Iowa Cubs Get Stung by Bees
I had so much fun watching the Iowa Cubs yesterday at Fitch Park, I decided to follow the Cubs' AAA affiliate to neighboring Tempe today as they took on the Angels AAA affiliate (the PCL Salt Lake Bees) at the Angels Minor League Complex at Diablo Park.
While it isn't unusual for one or more Cubs major leaguers to play in a AAA game (esprcially when the big club has a night game), that wasn't the case today
Kyle Reynolds smashed a two-run homer and Doug Deeds blasted a solo shot, but that's all the runs the Cubs could muster. And since tthe four Cubs pitchers were (mostly) ineffective, the I-Cubs lost, 7-3.
Here is today's abridged box score (Iowa Cubs players only). Some of the more observant among you might note that most all of the I-Cubs who played today were at big league camp not too long ago...
1. Sam Fuld, CF: 0-5 (4-3, 6-3, P-6, P-5, 3-U)
2. Luis Rivas, 2B: 1-3 (1B, BB, Ks, 6-4-3 DP)
3. Bobby Scales, 3B: 1-3 (BB, Ks, 6-3, 1B)
4. Jake Fox, 1B: 0-4 (FC, FP-3, F-7, Ks)
5a. Jason Dubois, LF: 0-3 (Ks, Ks, 5-3)
5b. Richie Robnett, LF: 0-1 (P-6)
6. Doug Deeds, RF: 2-4 (Ks, SOLO HR, Ks, 2B)
7a. Welington Castillo, C: 1-2 (2B, 4-3, BB + R)
7b. Chris Robinson, C: 0-1 (4-3)
8. Kyle Reynolds, DH:1-4 (1-3, F-9, TWO-RUN HR, Ks)
9. Matt Camp, SS: 1-3 (BB, L-7, 1B, 2-3)
1. Jesse Estrada - 3.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 HR (61 pitches - 33 strikes, 0/6 GO/FO)
2. Brian Schlitter - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K (30 pitches - 18 strikes, 1/1 GO/FO)
3. Justin Berg - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K (19 pitches - 11 strikes)
4. Jeff Stevens - 0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K (24 pitches - 12 strikes)
NOTE: Two very lengthy innings were terminated early (prior to three outs).
Welington Castillo: 0-1 CS
Chris Robinson: 0-2 CS
Welington Castillo - bounced throw past second base on SB attempt, allowing baserunner to take 3rd.
Sam Fuld (runner at 3rd)
WEATHER: EXTREMELY windy. Absolutely ridiculous.
The Cubs AA affiliate (Tennessee Smokies) played the Angels AA affiliate on an adjoining field at Diablo, and while I am unable to provide the abridged box score for that game, I did observe CF Brandon Guyer hit a garagantuan solo HR over the LF fence.
For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.
[Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]
tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?
Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump