Cubs Punch-Out Giants in Scottsdale

Brandon Guyer had two hits and two RBI, Justin Bour had two hits and three RBI, Kyler Burke reached base four times on two doubles, a single, and a walk, and five Cubs pitchers threw a combined four-hitter with 14 strikeouts, as the Cubs defeated the Giants 6-2 in AZ Instructional League action at Indian School Park Field #2 in Scottsdale this afternoon.

The Cubs scored three in the 1st and three in the 3rd.

Brett Jackson led off the game with a walk and stole second, and D. J. LeMahieu also drew a walk. Then the runners were moved up to 2nd and 3rd on a Ryan Flaherty sacrifice bunt, before Brandon Guyer lined an RBI single to RF, scoring Jackson, with LeMahieu holding at 3rd. Guyer then stole 2nd, and Kyler Burke walked to load the bases. Michael Brenly popped up to short center for the second out, but then Justin Bour rapped a two-run single to CF, scoring LeMahieu and Guyer. 

With the Cubs lead narrowed to 3-2, LeMahieu singled with one out in the 3rd, and advanced to 3rd base on a WP and a ground out, before Guyer drove him in with a two-out RBI single. Burke and Brenly followed with singles (Brenly's hit knocked-in Guyer), and then Justin Bour reached base on an RBI infield single, scoring Burke. 

RHP Thomas Diamond got the start for the Cubs, and struggled with his command (39 pitches, only 19 strikes in just two innings of work). Diamond actually had an easy 1-2-3 1st inning, but then couldn't find the plate in the bottom of the 2nd, walking two batters, and both runners came around to score on an RBI single.      

RHP Alberto Cabrera worked innings 3-4-5, and was virtually unhittable (just one hit allowed, and four strikeouts), although he did walk three.  

21-year old LHP (and ex-OF) Drew Rundle made his debut as a pitcher in the bottom of the 6th, and he looked like The Natural, throwing a 1-2-3 inning (L-3, Ks, F-8), and doing it on only nine pitches (six strikes). 

Rundle was the Cubs 14th round draft pick out of Bend HS - Bend, OR in 2006, getting $500,000 ("3rd round money") to give up a chance to play college baseball at the University of Arizona. (2006 was the year the Cubs had no picks in rounds 2-3-4, and so they had extra cash available to select players with "signability" issues in lower rounds, paying "over-slot" bonuses to Jeff Samardzija, Cliff Andersen, Chris Huseby, Kevin Kreier, Nate Samson, and Rundle). 

An athletic defender with a plus-arm, above-average speed, and occasional power, Rundle was a patient hitter who never really developed, striking out 258 times in just 941 PA, while hitting a combined 227/338/380 with 16 HR, 55 2B, 9 3B, and 21 SB (16 CS) in 278 games played over four seasons.

Prior to Instructs, Rundle hadn't pitched since his junior year in HS,  

Eduardo Figueroa worked the 7th and 8th innings, allowing two harmless singles while striking out five, and Corey Martin had a "rocking-chair" five-pitch 1-2-3 9th (two 1-3 come-backers to the mound and a line-drive to left).  

Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only):

1. Brett Jackson, CF: 0-3 (BB, F-8, 4-3, F-8), R, SB
2. D. J. LeMahieu, SS: 1-3 (BB, 1B, 4-3, 4-3), 2 R 
3. Ryan Flaherty, 2B: 0-3 (1-3 SH, 4-3, K, F-8)
4. Brandon Guyer, LF: 2-4 (1B, 1B, L-8, K), 2 R, 2 RBI, SB
5. Kyler Burke, RF: 3-3 (BB, 1B, 2B, 2B), R, PO
6a. Michael Brenly, C-DH: 1-3 (P-9, 1B, F-9), RBI
6b. Rebel Ridling, PH: 0-1 (K)
7. Justin Bour, 1B: 2-4 (1B, 1B, F-8, F-9), 3 RBI
8. Matt Cerda, 3B: 1-3 (2B, P-5, 4-3), CS
9. Jovan Rosa, DH-C: 0-3 (K, 6-3, K)
10. Richard Jones, DH #2: 0-3 (4-3, F-9, K)

1. Thomas Diamond - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 4 K, 2/0 GO/FO, 39 pitches (19 strikes)
2. Alberto Cabrera - 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 GIDP, 2/3 GO/FO, 51 pitches (29 strikes)  
3. Drew Rundle - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/FO, 9 pitches (6 strikes)
4. Eduardo Figueroa - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 35 pitches (26 strikes)
5. Corey Martin - 1.0 IP - 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 5 pitches (4 strikes)

1. D. J. LeMahieu (E-6) - bobbled ground ball at SS allowing batter to reach base   
2. Matt Cerda (E-5) - overthrow at 1st base allowed batter to reach base safely

1. Michael Brenly - 0-3 CS
2. Jovan Rosa - 0-1 CS

WEATHER: 80's & mostly sunny



"Thomas Diamond got the start for the Cubs, and struggled with his command"

well at least diamond is in mid-season form. he was a hell of a talent pre-injuries...still wild then, though.

Surprising I haven't thought to ask this before - What do you think about Jackson's swing, AZ Phil?

For reference here's some pre-draft video of him.

Baseball Prospectus' post-mortem season power rankings. Cubs 13th.

