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)
Mama Schwarber wants to have a word with you.
Mrs Fowler would like a word with you.
It seems to be blowing a bit out to right but far less than yesterday and much cooler so shouldn't be too much of an effect.
Only one of our hrs last night was out because of the wind though I think.
Which direction is wind blowing today? With Lackey a groundball pitcher, it might help Cubs if it is blowing in today and a 2-1 game instead of a 10-6 game.
I have convinced myself that Hammel's second half struggles were due to minor injuries and fatigue so with the extra rest he is going to be lights out.
Benji Molina is out of lineup
Yes. Unfortunately, as many of us, I have seen this movie before. Do not care for Hammel, and unlike other managers Joe will pull the plug quickly at least. I hope before things were to get out of hand.
Many of us are like "abused spouses" or whatever - with this Cubs stuff. You get hurt so many times, the trust rapidly erodes.
If the Cubs can get to Lackey early, its gonna be a big key to a W or L.
No idea what will happen. The Cards are the Cards and they have come back from 2-1 holes twice in the last 4 years, so I don't see them in panic mode at all. If anything, I expect the Cubs to be pressing more than the Cards today.
I want the Cubs to win because it would be great for the city, and great for the fans. But more than anything, I want the Cubs to win so I can see this team play for at least one more week this year. Never enjoyed watching a team more than this year.
Just to remember how far we have come: last year's opening day lineup was Bonifacio, Lake, Castro, Rizzo, Olt, Castillo, Schierholz, Barney, and Samardzija. It's been a fun ride this year!
BRADSBEARD: I haven't noticed any new rule or a change in the interpretation of an existing rule happening in Advanced Instructs, I don't know what rules will be tested in the AFL, although almost all recent rule changes and new interpretations of existing rules (the home plate collision rule, replay, time clock between innings, et al) do get their start in the AFL.
AZ Phil: I've heard that the AFL will be testing out a new force out rule that would affect break-up plays (like the Utley play). Have you heard anything about this new rule and any details about it? Are they testing it out at the advanced instructs as well?
Pretty sure I already know the answer to this, but since I will be in NYC next week I want to confirm... If the Cubs were to advance to the NLCS, the winner of LAD/NYM would have home field based on being a division winner (as opposed to Cubs by virtue of better record), correct?
CUBSTER: This "hammy" is on the other leg I heard last night. See you at the ballyard today young man!
Oh what do you know, Cubster? Go back to your day job.
--- Ducks, puts on Cardinals cap, runs.