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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  • They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?

    QuietMan 31 min 10 sec ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.

    What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.

    (All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)

    VirginiaPhil 31 min 48 sec ago view
  • Lester will probably be all right.

    I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.

    Seriously.

    VirginiaPhil 38 min 15 sec ago view
  • I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.

    billybucks 41 min 47 sec ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 45 min 23 sec ago view
  • He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.

    But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.

    billybucks 54 min 19 sec ago view
  • The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.

    VirginiaPhil 56 min 11 sec ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 1 hour 1 min ago view
  • QuietMan 1 hour 9 min ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 1 hour 29 min ago view
  • O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.

    The E-Man 2 hours 7 min ago view
  • Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 51 min ago view
  • I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 2 min ago view
  • You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.

    To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 3 min ago view
  • So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?

    The E-Man 3 hours 22 min ago view
  • First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!

    billybucks 11 hours 52 min ago view