Giant Nine Spot Crushes Cubs
Matt Downs clubbed a grand slam home run to cap a nine-run 2nd inning, and the Giants coasted to a 9-4 victory over the Cubs in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.
18-year old Venezuelan RHP Larry Suarez got the start for the Cubs today, and just like last time, had an easy 1-2-3 1st inning before struggling in his second inning of work.
The big right-hander allowed five runs on three hits and two walks in the top of the 2nd, and while his stuff was good (heavy sinker and a "plus" breaking ball), the big right-hander struggled with his mechanics, as he had a lot of trouble throwing strikes.
2008 11th round pick RHP Toby Matchulat (Wabash Valley CC) relieved Suarez with one out in the 2nd inning, and proceeded to surrender two bases-loaded walks and the grand slam to Downs. Matchulat had even more difficulty finding home plate than did Suarez.
Tarlandus Mitchell (two innings) and Erik Hamren, Jayson Ruhlman, Brian Schlitter, and Steve Vento (one inning each) threw six innings of one-hit shutout relief, but by then it was too late. Schlitter returned to the mound looking none the worse for wear, after getting struck flush on the shin by a line drive last week.
On offense, the Cubs scored a run in the bottom of the 1st, as speedy lead-off hitter Tony Campana worked a walk, stole second, advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch, and scored on a Josh Vitters RBI ground out.
The Cubs plated three more runs in the 4th on doubles by Vitters and Robinson Chirinos, a walk, two wild pitches, and a two-out RBI single by Junior Lake.
Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Tony Campana, CF: 1-2 (R, 2 BB, SB, CS)
2. Josh Harrison, 2B: 0-3 (BB, K, 2 SB)
3. Josh Vitters, 3B: 1-4 (2B, R, RBI)
4. Brandon Guyer, RF: 1-4 (2 K)
5. Robinson Chirinos, C-DH: 1-4 (2B, R, RBI, K)
6. Jericho Jones, DH #1: 1-3 (R, 2B, BB, K)
7. Jake Opitz, 1B: 1-3 (2B)
8. Junior Lake, SS: 1-3 (RBI)
9. Carlos Morales, LF: 0-3 (2 K)
10. Carlos Perez, DH-C: 1-3
1. Larry Suarez - 1.1 IP, 3 H, 5 R (5 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP (1/1 GO/F/O) - 31 pitches (15 strikes)
2. Toby Matchulat - 1.2 IP, 1 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HR (3/2 GO/FO) - 30 pitches (13 strikes)
3. Tarlandus Mitchell - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K (1/3 GO/FO) - 39 pitches (25 strikes)
4. Erik Hamren - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP (1/1 GO/FO) - 17 pitches (9 strikes)
5. Jayson Ruhlman - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (0/1 GO/FO) - 11 pitches (9 strikes)
6. Brian Schlitter - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (1/2 GO/FO) - 15 pitches (9 strikes)
7. Steve Vento - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (1/1 GO/FO) - 17 pitches (8 strikes)
1. Toby Matchulat, E-1, fumbled dribbler hit in front of pitcher's mound allowing batter to reach base;
2. Junior Lake, E-6, two base overthrow at 1st base allowing batter to reach 2nd base.
Robinson Chirinos: 1-1 CS
WEATHER: Hot but VERY breezy
ATTENDANCE: 60+ (MLB Scout School Day)