Giant Bats Quiet Cubs at Fitch Park
Tommy Joseph cracked a two-run home run to lead the Giants to a 12-1 drubbing of the Cubs in AZ Instructional League action at Fitch Park Field #1 in Mesa this afternoon. (Field #3 remains unplayable in the aftermath of the torrential rain and flash flood that hit Mesa Tuesday afternoon).
18-year old Korean bonus baby Jin-Yeong Kim got the start for the Cubs today, and was “lights out” through the first two innings, retiring the side in order in both innings, and striking out the side in the 2nd. But the youngster hit a wall in the top of the 3rd, walking the lead-off hitter on four pitches before allowing two singles and a double that ended his day. Kim also suffered some type of right leg injury while backing up 3rd base just before he was relieved, and was last seen limping to the Cubs bench before getting a ride to the clubhouse on a golf cart. Whether it was a groin, quad, knee, or ankle, I don’t know, but I have a feeling we have seen the last of Kim until next March.
2B Logan Watkins had to leave the game after colliding with RF Xavier Batista while going after a pop fly in short right in the top of the 5th. Watkins initially remained in the game and he did take his AB in the bottom of the inning, but then he was sent to the clubhouse for further evaluation. Hopefully he did not sustain a concussion, but it was a fairly violent collision (X. Batista is a big dude), and Watkins did lay motionless for a few seconds afterward.
Because Marco Hernandez and Gioskar Amaya had morning workouts and were not dressed for the game, and with Pin-Chieh Chen out with a rib injury and Wes Darvill having been sent home, 3B Willson Contreras was moved over to 2B for the final four innings. A converted catcher, Contreras had not previously played 2B in his pro career, but he handled his only two chances flawlessly.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1a. Evan Crawford, RF: 2-3 (1B, 5-3, 3B, R)
1b. Engel Santana, C: 0-1 (4-3)
2. Hak-Ju Lee, SS: 1-2 (BB, 1B, 4-3, RBI, SB)
3. Sergio Burruel, C-DH: 0-1 (4-6-3 GIDP, BB, BB)
4. Justin Bour, 1B: 0-3 (F-7, 6-4-3 GIDP, 6-4-3 GIDP)
5. Xavier Batista, DH-RF: 0-3 (F-9, K, P-3)
6a. Logan Watkins, 2B: 0-2 (4-3, 4-3)
6b. Dustin Geiger, 3B: 0-1 (F-9)
7. Micah Gibbs, DH #2: 0-3 (4-3, 3-U, K)
8. Reggie Golden, CF: 1-3 (P-4, 1B, K, CS)
9. Chris Huseby, LF: 0-3 (K, F-9, K)
10a. Willson Contreras, 3B-2B: 0-2 (6-3, L-7)
10b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED 3rd TIME THRU ORDER
1. Jin-Yeong Kim: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 37 pitches (27 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
2. Jhon Rodriguez: 2.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 2 HBP, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 46 pitches (30 strikes), 6/1 GO/FO
3. Tarlandus Mitchell: 2.1 IP, 0 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 BALK, 43 pitches (23 strikes), 5/0 GO/FO
4. Ryan Hartman: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 11 pitches (8 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
5. Amaury Paulino: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 21 pitches (14 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
2B Logan Watkins E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base and unearned run to score from 2nd base)
ATTENDANCE: 16 (mostly scouts)
WEATHER: Sunny and a bit breezy with temperatures in the 80’s
My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.
Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.
Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.
How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?
Call me lost.
Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.
I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:
Carl Crawford $20MM
Brandon McCarthy $17MM
Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
Darwin B $2.2MM
Dan Haren $10MM
Matt Kemp $18MM
Brian Wilson $10MM
Ryan Webb $2.2MM
Dee Gordon $2.5MM
So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.
And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):
i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.
there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.
I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.
O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already.
I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.
I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.
Enjoyable read on David Ross.
Er, they won the first one. My bad. Carry on.
With last night's win in Pittsburgh, the Cubs have tied the Pirates with 98 wins, and are only 2-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. No reason why the Cubs can't finish the post-season with the best winning percentage in baseball (regular season & post-season combined).
BOB: I doubt very much that Matt Szczur will be on the Cubs LDS roster.
If he wasn't on the Wild Card roster (when the Cubs went with 15 position players), he won't be on the LDS roster (when the Cubs will go with 13 or 14 position players).
As it is, at least one of the three RH hitting outfielders who were on the Cubs WC roster (Denorfia, Jackson, and Soler) could get bumped off the LDS roster (probably Soler).
I want my baseball team to win by playing better baseball. I don't want umps, fields, or fans to have anything to do with it.