Angels Bedevil Cubs at Diablo
The Angels shutout the Cubs 2-0 in AZ Instructional League action at Angels Minor League Complex Field #3 at Diablo Park in Tempe this afternoon.
While the Cubs hitters looked like they needed a wake-up call, four of the five Cubs pitchers threw the ball very well.
19-year old Dominican RHP Alberto Cabrera (2008 sore shoulder) got the start and looked very sharp over his two innings of work, throwing a four-seam heater together with an outstanding slider and change-up. When healthy, Cabrera is the Cubs best Dominican pitching prospect .
Mexican RHP Oswaldo Martinez (who celebrated his 20th birthday yesterday) followed and he was also sharp over his two innings (although he appeared to tire a bit at pitch #22), and then RHP Tarlandus Mitchell (2008 22nd round draft pick out of Alto HS - Alto, TX) had an easy eight-pitch 5th inning that he topped-off with a knee buckling curve that frroze an Angels hitter for an inning-ending "strike three called."
Ex-OF RHP Andres Quezada (up at Instructs from the DSL) had an easy bottom of the 6th, but then began to struggle in the bottom of the 7th before totally losing control right around pitch #24, at which point he threw two four-pitch walks and a wild pitch, committed a balk, and hit a batter. Quezada played OF for the AZL Cubs in 2007 before being converted to a RHP at Extended Spring Training at Fitch Park this past April.
DSL Cubs RHP Diego Encarnacion made his U. S. debut in relief of Quezada, and retired all four men he faced (5-3, P-4, P-5, and Kc) on just 11 pitches. Nothing special about Encarnacion, but there is certainly nothing wrong with a young pitcher making his first appearance in the U. S. who comes out throwing strikes.
The Cubs had a scare when CF Tony Campana (2008 13th round pick out of the U. of Cincinnati) and RF Brandon Guyer (the team's best player) collided going after a pop up in right-center on Alberto Cabrera's very first pitch in the bottom of the 1st inning (Campana and Guyer are both normally centerfielders, so that might be why neither backed-off). The ball fell for a triple, and Guyer and Campana both lay motionless on the field for a minute or two before regaining their bearings. But both players did stay in the game, and Campana even threw the runner out at the plate two batters later!
Not much to report offensively for the Cubs other than a Brandon Guyer 5th inning triple (near HR) off the right-center field fence, a beautiful bunt single by Starlin Castro, and a Tony Campana infield hit where the hyperactive lead-off man beat-out a routine ground ball to SS (Campana can REALLY fly, folks!).
Here is the abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Tony Campana, CF: 1-4 (K)
2. Josh Harrison, 2B: 0-4
3. Robinson Chirinos, C-DH: 0-3 (BB)
4. Brandon Guyer, RF: 1-3 (3B, K)
5. Rebel Ridling, 1B: 1-2 (BB)
6. Starlin Castro, 3B: 1-3 (K, GIDP)
7. Junior Lake, SS: 0-3
8. Carlos Perez, DH-C: 1-2 (BB)
9. Jericho Jones, DH #2: 0-3 (GIDP)
10. Carlos Morales, LF: 0-3 (2 K)
1. Alberto Cabrera - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (0/3 GO/FO) - 23 pitches (16 strikes)
2. Oswaldo Martinez - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K (2/1 GO/FO) - 29 pitches (19 strikes)
3. Tarlandus Mitchell - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 BALK (1/1 GO/FO) - 8 pitches (7 strikes)
4. Andres Quezada - 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 1 BALK (1/3 GO/FO) - 32 pitches (14 strikes)
5. Diego Encarnacion - 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (1/2 GO/FO) - 11 pitches (8 strikes)
1. Tarlandus Mitchell, E-1, overthrew 2nd base on pick-off attempt allowing runner to advance to 3rd base
2. Andres Quezada, E-1, overthrew 2nd base on pick-off attempt allowing runner to advance to 3rd base
Carlos Perez: 1-1 CS
Tony Campana threw out runner 8-2 trying to score from 3rd base on fly ball hit to medium-deep CF
WEATHER: 100+, hot & breezy
ATTENDANCE: 17 (mostly scouts)
I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:
Carl Crawford $20MM
Brandon McCarthy $17MM
Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
Darwin B $2.2MM
Dan Haren $10MM
Matt Kemp $18MM
Brian Wilson $10MM
Ryan Webb $2.2MM
Dee Gordon $2.5MM
So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.
And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):
i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.
there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.
I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.
O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already.
I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.
I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.
Enjoyable read on David Ross.
Er, they won the first one. My bad. Carry on.
With last night's win in Pittsburgh, the Cubs have tied the Pirates with 98 wins, and are only 2-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. No reason why the Cubs can't finish the post-season with the best winning percentage in baseball (regular season & post-season combined).
BOB: I doubt very much that Matt Szczur will be on the Cubs LDS roster.
If he wasn't on the Wild Card roster (when the Cubs went with 15 position players), he won't be on the LDS roster (when the Cubs will go with 13 or 14 position players).
As it is, at least one of the three RH hitting outfielders who were on the Cubs WC roster (Denorfia, Jackson, and Soler) could get bumped off the LDS roster (probably Soler).
I want my baseball team to win by playing better baseball. I don't want umps, fields, or fans to have anything to do with it.
Just with the chanting thing it worked to rattle Cueto last year where he dropped a ball and gave up a HR next pitch so you can't really hate on the fans for trying it again in this important of a game.
I felt the same way, too, but...
I was very disappointed with Pittsburgh fans. At Wrigley a few weeks ago, they were very obnoxious guests, the cockiness on Twitter, and what's the deal with chanting Arrieta's name during the game? Very bush league. Add that up with Rodriguez's poor sportsmanship and you quickly have a team that you don't mind beating 4-0 in a do or die game.
Absolutely-It was tense. And when the Pirates couldn't push any runs across, you could see the frustration boil over.
I meant December.