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
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
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.