(1-12) Yankees, Dodgers, RSox, Rox, Angels, Cards, Phils, Braves, Rays, Rangers, Giants, Twins

Forecast to post the league's best record, the Cubs instead wind up falling 14 games behind last year's NL-best total and 7½ behind the Cardinals. For all the endless controversies surrounding Milton Bradley, Carlos Zambrano, and Lou Piniella, the disappointing seasons from Alfonso Soriano (.241/.303/.423), Geovany Soto (.218/.321/.381), and Aramis Ramirez's replacements (.240/.316/.416) bear their share of the responsibility, particularly for an offense that finishes just 12th in the league with a .255 EqA.

Starlin Castro had 3 hits today in Az. Fall League first game----this kid is the real deal----look for him to get to Wrigley real fast.

3 hits...all homers i assume.

theriot has some competition in the singles-hitting SS race. he is a pretty impressive sounding player, though. young...dunno much about him, myself beyond his hype.

his error #s look scary, but i dunno crap about his D.

The kid is only 19, and the youngest player in the AFL this year. While he never projects to have tons of power, 15 HR seasons could definately be in the future for Castro. He has hit for a good average everywhere he's gone, and his plate discipline improved greatly when he got promoted to AA this year.

As for his defense, the error numbers are misleading. Young shortstops generally make a lot of errors in the minors. This can be attributed to a lot of things, such as poor defensive first basemen, poor field conditions, trying to do too much, etc. He was rated the best defensive SS in the FSL this year by coaches and scouts, though, so I wouldn't worry one bit about him.

yeah, i dunno crap about the guy aside from his numbers.

Cubs 2012 opening day infield: Vitters, Castro, Lee, Flaherty, Castillo. Discuss.

I presume your "Lee" is Hak-Ju, not Derrick and "Castro" is Starlin, not Fidel.

Just having a little fun with names.

fidel wasn't a good baseball player and holywood didn't want him, but he sure was good at taking over and enslaving countries. i don't think that made his scouting report, though...or his acting portfolio.

Phil Wrongway Rogers speculates:

If the Rangers allow him to become a free agent when his contract ends at the end of the month, as it appears they might, the Cubs should go above the usual hitting coach pay scale to bring him to Wrigley Field.

I remember DeRosa giving Jaramillo credit for his hitting improvements too.

wasn't he the guy they made a film about regarding a walk-on at Notre Dame?

Let the arguements begin

No Aaron in top ten is a joke and having Bonds in there is worse.

ted williams #2...meh.

best pull hitter ever, maybe.

roids or not, we may never see (especially in our lifetime) someone completely own the batter's box like bonds did for a few years. ungodly.

You also have the whole armor thing going against Bonds, which people who have really looked at it think is an underrated element.

all im saying is...aside from his youthful killer years with 400+ ob% he had that string of .500-.600+ ob% years 01-04. the whole HR thing in 01 and a .600+ ob% in 04 (thanks to 120 IBB in 04 because of a bum knee and a lack of a good hitter behind bonds). crazy stuff to watch so constantly.

I truly think a large part of the IBBs of Bonds for several years was the fact that, if you did decide to pitch to him, you had to hit a zone roughly the size of a cantaloupe, otherwise the umpires weren't going to call it. I have no data to back this up, just my rather biased memory.

I'm desperate for hot stove rumors and it's not even October 15 yet.

This is going to be a brutal offseason.

If you guys need something else Cubs-related to fill your time, I made a quiz at sporcle for the cubs opening day lineups '90-'09

there are some names I had totally forgotten about, but I don't want to give anything away.


Not happy with that score at all.

I scored 127, but I'm at work, and I missed about 2.5 minutes because a co-worker came by. I'm only truly upset that I forgot Felix Pie last year, Todd Walker as our 2B those 2 years, and Kevin Tapani. I saw his face and knew he was one of the former Twins we had (Ron Coomer, Gary Gaetti, etc.), but his name just would not come. I'm pretty stoked I remembered Hector Villanueva though!

Remembering Villanueva is impressive! Someone else was rightfully surprised that Glenallen Hill was never in the opening day lineup as well.

144: The 99 team was really brutal. Jim Bullinger was an opening day starter wow. Those mid 90's were lean. Do remember an 8 game wining streak to end the 95 season with lots of come from behind wins to get us close to the WC. I belive that team is the reason Sandberg came back.


Mesa Solar Sox: RHP Andrew Cashner, C Welington Castillo, SS Starlin Castro, LHP John Gaub, RHP Blake Parker, LHP James Russell, and 3B Josh Vitters.

NOTE: Castillo, Gaub, and Parker will be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft if not added to Cubs 40-man roster by 11-20-2009.

IF-OF Matt Camp, RHP Jeff Samardzija, RHP Brian Schlitter, and OF Brad Snyder.
Snyder is eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league FA if he is not added back to the Cubs 40-man roster by the end of the World Series. Also, Camp will be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft if he is not added to the Cubs 40-man roster by 11-20-2009.

IF-OF Marwin Gonzalez and LHP J. R. Mathes.

NOTE: Mathes will be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft if he is not added to the Cubs 40-man roster by 11-20-2009.

Begins play on Friday (Rosters TBA)

Begins play ???? (Rosters TBA, although 3B-1B-C Jovan Rosa--who is presently at Instructs learning to be a catcher--will be playing in Puerto Rico this off-season).

Recent comments

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  • it's day old news, and it's got nothing to do with the cubs, but ichiro signed a $2m deal with MIA (with a $2m option for 2017).

    neat. 41 years old and damn close to 3000 hits.

    also, rain delays suck.

  • take that giants

  • I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.

  • Per Jesse Sanchez at, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus. 

  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.

    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.