That Guyer Again
Brandon Guyer walked, singled, doubled, crushed a three-run homer, scored two runs, and stole a base, Ryan Flaherty doubled, tripled, and walked, drove-in three runs, and scored three more, Brett Jackson reached base three times, scored all three times he reached, and knocked-in two runs, and D. J. LeMahieu ripped a two-run triple, leading the Cubs to a 12-8 victory over the Giants in AZ Instructional League action at breezy Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this afternoon.
20-year old Korean RHP Dae-Eun Rhee (July 2008 TJS rehab) got the start for the Cubs today, and surrendered three runs in the top of the 1st inning. The lead-off hitter grounded a single through the box on an 0-2 pitch, and then the #2 hitter reached base on a bunt single and the #3 hitter walked on four pitches to load the bases with no outs. One run scored on a FC grounder, another on a sacrifice fly, and the third on a two-out RBI double.
The Cubs came roaring back in the bottom of the 1st, however, as Logan Watkins tripled to right, and scored on a Ryan Flaherty RBI double that just missed clearing the fence in left. 2009 1st round pick Brett Jackson (Cal) also doubled off the left-field fence, driving-in Flaherty, and then Brandon Guyer walked. After Kyler Burke struck out and Rebel Ridling flied out, D. J. LeMahieu (2009 2nd round pick out of LSU) smoked a triple off the CF fence, plating Jackson and Guyer, and giving the Cubs a 4-3 lead after one inning of play.
But the Giants came right back in the top of the 2nd, scoring two more runs off Rhee. The first two batters reached base on a line single to LF and a HBP, and both runners moved up on a Wild Pitch. Rhee struck out the next hitter, but then one run scored on an infield ground out, and another on a two-out RBI single.
The Cubs tied the game 5-5 in the bottom of the 3rd, as Brett Jackson walked and Brandon Guyer singled with one out, and then both runners move up a base on a double-steal. Kyler Burke then hit a sac-fly to CF, driving-in Jackson from 3rd.
The Giants threatened to take the lead back in the top of the 4th, as Trey McNutt (2009 32nd round pick out of Shelton State CC) surrendered three consecutive singles with two outs, but Kyler Burke (who has one of the top two outfield arms in the organization) made a pinpoint throw home to nail the runner trying score from 2nd base, as beefy catcher Sergio Burruel (2009 19th round pick out of Trevor Browne HS - Phoenix, AZ) blocked the plate so that nothing or nobody could get by.
The Cubs took the lead 6-5 in the bottom of the 6th, as Ridling lined a lead-off double into the RF corner. LeMahieu did a great job of situational hitting inside-outing a pitch down the 1st base line to advance Ridling to 3rd with just one out. PH Matt Cerda popped out to short CF, but then Burruel reached out on an 0-2 pitch and flicked the ball into short-center, scoring Ridling with the go-ahead run.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the Giants came right back in the top of the 8th, as Chris Dominguez (Giants 2009 3rd round pick out of U. of Louisville, the 2008 Cape Cod League and 2009 Big East Conference HR champ) cracked a tape-measure two-run homer over the LF fence off Cubs reliever Hector Mayora with one out, giving the Giants a 7-6 lead. (Mayora is a 20-year old Venezuelan in his second year with the Cubs, and he was the only member of the two Cubs DSL teams to get an invitation to AZ Instructs this year).
Not to be denied, the Cubs offense got going again in the bottom of the 8th, as Ryan Flaherty led-off with a walk, and Brett Jackson reached base when the pitcher made an errant throw to 1st base on a sac-bunt attempt. Guyer then did some roofing work on a house across the street, blasting his game-winning three-run dinger.
The Cubs pitchers are still here, but at least a half-dozen of the position players have gone home, so those who remain should get more regular playing time in games than was the case the first three weeks of Instructs.
Also, catcher Matt Williams (Cubs 2009 18th round pick out of Duke) has retired to pursue a career in the Real World. The 22-year old Williams hit a paltry 203/264/241 (combined) at AZL Cubs (Mesa) and Boise in 2009, while throwing out just 11% of opposing base-stealers. He probably realized he was not in the Cubs long-term plans when he was not invited to Instructs.
Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1a. Logan Watkins, 2B-DH: 1-4 (3B, K, K, L-3), R
1b. Justin Bour, PH: 0-0 (BB), R
2. Ryan Flaherty, 3B: 2-4 (2B, 1-3, K, BB, 3B), 3 R, 3 RBI
3. Brett Jackson, LF: 1-3 (2B, BB, P-8, SH+E1, 4-3), 3 R, 2 RBI, SB
4. Brandon Guyer, CF: 3-4 (BB, 1B, K, HR, 2B), 2 R, 3 RBI, SB
5. Kyler Burke, RF: 0-3 (K, F-8 SF, 3-1, BB, K), RBI
6. Rebel Ridling, 1B: 1-4 (F-8, K, 2B, K), R
7. D. J. LeMahieu, SS: 1-4 (3B, 6-3, 1-3, 4-3), 2 RBI
8a. Richard Jones, DH #1: 0-2 (K, F-7)
8b. Matt Cerda, PH-2B: 0-2 (P-8, 4-3)
9. Sergio Burruel, C-DH: 1-4 (K, K, 1B, 4-3), RBI
10. Brandon May, DH-C: 1-3 (P-3, K, BB, 1B), R
1. Dae-Eun Rhee - 3.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R (5 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 5/1 GO/FO, 48 pitches (31 strikes)
2. Trey McNutt - 2.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 5/0 GO/FO, 29 pitches (20 strikes)
3. Austin Kirk - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 3/2 GO/FO, 20 pitches (9 strikes)
4. Hector Mayora - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 1/1 GO/FO, 23 pitches (12 strikes)
5. Julio Pena - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 12 pitches (7 strikes)
Sergio Burruel - 0-1 CS
Brandon May - 1-1 CS
Kyler Burke - gunned down runner (9-2) trying to score from 2nd base on a two-out single to RF in the top of the 4th.
WEATHER: 80's, partly cloudy, and VERY breezy
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