Walk in the Park Turns into Nightmare on Center Street

Rolando Gomez hammered a two-run home run and a two-run triple to help overcome an early seven-run deficit, as the Angels rallied to edge the Cubs 10-9 in AZ Instructional League action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this afternoon.

The Cubs took advantage of 12 walks through the first five innings to plate nine runs, as Gioskar Amaya drove-in three runs with two RBI singles and Jae-Hoon Ha slugged a two-run HR. But the Angels scored two in the 5th, five in the 6th, one in the 8th, and two in the 9th, to claim the victory.

18-year old switch-hitting Dominican OF Oliver "Viva" Zapata had three more hits today and was on base four times, raising his Instructs slash-line to a likely unsustainable 857/889/1.143. (He hit 241/333/661 in 71 games & 301 PA for DSL Cubs #1 during the 2010 regular season). Zapata is a stocky, roly-poly kid (5'8, 200), who looks more like a catcher or a college fullback than an outfielder. But he runs surprisingly well for a player with his body type, he is a good bunter, and he has a nice compact swing from both sides of the plate. He has committed several errors and misplays in the outfield already, however, like errors on successive plays last week, and turning what should have been a line-drive out into a triple leading-off the top of the 9th today. He played both CF and 2B in the DSL, but I've only seen him in the outfield so far.

CF Jae-Hoon Ha had another fine game in the field, making a running catch on the warning track in right-center in the 4th, and throwing out a runner at the plate trying to score from second base on a line-drive single to CF with two outs in the top of the 9th, keeping it a run-run game and at least giving the Cubs a chance to maybe tie it up in their last AB. But despite the fine running catch and the clutch 9th inning outfield assist, one thing Ha does do that he really needs to change is that he tends to hold the ball too long before throwing it back to the infield. He should watch how Kosuke Fukudome does it. (Just throw the damn ball!).

RHP (and ex-C) Alvaro Sosa had an especially bad day on the mound, allowing five runs on four singles, a double, and a triple in the 6th, while Casey Harman gave up the tying and go-ahead runs in the top of the 9th on two triples (one of which was Zapata's misplay), a double, and a single.

Cubs 2B Pin-Chieh Chen had to leave the game in the bottom of the 3rd inning after he was struck on the left rib-cage by a ball thrown in from CF while he was standing on 2nd base. He had to be helped off the field, although he was able to walk to the clubhouse under his own power.

Dustin Geiger returned to action today after leaving Saturday’s game when he was hit on the left hand by a pitch, and Logan Watkins is expected to be in the lineup within the next couple of days after being sidelined for the past week with back spasms.

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

1a. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 0-0 (BB, BB)
1b. Willson Contreras, PR-3B: 0-3 (4-3 GIDP, L-9, K, R)
2. Hak-Ju Lee, DH-SS: 1-4 (1-6-3 GIDP, 1B, BB, E6, 3-U, RBI, R, CS)
3. Jae-Hoon Ha, CF: 1-5 (K, 6-4-3 GIDP, HR, 6-3, P-1, 2 RBI, R)
4a. Ryan Cuneo, 1B: 0-1 (3-U, BB, BB, R, SB, CS)
4b. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 0-2 (L-9, K)
5. Delbis Arcila, LF: 0-3 (BB, BB, K, 6-3, K, R)
6a. Chad Noble, C: 0-1 (BB, 6-3, BB, R)
6b. Sergio Burruel, C: 0-0 (HBP)
7. Wes Darvill, SS-DH: 0-2 (BB, BB, F-8, K, R)
8. Engel Santana, DH #2: 2-4 (K, 1B, 1B, K, 2 RBI, R)
9. Gioskar Amaya, 3B-2B: 2-4 (4-3, 1B, 1B, 6-3, 3 RBI)
10. Oliver Zapata, RF: 3-3 (1B, BB, 1B, 2B, R, SB)

1. Brent Ebinger: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 28 pitches (13 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
2. Jeff Lorick: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 18 pitches (11 strikes), 2/4 GO/FO
3. Starling Peralta: 1.0, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 12 pitches (9 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
4. Alvaro Sosa: 0.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R (5 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 31 pitches (18 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
5. Jhon Rodriguez: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 22 pitches (18 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
6. Casey Harman: 1.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 PO, 20 pitches (16 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO

3B Willson Contreras E-5 (missed catch on relay throw from LF allowed runner to score from 3rd)

1. Oliver Zapata: threw out batter 9-4-2 trying to stretch triple into inside-the-park HR
2. Jae-Hoon Ha: threw out runner 8-2 trying to score from 2nd on single to CF.


