Cubs Offense Tied in Nots at Papago Park
The A’s scored two runs in the bottom of the 7th to overcome a 2-0 deficit, and then neither team could plate another run, as the Cubs and the A’s Split Squad #1 played to a 2-2 tie in AZ Instructional League action at Papago Park Field #2 in Phoenix this afternoon.
The Cubs managed only two hits off A’s pitchers today, a Jae-Hoon Ha infield single with one out in the top of the 2nd, and a lead-off bunt single by Marco Hernandez in the top of the 9th. Ha’s hit led to the Cubs scoring their two runs, as the daring young Korean CF stole 2nd base, and then scored when Willson Contreras reached base on an E-5. Ha never stopped as he rounded third, scoring in a cloud of dust in a bang-bang play at the plate while Reggie Golden—who had reached on an HBP after Ha stole 2nd--advanced to third on the play at the plate, before scoring the second run of the inning when the A’s catcher rifled a throw into the LF corner trying to nab Golden at 3rd.
The Cubs pitching highlight of the day was RHP (ex-catcher) Alvaro Sosa working out of a bases-loaded & no outs jam in the bottom of the 3rd inning, getting two clutch strikeouts and a 5-4 FC to preserve what was at that time a 2-0 Cubs lead.
The Cubs maintained their 2-0 lead going into the bottom of the 7th, but 19-year old LHP Hunter Ackerman (Cubs 2010 4th round pick out of Louisburg JC) surrendered two doubles and a single (and the lead), as the A’s plated the tying runs. Ackerman has racked-up a 10.29 ERA and 2.57 WHIP so far in AZ Instructional League play, after putting up an 8.22 ERA and 2.02 WHIP for the AZL Cubs this past summer.
While the Cubs and A’s were kissing their sisters at the Papago Baseball Complex, the Mesa Solar Sox opened Arizona Fall League (AFL) play with an 8-3 victory over the Phoenix Desert Dogs one mile south at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. The Solar Sox are an amalgam of five MLB clubs, with the Cubs, Angels, Mets, Pirates, and Phillies each contributing seven prospects to the Mesa roster. Cubs assigned to the Solar Sox this year include RHPs David Cales, Chris Carpenter, Jake Muyco, and Kyle Smit, 3B-1B Josh Vitters, INF Ryan Flaherty, and OF Brett Jackson. None of the Cubs players assigned to the Solar Sox played in today’s game.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only) from the AZ Instructional League game played at Papago Park:
1a. Hak-Ju Lee, SS: 0-3 (K, 6-3, P-1)
1b. Marco Hernandez, SS: 1-1 (1B)
2a. Logan Watkins, 2B: 0-3 (5-3, 2-U, K)
2b. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 0-1 (L-6)
3a. Sergio Burruel, C: 0-3 (K, 6-3, E3)
3b. Engel Santana, C: 0-1 (L-8)
4. Ryan Cuneo, 1B: 0-3 (3-U, K, HBP, P-4)
5. Jae-Hoon Ha, CF-DH: 1-3 (1B, 6-3, K, R, SB)
6. Reggie Golden, DH-CF: 0-2 (HBP, 1-3, 4-6 FC, R)
7. Willson Contreras, 3B: 0-3 (E5, 6-3, K)
8. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-3 (6-3, K, E5)
9. Delbis Arcila, LF: 0-3 (K, K, K)
10. Oliver Zapata, DH #2: 0-3 (K, K, F-7)
1. Alvaro Sosa: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 48 pitches (31 strikes), 4/3 GO/FO
2. Tarlandus Mitchell: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 30 pitches (19 strikes), 4/1 GO/FO
3. Hunter Ackerman: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 24 pitches (13 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4. Charles Thomas: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 21 pitches (10 strikes), 1/4 GO/FO
5. Austin Reed: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 12 pitches (8 strikes)
Sergio Burruel: 1-1 CS
Engel Santana: 1 PB
ATTENDANCE: 20 (mostly scouts)
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy, with temperatures in the 90’s
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.
a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...
it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...
Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.
Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.
Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.
soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.
he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.
j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.
so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.
im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.
That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.