Errors & Walks Doom Cubs in Maryvale

The Brewers took advantage of four errors and seven walks to defeat the Cubs 10-1 at Maryvale Baseball Complex Field #7 in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon in Phoenix.

While the main purpose of "Instructs" is to provide lots of coaches and instructors and a less-pressurized, more low-key environment that allows pitchers to work on a new pitch or on their secondary stuff and position players to try a new position, make adjustments as a hitter, or improve their baserunning, the fact is somedays the Cubs youngsters look better than they do on other days. And today was just not one of the good days.

18-year old Venezuelan RHP Larry Suarez got the start for the Cubs, and had an easy 1-2-3 1st inning with two strikeouts and a 3-1 ground out. But the big right-hander gave up three runs in the second on a lead-off first-pitch single, a walk (3-2 pitch just missed), and a line single to CF that was misplayed into a three-base error by Tony Campana, allowing all three runs to score (only one of the runs ended up being earned, however). Suarez actually looked OK, throwing an 88-91 MPH "heavy" two-seamer with an effective breaking ball and change. 

RHP Tommy Mejia (2008 NDFA out of Dominican College in New York) followed and didn't even last one inning. In fact, the only two outs he got were baserunners caught stealing by catcher Carlos Perez. Otherwise Mejia had a very poor outing (four consecutive hits).

2008 11th round pick RHP Toby Matchulat (Wabash Valley CC) wasn't much better, allowing three runs (one earned) on two singles and a walk mixed together with his own throwing error on a pick-off attempt at 1st base and a costly two-out fielding error by SS Carlos Morales (the first of two errors by the lanky Dominican infielder).
RHPs John Muller and Brian Schlitter (the former a converted college SS and the latter acquired from the Phillies last month for LHP Scott Eyre) and Daytona LHP Dustin Sasser then combined to throw four scoreless innings of one-hit relief, before converted OF (now LHP) Luke Sommer gave up two runs in the bottom of the 9th on two doubles and a triple. (Even though the Brewers were victorious in 8-1/2 innings, the game was extended one additional half-inning to allow Sommer to get his scheduled one inning of work). 

The Cubs scored their only run in the bottom of the 6th on a lead-off single by Carlos Perez, a one-out double to left center by Josh Harrison (2008 6th round pick out of the U. of Cincinnati), and an RBI sac fly to medium-deep RF by converted infielder (now catcher) Robinson Chirinos. 

Starlin Castro had three singles and a stolen base.

Brandon Guyer (who hit a HR in each of the Cubs first two games) had the day off.

And still no sign of 3B Josh Vitters and OF Dylan Johnston.

Here is the abridged box score (Cubs players only): 

1. Tony Campana, CF: 1-4 (K, CS)
2. Josh Harrison, LF: 2-4 (2 2B, SB, CS)
3. Robinson Chirinos, DH-C: 0-2 (SF-RBI, BB)
4. Jericho Jones, RF: 0-4 (K)
5. Michael Brenly, 1B: 0-2 (2 BB, K)
6. Jake Opitz, DH #2: 0-2 (2 BB)
7. Starlin Castro, 3B: 3-4 (SB)
8. Logan Watkins, 2B: 0-3 (BB)
9. Carlos Morales, SS: 0-3 (K)
10. Carlos Perez, C-DH: 1-3 (R)

1. Larry Suarez - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 2 K (2/2 GO/FO) - 33 pitches (17 strikes)
2. Tomy Mejia - 0.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K  - 23 pitches (13 strikes)
3. Toby Matchulat - 1.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP (1/2 GO/FO) - 19 pitches (11 strikes) 
4. John Muller - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K (1/1 GO/FO) - 24 pitches (11 strikes)
5. Brian Schlitter - 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K (0/1 GO/FO) - 31 pitches (19 strikes) 
6. Dustin Sasser - 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (1/1 GO/FO) - 16 pitches (10 strikes)
7. Luke Sommer - 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K (0/2 GO/FO) - 17 pitches (13 strikes)

1. Tony Campana, E-8, overran line drive single to CF allowing batter to run all the way around the bases and score (three-base error)
2. Toby Matchulat, E-1, overthrew pickoff attempt at 1st base, allowing runner to advance to 2nd base
3. Carlos Morales, E-6, fielding error with two outs allowed batter to reach base & runners to score from 2nd and 3rd
4. Carlos Morales, E-6, misplayed ground ball allowing batter to reach base

Carlos Perez: 2-3 CS
Robinson Chirinos: 1-1 CS

LF Josh Harrison, threw out batter-runner 7-4 trying to stretch a single into a double 

WEATHER: 100+ again, occasionally breezy, but mainly just plain very hot 

ATTENDANCE: 16 (mostly scouts) 


Thanks, AZ Phil!

Any thoughts on the kids from the DSL who are up for the first time? Carlos Morales had some nice numbers in the DSL (except for the 35 errors!). Any gems in there?

Again, thanks. Love the reports!

I guess the trainer stays quite busy at Fitch. I heard they shut down Dylan Jonston & Nelson Perez for the rest of instructionals.Perez is having hernia surgery. Johnston has hamstring issues. Jericho Jones is being limited to DH'ing, as he is rehabbing his throwing shoulder (tired arm as a result of being a weekend starter in college and also playing the outfield in the second game of the doubleheaders that he was the starting pitcher for the first game)The scouts knew he had a "80" scale arm in college with a 90-92 fastball but when he showed up to Mesa, his tired arm was about a "30".So Jericho never got to showcase his strong arm in the outfield yet, but will when spring training rolls around. Josh Vitters has been ill and they're suspecting mono....hope not.They are down to 2 outfielders (Campana & Guyer) so they're trying to put some infielders out there to fill in.

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  • 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.

    The E-Man 7 hours 33 min ago view
  • Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.

    billybucks 8 hours 49 min ago view
  • Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.

    billybucks 9 hours 32 min ago view
  • 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!

    billybucks 9 hours 33 min ago view
  • Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.

    billybucks 9 hours 35 min ago view
  • Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.

    Jackstraw 9 hours 38 min ago view
  • 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.

    billybucks 9 hours 38 min ago view
  • Baez still learning

    jacos 10 hours 6 min ago view
  • 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.

    crunch 11 hours 10 min ago view
  • 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.

    crunch 12 hours 16 min ago view
  • brock stewart...steven times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.

    crunch 13 hours 5 min ago view
  • 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.

    VirginiaPhil 17 hours 35 min ago view
  • 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.

    Rob G. 1 day 8 hours ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #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

    Rob G. 1 day 8 hours ago view

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled 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.

    Rob G. 1 day 8 hours ago view
  • great defense

    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.

    Rob G. 1 day 9 hours ago view