ATTENDANCE: 17 (mostly scouts)

WEATHER: Hot and sunny, with temperatures in the 90’s



Dave Bialas

Jeff Fassero
Franklin Font
Dave Keller
Greg Maddux
Carmelo Martinez
Marty Pevey
Tom Pratt
Mark Riggins
Min-Kyu Sung

Juan Cabreja


* bats or throws left
# bats both

* Hunter Ackerman
* Brent Ebinger
Dustin Fitzgerald
* Cam Greathouse
* Casey Harman
Ryan Hartman
Jin-Yeong Kim
Aaron Kurcz
Luis Liria
Matt Loosen
Robinson Lopez
* Jeff Lorick
Tarlandus Mitchell
Amaury Paulino
Starling Peralta
Austin Reed
Kevin Rhoderick
Jhon Rodriguez
* Brian Smith
Alvaro Sosa (ex-C)
Charles Thomas (ex-3B)
Ben Wells

* Sergio Burruel
# Micah Gibbs
Max Kwan
Chad Noble
# Engel Santana

Gioskar Amaya
* Justin Bour
Willson Contreras
* Ryan Cuneo
* Pin-Chieh Chen
* Wes Darvill
Dustin Geiger
* Marco Hernandez
* Hak-Ju Lee
D. J. Lemahieu
Josh Vitters
* Logan Watkins

* Delbis Arcila
Xavier Batista
Evan Crawford
Reggie Golden
Jae-Hoon Ha
Chris Huseby (ex-P)
* Kyung-Min Na
# Oliver Zapata


The winning pitcher in today's game was 7'1 Dutch RHP Loek Van Mil, acquired by the Angels earlier this month from Minnesota as the PTBNL in the Brian Fuentes deal.

And I can confirm, here at TCR, that from standing next to him, I can say, without any hesitation, that he is indeed, VERY tall.

Thanks for the updates, Phil.


On another note, Nats now do not want Dunn:

"The Nationals are unlikely to re-sign slugger Adam Dunn, according to MASN's Ben Goessling. Goessling's sources say GM Mike Rizzo and manager Jim Riggleman find Dunn's defense untenable..."

"Dunn has improved defensively at first base this year, cutting down on his errors and trimming his Ultimate Zone Rating to -1.9. But he hasn't been nimble enough around first base to stop hard liners that better fielders might turn into outs, and according to the scout, Dunn's defense is worse than statistics will quantify.

"He costs them half a run a game," the scout said. "You're involved in so many plays - pickoffs, scoops in the dirt, fielding plays - it's worse than it looks on paper."


I pray Hendry has enough sense to not go after Dunn (or at least only offer 1 or maybe 2 years to minimize the mistake it will be).

"I can tell you the only person in the front office who wants to resign him is the owner," a scout told Goessling on Monday.



We need to put Koyie Hill at First next year. Imagine how fast those throws would get to first base?

We might have 5 Cy Youngers on our pitching staff in 2011

I don't think the choice is between Adam Dunn and Koyie Hill. There is a boatload of free agent 1b next year, many of whom can hit and actually play defense.

The Koyie Hill comment is unnecessary. Hoffpauir would bring better defense than Dunn. Nady would bring better defense than Dunn. Etc. Not to mention the other free agent and trade possibilities.

The Koyie Hill comment was alluding to him "adding 5 mph" to a pitcher fastball by being the Catcher.

I get it. But it also sounds like you're saying that taking Dunn's defense into account when attempting to judge his overall value is like saying that Koyie hill should play despite the fact that he cannot hit to save his life.

I'm not sure I see the relevance of the overrating of Koyie's defense. Who is the analogous first baseman whose defense is being overrated? Or are you trying to say that defense at first base is generally overrated?

Or is this primarily an opportunity to take a jab at Koyie?

Probably a a bit of both.

Dunn is getting slammed for his defense though. I think its kind of bogus. His defense at first has been just a tick below average. His 900+ bat MORE than makes up for that. His Outfield defense is a complete non-issue.

Ricketts invents another way to make money, letting fans play football in Wrigley Field:

"On Nov. 21, the day after the Allstate Wrigleyville Classic between Northwestern and Illinois, the playing field will be open to fans in hourly sessions from 10 a.m. through 3 p.m. The cost is $50, and guests can come mill in the stands for $15, with no field access. Children two and under are free, and it's BYOF (Bring Your Own Football), though commemorative footballs will also be on sale."


I love charging $15 to sit in the stands and watch fans play football. Really, what the hell is that?

"I love charging $15 to sit in the stands and watch fans play football. Really, what the hell is that?"


every fucking retard that pays $15 to just sit in the stands should be ceremoniously herded in front of a moving L-train.

*does the wave*

People frequently make poor decisions when spending their money.


My guess is that it is intended to be friends and families of people playing flag football.

via CM...

