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
Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth
Three amigos time?
he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs
Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.
...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.
I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.
He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.
How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.
If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic
I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.