National League Division Series Game 1: Cubs 1, Diamondbacks 3
What Ifs Box Score, Play-by-Play, Photos W- Webb, well-played playoff baseball, second-guessers L- Marmol, dreams of 9th inning heroics. S - Valverde Series stands at 1-0 D-backs Things to Take from This Game 1. As Good as Advertised Webb and Zambrano were both pleasures to watch in this game. While each one gave up some baserunners, they also both managed to pitch out of modest, recurring trouble with ease. Z, remarkably, had better control than Webb, walking just one to Webb's three. 2. Plenty of chances to Second Guess There are at least three big points in the game where managerial decisions stood out. First, the decision to have Z. swing away with a runner on second and zero out in the fifth. Had he successfully bunted the runner over, Soriano's fly ball to center would have created a run. Second, the decision not to take down Theriot for a pinch-hitter (Ward, I would hope) with the bases loaded in the sixth. Theriot hit a chopper for an infield hit and RBI, who knows what Ward would have done. The most important decision, however, was 3. Pulling Z after 85 pitches Other than a mammoth HR to Drew, Z looked like he was having an easy time dispatching with the D-backs, but he got pulled after 6 innings, with 85 pitches, a walk, a run, and eight K's to his name. The rationale, which certainly is reasonable, being that Z needs to come back on three days rest, you have Marmol available in the bullpen, and Z has had a recent of history of cramps and here we are on a hot Arizona evening. Problem is, however, that.... 4. Marmol Struggles Marmol didn't have control of his breaking stuff, and when he got behind to Reynolds, had to come in with a low fastball, and Reynolds hit it out to left to break the 1-1 tie. He continued to struggle, eventually giving up a sacrifice fly to Conor Jackson. (A fly that featured the strongest throw from Jacque Jones that we've seen in two years.) The D-backs score 2 runs in the inning after Z. leaves, for a 3-1 lead. Lyon and Valverde hold the lead in the 8th and 9th, although Lyon gave up a couple of warning-track shots to Ramirez and Floyd, and Valverde walked Ward to bring Soriano up as the tying run. Soriano finished the game, and an 0-5 night, with a 6-4 forceout. Your we-need-to-win-three-out-of-four details, below. Game Recap Pregame TBS... let's see..... they mispronounce "Soto," and give us an puerile playoff-preview promotion about how the two teams are as different as their cities. I already miss WGN. Some TBS reporter discussing D-backs' plan to flash "beat the cubs" on the scoreboard to counter-act any "Let's go cubs" chants that might arise. Inning 1 - Top
- First pitch, Soriano hits a one-hopper to Reynolds at third.
- Jones walks on five pitches.
- Lee takes a big rip at the first pitch, an inside fastball, and misses.
- Lee K's swinging on what appears to have been a changeup that dove almost straight down. Nice pitch, whatever it was.
- Ramirez rolls one to Ojeda at second. Augie gets the third out of the inning
- Chris Young singles one sharply back up the middle, hitting off the front of the mound and scooting on through. Single on the first pitch.
- Young steals on the second pitch. Got a good jump, and Soto's throw was a bit high and wide. Would have been tough to get him anyways. Runner on 2nd, no outs to Drew.
- Drew K's looking at a fastball right down the middle
- And for some bizarre reason, the D-backs stadium is playing Van Halen's "Jump," which still clearly is a Cubs song. I mean, clearly.
- Z goes 3-0 count to Byrnes. Fastball down the middle for strike 1.
- Z shatters Byrnes' bat, grounds out to Theriot with the runner on 2nd able to advance on the slow roller. 2 outs, runner on third for Tony Clark
- Remember when Tony Clark was a hot young prospect? Naw, I didn't think so.
- 3-1 count to Young, Z gets the strike call on a borderline inside pitch. I didn't see Montague's strike call, and winced at I thought was a walk. Further review indicates it was inside
- Clark then K's swinging at a splitter (!!) in the dirt. Inning over without a score, although Z had to work for it.
- Floyd K's swinging at a sinker. Lots and lots of downward movement on it.
- Derosa with the first Cubs hit, a single to right.
- Webb seems to be getting a ridiculous amount of movement on the sinker.
