Angels Rally in 9th to Edge Cubs at HoHoKam
Down to their last out, the AZL Angels rallied for three runs in the top of the 9th to defeat the AZL Cubs 6-4 in Arizona League Opening Day action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa this evening.
2010 34th round pick Dustin Harrington and 2009 19th round pick Sergio Burruel had three hits a piece for the Cubs, and both Aaron Kurcz and Dustin Fitzgerald had impressive (albeit brief) pro debuts, as both of the 2010 Cub draft picks threw 1-2-3 innings with two strikeouts. Kurcz throws a fastball in the mid-90's, and was the closer for College of Southern Nevada this past season where he was a teammate of overall #1 draft pick Bryce Harper (and Cubs 27th round draft pick Bryan Harper). And at 6'4 225, Dustin Fitzgerald looks a lot like Thomas Diamond.
AA Tennessee LHP Casey Lambert got the start for the AZL Cubs in what is supposed to be his final rehab outing before leaving Mesa for (presumably) Tennessee, and threw two shutout innings (20 pitches - 14 strikes), allowing a lead-off single in the top of the 1st before striking out the side, and then allowing another lead-off single in the top of the 2nd before retiring the side on three fly outs, one of which ended up being a 7-4 FC at 2nd base after Melvin Camarena just missed a diving catch try in short LF.
BTW, there are two errors in tonight's game BOX SCORE (and GAME RECAP) that appears in minor league baseball.com (see box score link below).
One occurred in the bottom of the 7th inning, when the Cubs took a 4-3 lead. Sergio Burruel and Blair Springfield (after failing to lay down a sac bunt) singled, and then Melvin Camarena--NOT PINCH HITTER Vismeldy Bieneme--laid down a bunt and beat it out for a base hit, with a run scoring on an overthrow by the Angels pitcher at 1st base. Camarena suffered an apparent ankle injury when he landed on the 1st base bag awkwardly and had to leave the game, being replaced by PINCH-RUNNER Vismeldy Bieneme, who was subsequently left stranded after advancing to 2nd base on a WP. Bieneme then did have one AB (but only one) later in the game, striking out leading off the bottom of the 9th. So the official scorer incorrectly gave Bieneme credit for the Camarena bunt single in the 7th, cheating Camarena out of a hit, and instead crediting Bieneme with a hit when he hadn't even entered the game yet at that point.
The other box score error occurred in the top of the 8th, when Angels 3B Michael Bolaski reached base on Catcher's Interference. While AZL Cubs catcher Sergio Burruel was (correctly) charged with an error, Bolaski was also charged with an AB. However, when a batter reaches base on Catcher's Interference, the batter is NOT supposed to be charged with an AB, so Bolaski should be listed as having three AB in the game, not four.
Otherwise, the box score is accurate.
There is another error in the Minor League baseball site, where they list Boise pitcher Marcos Perez as a RHP when he actually throws left-handed. There also are some obvious height/weight discrepancies, showing some players two inches taller than they really are, or 15-20 pounds over or under their actual weight, but those are just too many to list.
It probably would be a good idea for someone at minor league baseball.com to maybe at least correct tonight's box score (giving Camarena an extra AB and hit, and taking away one of Bieneme's AB and his hit, and taking an AB away from Bolaski), and to show Marcos Perez as a LHP at Boise, just for the sake of accuracy, if nothing else.
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.
j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.
so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.
im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.
That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.
9 pitches in and this game already rules.
HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).
...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.
First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.
Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.
Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.
"Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."
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