Cubs 9th Inning Rally Falls Short at Papago
Logan Watkins reached base four times (three singles and a HBP), scored twice, and drove-in a run, and D. J. LeMahieu blasted a two-run double and a solo HR, but a 9th inning Cub rally fell short as the potential tying run was thrown out at the plate, giving the A's a 10-9 decision over the Cubs in AZ Instructional League action at the Papago Baseball Complex in Phoenix this afternoon.
The Cubs got off to a quick 3-0 lead in the top of the 1st on a Kyler Burke RBI ground out with the bases loaded and a two-out, two-run RBI single by Rebel Ridling, and then scored three more times in the top of the 5th on a two-run double by D. J. LeMahieu and a Ryan Flaherty triple to take a 6-0 lead, before the roof caved in the 5th and 6th as the A's scored nine unanswered runs to take a 9-6 lead.
LeMahieu narrowed the gap to 9-7 in the top of the 8th, hitting a solo HR over the LF fence, the LSU Tigers' first professional HR. (LeMahieu is probably the best hitter at Instructs, but most of his hits are rockets hit to CF or RF, and while he hits the ball very hard, he doesn't have much elevation in his swing... at least until today, when he turned on the ball like HR hitters do, and launched one out of the yard).
The A's added an insurance run in the 8th on a lead-off solo HR, but the Cubs threatened to tie the game in the top of the 9th.
Rebel Ridling led-off the 9th for the Cubs by lining a single to right. Then with one out, Richard Jones reached safely when the A's second-baseman dropped a pop fly in short right for an error. Brandon May walked to load the bases, and Kyung-Min Na blooped a single into short left, scoring Ridling, and keeping the bases jammed. Logan Watkins then roped what appeared to be a sure-fire game-tying two-run single to right-center, and while Jones did score easily from 3rd, May got a late break off 2nd base and was thrown out at the plate. Then LeMahieu popped up to the second-baseman to end the game, leaving runners stranded at 2nd & 3rd.
19-year old LHP Austin Kirk (Cubs 2009 3rd round draft pick out of Owasso HS - Owasso, OK) got the start today and worked three shutout innings. He escaped trouble in the bottom of the second when he walked the first two hitters, before getting out of the jam with a 6-4 FC grounder, and a 6-4-3 DP. Kirk retired the last six men he faced.
Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Logan Watkins, 2B: 3-4 (1B, HBP, 1B, 1-3, 1B), 2 R, RBI, CS
2. D. J. LeMahieu, SS: 2-5 (3-U, 5-3, 2B, HR, P-4), R, 3 RBI
3. Ryan Flaherty, 3B: 2-4 (1B, 4-3, 3B, F-7), 2 R
4. Brandon Guyer, LF: 1-2 (HBP, BB, 6-3, 2B), R
5. Kyler Burke, RF: 0-3 (6-3, L-8, BB, 6-3), RBI
6. Rebel Ridling, 1B: 2-4 (1B, E-9, K, 1B), R, 2 RBI
7. Justin Bour, DH #1: 0-4 (6-U FC, K, 4-6-3 DP, L-7)
8. Richard Jones, DH #2: 1-4 (4-3, 4-3, 1B, E-4), R
9a. Jovan Rosa, C: 1-2 (5-3, 1B), R
9b. Brandon May, PH-C: 0-0 (BB, BB)
10. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 1-4 (K, K, 4-6-3 DP, 1B), RBI
1. Austin Kirk - 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 4/4 GO/FO, 49 pitches (30 strikes)
2. Eduardo Figueroa - 2.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 3/4 GO/FO, 46 pitches (26 strikes)
3. Hector Mayora - 0.1 IP, 5 H, 5 R (5 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 21 pitches (11 strikes)
4. Julio Pena - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 22 pitches (14 strikes)
5. Steve Grife - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 1/1 GO/FO, 15 pitches (11 strikes)
D. J. LeMahieu (E-6) - errant throw to 1B with two outs in the bottom of the 5th allowed batter to reach base safely, but then the runner at 2nd base was thrown out 3-2 trying to score on the play for the third out of the inning.
Jovan Rosa - 0-2 CS, 1 PB
1. D. J. LeMahieu - was thrown out 9-4-5 trying to stretch two-run RBI double into triple with one out in the top of the 5th.
2. Brandon May - was thrown out 8-2 trying to score tying run from 2nd base on single to right-center with bases loaded and one out in the top of the 9th.
WEATHER: 90's, hot & sunny
BILLY BUCKS: As things stand right now, Dylan Cease will be in the Eugene starting rotation when the NWL season begins play in June, and if he peforms well there he could perhaps move up to South Bend toward the end of the minor league season or for the MWL playoffs (if South Bend qualifies).
i'm more "wtf?" about him hitting 2nd than playing LF...especially since zobrist exists.
Soler's primary position is suppose to be in left for this season so technically he is not out of position. Although I agree, it does seem weird given their histories.
Any idea of where/when Cease will head for the season?
Over/under on HBP tonight?
Yes, I know KB played LF and Szczur played RF last night, but there's a legit case that RF is the easier draw at PNC.
Seems an odd lineup -- Soler in LF and Bryant in RF? Two guys out of position? I guess Fed has to catch tonight so All Star Gramps can catch Lester tomorrow. Or maybe Joe just wants somebody else to catch a no-hitter. Would love to see KB get the power turned on. C'mon Jorge -- channel your playoff self!
All it took was Schwarber, Heyward, and Szczur getting hurt for him to get to play again. Let's go ahead and call this little stretch your last real chance to prove you belong on this team, Jorge.
soler hitting 2nd...didn't expect that one.
tonight: Fowler, Soler, Bryant, Rizzo, Zobrisjt, Baez, Russell, Federowicz, Arrieta
roster shuffle official per Sun Times, Gordon Wittenmeyer on twitter...Szczur to DL with minor hamstring strain, Chris Villanueva to 60 day DL, Ryan Kalish to 40 man roster and gets the call-up.
There's an interview with Heyward up on ESPN where he says the wrist thing has been lingering and he just brought it up with the team as it didn't go away. So that could very well explain why he hasn't had the same hard contact recently.
Ryan Kalish writeup (by Peter Gammons last November):
Villanueva goes to the 60 day DL.
Peter Gammons just tweeted that teammates are tweeting Kalish is getting recalled. Not sure which ones and what they'll do with the 40 man but there we go.
Jesee Rogers just said he thought Ryan Kalish would be the call up.