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

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  • deno ended the season well even though ajax heavily cut into a lot of his chances to play. it's either him or ajax. i'm a bit partial to deno, but whatever...at least ajax isn't hitting 2nd.

  • Agreed. And, with Hendricks on the mound, Cubs will probably need to score some runs to win -- why not start Soler for his bat and bring in Ajax for defense later?

    NEVER MIND....just re-read the lineup.

  • If the Cubs have the lead in the 8th, who pitches? Rodney? Travis? Yikes.

  • The Cubs had some good runs and nice winning streaks that propelled them to the playoffs. Austin Jackson wasn't part of that. I don't quite understand what it is about Jackson that they are so enamored with.

  • I think the strike zone was very inconsistent, but it's hard to blame the loss on the ump. They had chances and mistake pitches and just couldn't cash in. Lackey ran the ball inside and outside very effectively.

  • Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.

  • Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell

  • if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.

  • I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth

  • Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.

    Wtf is up w/that?!

  • Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...

  • I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.

  • Awesome stuff, Phil.

  • listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.

    That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.

  • it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
    should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?

    sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.

  • HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).  

    Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.