Cubs Pitchers Smoke Out the Tribe

Three Cub pitchers combined to throw a four-hit shutout with 14 strikeouts, as the AZL Cubs celebrated the 4th of July with a 2-0 blanking of the AZL Indians in Arizona League action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa tonight.  



box score


20-year old Dominican RHP Luis Liria got the start for the Cubs and threw four shutout innings (60 pitches - 37 strikes), allowing three singles and a walk, while striking out six. In three GS (12.2 IP) so far for the AZL Cubs, Liria has 17 strikeouts, good for 5th in the league. Liria pitched well in Extended Spring Training, too, although he did suffer from occasional control lapses.


6'5 Australian LHP Cody Hams followed Liria to the mound, and retired all nine men he faced. The 20-year old Hams missed most of Extended Spring Training with a sore back after trying to perfect a new sidearm delivery, but he has pitched very well in three AZL relief outings so far (1.42 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP in 6.1 IP) after returning to a more conventional arm-slot. Hams is the former star cricket player (bowler) who paid his own way to the MLB Australian Academy in 2007 after a friend told him he should try playing baseball. And the second baseball game he ever saw in his life was one where he was the pitcher!  The Cubs signed him to a reported $150K bonus in 2008 (the highest signing bonus any Australian signed by he Cubs has received so far), and he has spent the past three seasons at Fitch Park learning the finer points of pitching. He is (or was) the definition of a "blank slate."


RHP Alvido Jimenez pitched the final two innings and notched the save, allowing a hit and a walk while strikng out five. (He struck out the side in the 9th after surrendering a lead-off triple). Jimenez was used as both a starter and a reliever as a 17-year old last season in the DSL, but he has been working exclusively out of the bullpen in both Extended Spring Training and AZL games this year.   


While Cubs pitchers were mowing-down the Tribe, Cubs hitters provided just enough offense to nail-down the victory.


The Cubs scored their first run in the bottom of the 2nd when Cody Shields reached base on a one-out bunt single down the 3rd base line, and then after Xavier Batista hit into a FC, Albert Hernandez directed a picture-perfect hit & run single right where the 2nd baseman had been a second earlier, and X. Batista (who never stopped running) came all the way around to score from 1st base. 


The Cubs picked-up an insurance run in the 6th, as Ryan Cuneo (2010 20th round draft pick out of the U. of Delaware) continued his torrid hitting by ripping a lead-off double off the RF fence, before scoring on a two-out line single to left by Cody Shields. Cuneo is hitting 356/408/600 in 11 AZL games, and is 5th in the league in SLG %. If he keeps hitting the ball the way he has so far, it shouldn't be too long before Cuneo gets his Letter of Transit out of Casablanca. 

Comments

at least someone got to see some good cubs baseball.

t shouldn't be too long before Cuneo gets his Letter of Transit out of Casablanca.
---
Arizona Rick: "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. "

Side Note:

An article in on floridatoday.com (found by reader of BleedCubbieBlue) has Dustin Geiger reporting to Mesa to play for AZL Cubs this weekend. It says he signed recently instead of playing for UCF. We must have ponied up the cash a bit to get the...

"Florida Today's 2010 High School Player of the Year... Played 3B in HS and wants to stay there, but is projected as a RF in pro ball... Has plus-arm, also was part-time closer... Hit .534 with 7 HR and 33 RBI his senior year at MIHS... Has summer job at Outback Steakhouse, so he could be used as a translator for Cubs Australian players at Fitch Park... Signed NLI with University of Central Florida and has strong commitment to attend UCF"

AZ Phil, let us know if he reports and if so what he looks like.

Thanks

Removed my comment. I'll replace it with...

Another thanks to AZ Phil for all his efforts.

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  • chased a high fastball...

    I think his BABIP during his run has been around .950

    Rob G. 13 min 8 sec ago view
  • Great stuff CubbyBlue!!! I think it inspired today's six spot as well.

    Eric S 16 min 41 sec ago view
  • That's all fine and good, but I think it's short-changing the Arrieta-like affect of his beard

    Eric S 20 min 31 sec ago view
  • Was the error scored on Zobrist's third ab ruled correctly? Ron was saying that it was a pretty tough chance for the fielder

    Eric S 29 min 24 sec ago view
  • Did anybody see that Zobrist strikeout?

    That was extremely disappointing.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 5 min ago view
  • Strangest win of the year, and one of the sweetest. Twice I thought it was easily in the bag, then after the first 2 hitters in the 9th I thought all was lost. Big game for Grimm, Strop & Rondon. But, man, those Cards can hit for power.

    billybucks 2 hours 41 min ago view
  • Very satisfying, gut-check win today. The beers on the trip back to Chicago are going to taste fantastic.

    Eric S 2 hours 57 min ago view
  • It's still very early but this game felt very important to me and probably knocked 2 years off my life. Seemed like every inning was big.

    johann 3 hours 43 min ago view
  • Yes then they moved him two spot then not so much, back batting 7th

    jacos 3 hours 43 min ago view
  • This is the exact game that the Cubs would have lost in years past to the Cardinals.

    The E-Man 3 hours 44 min ago view
  • Arrieta starting. Leads of 6-1 and 9-4. You don't expect to have such a sense of relief when they win.

    Brick 3 hours 45 min ago view
  • phew

    Rob G. 3 hours 45 min ago view
  • At least the end result was worth the wait.

    Rob Richardson 3 hours 45 min ago view
  • I guess he's better than what they've had. He started out like the Babe there.

    The E-Man 3 hours 54 min ago view
  • Fair enough, but Castro isn't really very good.

    Rob Richardson 4 hours 14 min ago view
  • I can just hear Pat Hughes chortling "typical Cubs-Cards game..."

    JoePepitone 4 hours 17 min ago view