- Goes 3-0 to Soto. 3-1
- Derosa runs, and keeps Cubs out of a DP as Soto grounds out to third.
- Theriot grounds to shortstop, Drew makes a decent play shallow and towards the hole. Inning over.
- Reynolds rolls out to Derosa.
- Z falls behind 3-1 on Salazar. Ball 4. Stockton, saying Z doesn't look sharp yet, basically contradicts Darling's claim from moments earlier that both pitchers look locked in.
- Snyder up. Hits a "tailor-made" 6-4-3 GIDP. Hooray for Tailors.
- Z up, lines one opposite field that scoots past Byrnes, who is playing a bit shallow on what might have been a cut-offable ball. Byrnes then bobbles it at the wall. A double for Z.
- Don't cramp yourself running, Z.
- Soriano K's swinging on a slow curve.
- Jones battles, but eventually strikes out on a change up that sunk straight down. Webb is just getting great movement on everything. Lee up, Z at 2, two outs
- And Webb strikes out the side when Lee goes down looking at a fastball on the outside corner.
- Mohammed Ali is in attendance. I haven't seen him in quite a while, and he's looking so much more frail and unalert than what I remember. Happy to see him, but also very tough to see him.
- Ojeda grounds to Derosa
- Webb K's looking at a slider.
- Young waves at a Z fastball. Nice, easier inning for Z. 41 pitches, a hit, walk, four K's through 3.
- Ramirez flies to the warning track in right.
- Floyd K's on another sinker with wild movement. He sort of check swings while bending backwards, and Montague again gives a generous strike call on the insider corner.
- Derosa gets hit by a moving sinker. Moved right into his left elbow. Glancing blow.
- Soto hits one hard to Drew's right. He sort of slide-dives, sort of stumbles into a nice catch of the grounder, rights himself, and easily throws out Soto. Inning over.
- Stephen Drew absolutely demolishes a ball to just right of center. It lands in the pavillion above the left edge of the bullpens. Fastball down the middle.
- Byrnes hits a hard liner to left, Soriano runs in to get it. Was hobbling in doing so.
- Interestingly, it appears Soriano was unable to do a hop-catch on that liner.
- Z jams Clark, flies to Soriano. This time, with the hop.
- Reynolds does what he does best, and strikes out swinging. 1-0 after 4
- A Lou Piniella commercial debuts. I missed most of it, but it seems to involve him doing a classic managerial tirade on an ump, while drinking Aquafina.
- Theriot bounces to Reynolds, who is backing up as he grabs it. He plants, winds up, and you could sort of see it coming - he airmails first base with a very strong, and very high throw. Theriot to second to start the inning, Z up.
- Z isn't bunting, swings away and lines a soft looper straight at the leaping Drew, Theriot has to dive back to the bag. Stockton sells it as a lined shot.
- Soriano hits a nice liner to center, backing Young up, but he catches it. Theriot has to go back to second. Given that he'd score easily if it gets over Young's head, he perhaps should have already been back at the bag. Not sure he could have made third, however, even if he had gotten back immediately. (Had Z bunted and succeeded, this would be a run-scoring sacrifice fly....)
- Jones bounces to Clark, unassisted.
- Really nice play by Derosa on a liner up the middle by Salazar. Backhands it on the nice first hop, and quickly throws across his body for the out.
- Snyder K's swinging.
- Ojeda hits one off of Zambrano's glove, Theriot races in to bare-hand it, but Ojeda beats the throw.
- Z gets Webb looking at a fastball on the corner. 5 IP, 70 pitches, a walk and 7 K for z.
- Lee singles through the left side hole, leadoff single.
- For as dominating as both Z and Webb have been, there's been a baserunner just about every inning. Stockton points out that we've had the leadoff man aboard in three of the first four innings, just as I type it.
- Ramirez K's on three pitches, third one swinging at a change up wild pitch. Lee takes second. Ramirez stands there, sort of looks at it, starts running to first a bit, then stops. No need to run in that situation, Rammy.
- Floyd lines out to right field on a well hit ball. Lee has to hold at second
- Derosa up with two outs and a RISP.
- Derosa walks.
- 3-0 on Soto. Webb suddenly laboring.
