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
2010 CUBS INSTRUCTIONAL LEAGUE ROSTER:
ACTIVE LIST (47):
* bats or throws left
# bats both
* Hunter Ackerman
* Brent Ebinger
* Cam Greathouse
* Casey Harman
* Jeff Lorick
* Brian Smith
Alvaro Sosa (ex-C)
Charles Thomas (ex-3B)
* Sergio Burruel
# Micah Gibbs
# Engel Santana
* Justin Bour
* Ryan Cuneo
* Pin-Chieh Chen
* Wes Darvill
* Marco Hernandez
* Hak-Ju Lee
D. J. Lemahieu
* Logan Watkins
* Delbis Arcila
Chris Huseby (ex-P)
* Kyung-Min Na
# Oliver Zapata
Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.
Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.
Think Baby Maddux.
Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.
Kyle is on the far left.
I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.
Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.
That was good!
Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.
My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.
Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.
Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.
How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?
Call me lost.
Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.
I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:
Carl Crawford $20MM
Brandon McCarthy $17MM
Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
Darwin B $2.2MM
Dan Haren $10MM
Matt Kemp $18MM
Brian Wilson $10MM
Ryan Webb $2.2MM
Dee Gordon $2.5MM
So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.
And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):
i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.
there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.
I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.
O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already.
I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.
I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.