"Carlos Zambrano's win Mon night was special. His mother was in the stands to watch him for 1st time in big leagues"

really? damn...

the evolution of saying something on the innerwebs...david price on twitter last night...

Had a chance to clinch a post season spot tonight with about 10,000 fans in the stands....embarrassing about 1 hour ago via Twitter for iPhone

...and as his remark floats all over the net including sportswriters

If I offended anyone I apologize I did not think it was gonna turn into this... 4 minutes ago via Twitter for iPhone

a not-so-weird lineup...interesting...


RIP w.castillo

10th inning on PBS.

Talking about Sosa right now.

It's funny -- Ken Burn's "10th Inning" reminds me how the mid-to-late 90's are kind of a Rip Van Winkle period for me.

I never really got into the 1998 HR race. Personally, 1998 was, by far, the most disastrous year of my 50 years of life. Add that to the after effects of the '94 strike, the Himes regime, the Sandberg retirement and the general lack of progress for the team leading up to that year and it was kind of like, "Baseball? There's more important things in life." That probably accounts for the fact that I have no wonderful memories of that year.

I was aware that some spectacular things were happening and that the Cubs were in an exciting wild card race but I just couldn't pay any attention. Recently, I watched the DVD of the game where Sammy hit #s 61 & 62 and it looked like the Cubs truly had a pretty exciting team that year -- some good team speed and athleticism to go along with Sammy prodigious hitting -- it made me regret that I missed it all while it was happening. I didn't recover enough to really pay attention until 2001. Since then, I've been along for the ride with the rest of you. And yeah, I'd rather pay attention and have the pain & pleasure (& more pain) than not.

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Which direction is wind blowing today? With Lackey a groundball pitcher, it might help Cubs if it is blowing in today and a 2-1 game instead of a 10-6 game.

  • I have convinced myself that Hammel's second half struggles were due to minor injuries and fatigue so with the extra rest he is going to be lights out.

  • Benji Molina is out of lineup

  • Yes. Unfortunately, as many of us, I have seen this movie before. Do not care for Hammel, and unlike other managers Joe will pull the plug quickly at least. I hope before things were to get out of hand.

    Many of us are like "abused spouses" or whatever - with this Cubs stuff. You get hurt so many times, the trust rapidly erodes.

    If the Cubs can get to Lackey early, its gonna be a big key to a W or L.

  • No idea what will happen. The Cards are the Cards and they have come back from 2-1 holes twice in the last 4 years, so I don't see them in panic mode at all. If anything, I expect the Cubs to be pressing more than the Cards today.

    I want the Cubs to win because it would be great for the city, and great for the fans. But more than anything, I want the Cubs to win so I can see this team play for at least one more week this year. Never enjoyed watching a team more than this year.

  • Just to remember how far we have come: last year's opening day lineup was Bonifacio, Lake, Castro, Rizzo, Olt, Castillo, Schierholz, Barney, and Samardzija. It's been a fun ride this year!

  • BRADSBEARD: I haven't noticed any new rule or a change in the interpretation of an existing rule happening in Advanced Instructs, I don't know what rules will be tested in the AFL, although almost all recent rule changes and new interpretations of existing rules (the home plate collision rule, replay, time clock between innings, et al) do get their start in the AFL.  

  • Yep

  • AZ Phil: I've heard that the AFL will be testing out a new force out rule that would affect break-up plays (like the Utley play). Have you heard anything about this new rule and any details about it? Are they testing it out at the advanced instructs as well?

  • Pretty sure I already know the answer to this, but since I will be in NYC next week I want to confirm... If the Cubs were to advance to the NLCS, the winner of LAD/NYM would have home field based on being a division winner (as opposed to Cubs by virtue of better record), correct?

  • CUBSTER: This "hammy" is on the other leg I heard last night. See you at the ballyard today young man!

  • Lulz

  • Oh what do you know, Cubster? Go back to your day job.

    --- Ducks, puts on Cardinals cap, runs.

  • Russell had a severe hamstring last year while with the A's system, forcing him to miss the first half of 2014. I've even wondered if his injury last year was a component of Billy Beane putting him on the trade market. He was quoted saying that last year's injury was a 10 out of 10 when it happened. Last night he said his hamstring soreness was a 1/1.5 out of 10. Hamstring injuries are tricky though, so I'd expect the medical team to be overly cautious here.

  • ...I want to reinforce the observation that there was no sea of red in the crowd. The usual Cardinal fans roaming the stadium were few and far between.

    Also, almost every 2 strike pitch brought the fans to their feet. Good for those in knee rehab.

  • "1st team hit hit 6HR in a game in the postseason." rises above obvious...i checked it with the official fact-finding commission of Douche, Douche, and Douchestein. they agreed with you, but they're a bunch of f'n douches so who cares?

    btw, the cubs are 2-1 in the post-season series.