Bobby Tips the Scales for I-Cubs
Thanks to a 33 year-old journeyman who's probably had all he's likely to get of the big leagues, what remains of the Iowa Cubs took another big step toward a division pennant and the PCL playoffs with an 8-5 win over the Memphis Redbirds last night in Des Moines. Jeff Samardzija will take the mound this afternoon and try to toss the clincher.
Iowa broke on top in the first inning for the second night in a row, again courtesy of Jason Dubois who banged a two-run double off of the center field wall to score Jim Adduci and Brad Snyder. Mitch Atkins, who never touched 90 on the radar gun all night, made the lead stand up until Memphis got to him for a three spot in the top of the 4th. Coasting to that point, Atkins was rocked with two outs and nobody on by a tape measure home run, two singles, an error that Marquez Smith played off of his chest and another sharp base hit that plated two runs and put the Redbirds ahead. They added another run in the top of the 6th to lead 4-2 on a run scoring single by Ruben Gotay. Atkins then tried to pick Gotay off and twice came very close, so close on the 2nd attempt that Atkins and the crowd took exception and, forgive me, a Ryno came charging from the Cubs' dugout to argue the point, to no immediate avail.
In the bottom of the frame Dubois led off and beat out, I swear, an infield hit on a close play at first. He doesn't get many of those. Did he get the nod on the call because of a seed planted by his hall of fame manager in the mind of a young minor league umpire? With Bryan LaHair at the plate and the count 3-1, Sandberg had the ponderous Dubois running. The pitch was ball four but the throw drawn by Dubois sailed into center and he scooted, so to speak, into 3rd. The official scorer originally credited him with a stolen base that was erased in this morning's version of the box score, but the play was reminiscent of the time Ronny Cedeno stole second on a fourth ball and was called out when he overslid the bag; the only time I recall seeing a runner on first thrown out stealing second on the same pitch that walked the batter.
Up came the patient, choosy Scales who worked the count full before sending his 10th homer of the year in his 1,200th professional game over the wall in right-center to put the I-Cubs back in front. A two-run double by Snyder highlighted a three-run seventh that padded the lead and cemented the win that ensures Iowa of no worse than a dead heat for the title in the American North branch of the far-flung PCL. The other run was delivered by a Scales single.
Memphis pitchers walked five hitters, three of whom scored. Atkins and his successors walked no one. Halfway through the four game showdown the first three hitters in the Memphis lineup are a collective 1-23.
Another observation having nothing to do with the outcomes of the games concerns the demise of the good ol' American baseball bat. Last night five of them shattered and Dubois cracked another the old fashioned way. That makes a total of seven compound fractures and one hairline in two nights. Something's rotten, or there are termites, in Louisville...
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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