Wind Clocked at 20; I-Cubs Clock a Trio
Waiting for the game to begin tonight I noticed that the pitchers would be throwing into a stiff breeze. A couple young scouts, I thought, sat down a couple rows in front of me to chart the game, one of them armed with a jugs gun. I sauntered down to ask them how the scoreboard speedometer compared to their readings since the last time I checked it was thought to generally register a couple mph slower than actual velocity. No, the gunslinger told me, the scoreboard readings run pretty true. In fact, he said, he doesn't really use the gun when he's charting; he just goes by the scoreboard numbers. Only then did I realize the "scout" was Randy Wells.
The Iowa hitters, including young Vitters, did indeed surf the wind to the tune of a long ball hat trick tonight. Besides JV, Brett Jackson and, ho hum, the Rizzo kid, also went deep.
Jackson played left tonight and was dropped to sixth in the order. He began the game leading the PCL in strikeouts but tonight he was but a double shy of the cycle. All three of his hits, not to mention Rizzo's league-leading 14th homer, came off Salt Lake lefty Brad Mills. Rizzo's towering two-run blast in the 3rd came on a 3-0 count after Dave Sappelt stole second with two out on the previous pitch. It was last seen well on its way to the Des Moines river beyond the street that runs behind the right field bleachers. Rizzo also drew a walk off side winding loogy Matt Meyers. He looks supremely at ease and confident at the plate in this league. How numbered are his days here?
Travis Wood worked seven solid innings in evening his record at 3-3, notching nine fly outs against one long homer that came to rest in the left field parking lot where I found it lodged beneath a car tire. Manny Corpas traded three runs for three outs in the 9th to make the final 7-5 I-Cubs.
Sappelt played center instead of Jackson who didn't appear hampered legging out his triple or getting cut down at second by the cutoff man when Ty Wright was held at third after Jackson's sharp single to right. Looking for the elusive cycle in his last trip he grounded out, but still his night was whiffless.
Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.
Send Soler down!
Awesome thanks AZ
Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.
Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!
given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.
i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.
Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?
He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.
My guess? Toronto.
PHIL: It seems as if Paniagua has always played 1B with the Cubs. At 6'2 and 180#, what is his frame like? String bean? Have you seen him bulk up? Where do you project him? Thanks.
Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?
Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.
Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.
Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.
While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.
For some reason
It is remarkable how my mood has become uplifted with one game against the Cards.
That is sick.
But, I have been an addict for a long time.
A W tomorrow and it will be a .500 road trip.
Also, to keep the losses in perspective, if the Cubs were to lose 10 games a month - a lot at this current pace - they still end up 102-60. Six months of the ride!
So, the Mesa Cubs should be solid this summer in the AZL Rookie League?
And, I like the, "But did you know" lead in there. Something a little different.
I can tell really like this group of hitters in AZ right now.
What pitchers out there, other than Cease, should we be excited about?
Thanks as always for the info.
back on the Run Differential hunt... (aka The Hunt for Blue October)
These are the 2016 Cubs I know and love. Also digging that Cardinals OF (lack of) defense.
Another day, another eight runs