Zephyrs' Montz Drills Wells Deep
There was a big, bad moon rising tonight over Principal Park about the time New Orleans' Luke Montz boomed a Randy Wells s(t)inker through the teeth of the brisk zephyr blowing in off the Des Moines River to break a 1-1 tie and launch the visitors to a 7-3 series-evening win.
Wells actually lowered his Iowa ERA to 8.38 while allowing three runs in his rather ordinary five inning stint. He was touched for seven hits and walked two while needing 91 pitches to labor through his outing. Only once did he retire the side in order. He did score a run after drawing a walk himself before Anthony RBIzo doubled him home to put the I-Cubs in front in the bottom of the third.
Rizzo had fanned on three straight breaking balls in the first. The first pitch to him in the third was another one which he pulled sharply foul. On the fifth straight one he saw he stayed back and lined it just fair inside the line at third.
Brett Jackson was back in the lineup tonight and led off in the bottom of the first with a ringing double over the left fielder's head but then proceeded to strike out in his next four trips.
Daniel Berlind relieved Wells in the sixth and made his Iowa debut. He's lanky and throws hard from a preying mantis type posture. When he retired the first hitter he faced on a pop fly I sat up and took notice. Then the next five batters went walk, walk, double, single, double and Berlind took his 108.00 ERA into the showers. Succeeding him, Manny Corpas, Esmailin Caridad and Scott Maine all had scoreless lines. Corpas throws his overhand fastball about 90 and his sidearm one about 85. Tonight he mixed them effectively and retired all five batters he faced, two on strikes. Maine looks good every time I see him. As Cubster has noted, I think he's good enough to pitch out of a bullpen as shambled as Chicago's.
Not much else to report except that Rizzo, who has made six errors already at first, looks very good there to me. Tonight he made one particularly sparkling play and almost made another when a screamer glanced off his glove as he leaped to spear it. I've seen half a dozen games but only one of his miscues when he muffed an underhanded scoop to a pitcher covering the bag.
Travis Wood was to have started tonight until he was summoned as Garza's understudy for tomorrow's rubber match with the resurgent Dodgers.
Oh, one other thing. I scored tickets today for the Springsteen gig at Wrigley on September 8. We go back to his show at the University of Iowa 37 years ago when I was matriculating there. He may have lost a step but we'll see if he beats Brett Jackson to center field at The Friendly Confines. I'm not trying to put pictures in Tim's pen but I'd like to see what he could do with this scenario.
trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.
eric leal's (high-A) progression through the minors should be worth watching even if only projects to be an mid/end-rotation starter.
we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).
As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.
I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.
Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.
Wow - Pierce Johnson with an ERA of 8.01 in 42IP!
What a stud prospect! Must be pitching with a pierced johnson.
Looks like Ryan Williams is the only legit prospect there. That is sad...
Well it would seem that's all they need now. "Stropy" can have his moments, but he's been more consistent post-asg.
Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.
I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.
Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?
Maybe the three-headed dragon?
Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth
Three amigos time?
he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs
Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.
...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.
I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.
He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.
How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.
If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic
I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.