch in front of the warning track, robbing Adam Law of an extra-base hit.
Ben Carhart made his AZIL game debut at catcher, and he handled himself fairly well, although he did allow a Passed Ball during his five innings behind the plate.
RHP Arodys Vizcaino (60-day DL - 2011 TJS rehab) threw a 45-pitch three-inning "sim" game on Field #3 this morning prior to the Cubs-Dodgers AZIL game, and he looked good.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
1. Charcer Burks, LF: 0-3 (5-3, P-4, F-7)
2. Jacob Hannemann, DH #1: 1-3 (F-7, 5-3, 1B)
3. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 0-3 (6-3, 3-U, 4-3)
4. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 1-2 (1B, BB, 5-3, R, SB)
5. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 1-3 (E-6, 1B, K)
6. Gleyber Torres, SS: 0-3 (L-4, 4-3, 4-3, RBI)
7. Cael Brockmeyer, 1B: 0-3 (5-4-3 DP, F-9, P-4)
8a. Ben Carhart, C: 0-2 (F-8, K)
8b. Alberto Mineo, C: 0-1 (4-3)
9. Tyler Alamo, DH #2: 0-3 (E-6, K, 4-3, R)
10. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-3 (E-1, 4-3, 4-3)
1. Duane Underwood: 2.0 IP, 2 H. 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 2/2 GO/FO, 37 pitches (17 strikes)
2. Sam Wilson: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 9 pitches (8 strikes)
3. Daury Torrez: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 1/4 GO/FO, 40 pitches (29 strikes)
2. Jose Rosario: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 2/3 GO/FO, 44 pitches (25 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 1
SS Gleyber Torres - E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Ben Carhart: 1 PB
2. Alberto Mineo: 0-1 CS, 1 PB
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 70's
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "thet 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.