Cubs Punch-Out Giants in Scottsdale
Brandon Guyer had two hits and two RBI, Justin Bour had two hits and three RBI, Kyler Burke reached base four times on two doubles, a single, and a walk, and five Cubs pitchers threw a combined four-hitter with 14 strikeouts, as the Cubs defeated the Giants 6-2 in AZ Instructional League action at Indian School Park Field #2 in Scottsdale this afternoon.
The Cubs scored three in the 1st and three in the 3rd.
Brett Jackson led off the game with a walk and stole second, and D. J. LeMahieu also drew a walk. Then the runners were moved up to 2nd and 3rd on a Ryan Flaherty sacrifice bunt, before Brandon Guyer lined an RBI single to RF, scoring Jackson, with LeMahieu holding at 3rd. Guyer then stole 2nd, and Kyler Burke walked to load the bases. Michael Brenly popped up to short center for the second out, but then Justin Bour rapped a two-run single to CF, scoring LeMahieu and Guyer.
With the Cubs lead narrowed to 3-2, LeMahieu singled with one out in the 3rd, and advanced to 3rd base on a WP and a ground out, before Guyer drove him in with a two-out RBI single. Burke and Brenly followed with singles (Brenly's hit knocked-in Guyer), and then Justin Bour reached base on an RBI infield single, scoring Burke.
RHP Thomas Diamond got the start for the Cubs, and struggled with his command (39 pitches, only 19 strikes in just two innings of work). Diamond actually had an easy 1-2-3 1st inning, but then couldn't find the plate in the bottom of the 2nd, walking two batters, and both runners came around to score on an RBI single.
RHP Alberto Cabrera worked innings 3-4-5, and was virtually unhittable (just one hit allowed, and four strikeouts), although he did walk three.
21-year old LHP (and ex-OF) Drew Rundle made his debut as a pitcher in the bottom of the 6th, and he looked like The Natural, throwing a 1-2-3 inning (L-3, Ks, F-8), and doing it on only nine pitches (six strikes).
Rundle was the Cubs 14th round draft pick out of Bend HS - Bend, OR in 2006, getting $500,000 ("3rd round money") to give up a chance to play college baseball at the University of Arizona. (2006 was the year the Cubs had no picks in rounds 2-3-4, and so they had extra cash available to select players with "signability" issues in lower rounds, paying "over-slot" bonuses to Jeff Samardzija, Cliff Andersen, Chris Huseby, Kevin Kreier, Nate Samson, and Rundle).
An athletic defender with a plus-arm, above-average speed, and occasional power, Rundle was a patient hitter who never really developed, striking out 258 times in just 941 PA, while hitting a combined 227/338/380 with 16 HR, 55 2B, 9 3B, and 21 SB (16 CS) in 278 games played over four seasons.
Prior to Instructs, Rundle hadn't pitched since his junior year in HS,
Eduardo Figueroa worked the 7th and 8th innings, allowing two harmless singles while striking out five, and Corey Martin had a "rocking-chair" five-pitch 1-2-3 9th (two 1-3 come-backers to the mound and a line-drive to left).
Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Brett Jackson, CF: 0-3 (BB, F-8, 4-3, F-8), R, SB
2. D. J. LeMahieu, SS: 1-3 (BB, 1B, 4-3, 4-3), 2 R
3. Ryan Flaherty, 2B: 0-3 (1-3 SH, 4-3, K, F-8)
4. Brandon Guyer, LF: 2-4 (1B, 1B, L-8, K), 2 R, 2 RBI, SB
5. Kyler Burke, RF: 3-3 (BB, 1B, 2B, 2B), R, PO
6a. Michael Brenly, C-DH: 1-3 (P-9, 1B, F-9), RBI
6b. Rebel Ridling, PH: 0-1 (K)
7. Justin Bour, 1B: 2-4 (1B, 1B, F-8, F-9), 3 RBI
8. Matt Cerda, 3B: 1-3 (2B, P-5, 4-3), CS
9. Jovan Rosa, DH-C: 0-3 (K, 6-3, K)
10. Richard Jones, DH #2: 0-3 (4-3, F-9, K)
1. Thomas Diamond - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 4 K, 2/0 GO/FO, 39 pitches (19 strikes)
2. Alberto Cabrera - 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 GIDP, 2/3 GO/FO, 51 pitches (29 strikes)
3. Drew Rundle - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/FO, 9 pitches (6 strikes)
4. Eduardo Figueroa - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 35 pitches (26 strikes)
5. Corey Martin - 1.0 IP - 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 5 pitches (4 strikes)
1. D. J. LeMahieu (E-6) - bobbled ground ball at SS allowing batter to reach base
2. Matt Cerda (E-5) - overthrow at 1st base allowed batter to reach base safely
1. Michael Brenly - 0-3 CS
2. Jovan Rosa - 0-1 CS
WEATHER: 80's & mostly sunny
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.
If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.
If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.
Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.
The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.