- Walk on four pitches
- It's certainly not conventional, but why not pinch hit for Theriot here with Ward? I mean, we did put Cedeno on the roster for a reason....
- Strike one to Theriot.
- 1-1 count, Theriot hits a chopper deep into the SS hole. Drew comes up with it, keeping a second run from scoring, but everyone is safe. Bases still loaded, 1-1, Z up with 2 outs.
- Z strikes out swinging. Don' t hurt yourself, Z.
- Z K's Young looking.
- Marmol up.
- Drew singles to left, nice swing on an outside fastball.
- Byrnes pops to Floyd in shallow right.
- Clark rolls to Theriot. Z. with 84 pitches through 6, a walk and 8 K. Webb at 79 pitches.
- Looks like Z is being taken out after 6. Remember, the plan is for him to come back on three days rest, he's pitching in Arizona and has the cramp history.
- Soriano grounds back to Webb. Pretty weak night for Soriano
- Jones grounds to Clark, unassisted
- Lee K's swinging at a pitch in the dirt. More incredible downward movement. Throws the bat away, then realize the ball has gotten further away than the bat, and jogs to first. Still out.
- Marmol's first pitch to Reynolds: 95 on the outside corner.
- Next two, however, are way, way outside.
- Reynolds hits the 2-1 pitch way out to left. Solo HR on a fastball over the plate.
- Ouch, that hurts. 2-1 D-backs.
- Salazar K's looking.
- Snyder walks. Marmol is leaving a lot of pitches way outside to the right-handers. Mostly his breaking stuff, I think.
- Ojeda up, and Conor Jackson comes on deck to hit for Webb, should Ojeda keep the inning alive.
- Augie F'ing Ojeda doubles down the line in Right. Floyd manages to hobble over to cut it off before it gets to the wall, and throw it back in, keeping Snyder at third. He looked really gimpy doing it, but major credit to Floyd getting his decrepit body over to that ball.
- Jackson in to hit for Webb.
- Jackson flies to Center. Jones makes a surprisingly strong, accurate throw to home, but Snyder still scores. 3-1.
- Upton K's on a check-swing.
- Brandon Lyon in to face Ramirez
- Again, Ramirez flies to the warning track in right.
- Floyd flies to the warning track in right, as well.
- Derosa hits a shallow grounder to third, Reynolds makes a nice charging play. Lyon with a very fast and easy 8th.
- Howry in.
- Drew K's swinging at a low, 95 mph fastball.
- According to the radar gun and the audible hiss coming over the TV, sounds and looks like Howry has an extra mile or two per hour on the fastball. Byrnes K's flailing at one.
- Clark flies to Soriano
- Valverde in to face Soto, Theriot, and Howry. (Pinch-hitter)
- Soto flies to center. You can here him utter some one-syllable exclamation after he hits it.
- Theriot up. Again we get a strike one fastball from Valverde.
- There is some sort of neon circular sign that is flashing behind the plexiglass directly behind home plate. It appears to be some scout or some sort of thing. The umps catch it, and tell him to cut it out. Very weird. It almost made me think of the guy with the white hat who did the radar gun at Dodgers Stadium, except instead of a radar gun, it's a neon space death ray.
- Theriot K's swinging at an unhittable low-outside-corner fastball
- Ward in to pinch hit
- 3-0 to Ward. Soriano on deck represents the tying run. 3-1.
- Ball 4. Soriano, who's had a really feeble night, is the tying run.
- Cedeno runs for Ward
- Everyone in the building is shocked as Soriano takes a first pitch fastball for a strike
- Soriano with a good rip at a low fastball, fouls it over the home dugout. 0-2 count.
- Soriano bounces out, 6-4 force at second.
This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.
CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now.
LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.
RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.
AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).
I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):
* bats or throws left
# bats both
Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.
Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)
E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.
Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.
More on the Cub Way.
Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.
Send Soler down!
Awesome thanks AZ
Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.
Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!
given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.
i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.
Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?
He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.
My guess? Toronto.
PHIL: It seems as if Paniagua has always played 1B with the Cubs. At 6'2 and 180#, what is his frame like? String bean? Have you seen him bulk up? Where do you project him? Thanks.
Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?
Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.
Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.
Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.
While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.