Cub Pitching Not Too Great Today
San Francisco Giants 2010 1st round pick Gary Brown (Cal State - Fullerton) blasted a three-run home run to key a six-run 2nd inning, and the Giants went on to wallop the Cubs 17-6 in AZ Instructional League action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this afternoon.
The GOOD: Jae-Hoon Ha hit another HR over the left-centerfield fence onto 8th Street (a solo job in the 8th, his second HR in a week), Ryan Cuneo had two doubles (one of which was a two-run shot off the RF fence), and Gioskar Amaya and Oliver Zapata ripped back-to-back opposite field line-drive triples.
The BAD: Cub pitchers surrendered 17 runs on 17 hits (including three doubles and a HR), eight walks, two HBP, five wild pitches, and one balk. LHP Cam Greathouse (Cubs 2010 8th round pick out of Gulf Coast CC) started the game for the Cubs and had an especially poor outing, allowing seven runs (six ER) on six hits (including one HR) and two walks, and was only able to get two outs in the 2nd inning before being relieved.
The UGLY: Reggie Golden dropped not one but two fly balls in RF (actually one pop fly and one line drive), resulting in three unearned runs scoring. Not since Keith Moreland patrolled RF at Fitch Park has such humanity been seen.
BTW, an interesting tidbit about Reggie Golden is that he does something you usually only hear at a tennis match, and that is, he grunts (loudly) when he swings. And Reggie did hit/grunt two balls hard today, one a line-out (or “loud out”, so to speak) to CF, and the other an opposite-field laser line-drive double into the RF corner.
On the injury front, SS Hak-Ju Lee was removed from the game after he was seen limping gingerly to 1st base after dropping a single into left-center, one pitch after fouling a ball off his foot.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1a. Oliver Zapata, LF: 1-2 (K, 3B, RBI, R)
1b. Chris Huseby, LF: 0-2 (F-9, P-4)
2a. Hak-Ju Lee, SS: 1-2 (3-U, 1B)
2b. Marco Hernandez, PR-SS: 0-2 (E6, F-8, R)
3. Jae-Hoon Ha, CF: 2-4 (6-3, L-8, 1B, HR, RBI, 2 R)
4. Ryan Cuneo, 1B: 2-4 (P-5, F-9, 2B, 2B, 2 RBI)
5a. Chad Noble, C: 1-2 (K, 1B)
5b. Max Kwan, C: 0-2 (K, K)
6. Sergio Burruel, DH #1: 0-4 (5-3, 4-3, 4-3, F-7)
7a. Reggie Golden, RF: 1-2 (L-8, 2B, R)
7b. Xavier Batista, PH-DH #2: 0-1 (5-3, BB)
8. Willson Contreras, 3B: 2-4 (K, 6-3, 1B, 1B)
9. Delbis Arcila, DH-RF: 0-3 (3-U, 1-3, BB, L-6 DP, RBI)
10. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 1-3 (3B, 4-3, L-4 DP, R)
1. Cam Greathouse: 1.2 IP, 6 H, 7 R (6 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 40 pitches (24 strikes), 5/0 GO/FO
2. Ryan Hartman: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 1 BALK, 28 pitches (14 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
3. Hunter Ackerman: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 2 WP, 43 pitches (28 strikes), 4/2 GO/FO
4. Brian Smith: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 5 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 28 pitches (14 strikes)
5. Dustin Fitzgerald: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 36 pitches (19 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
6. Starling Peralta: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 12 pitches (9 strikes)
1. RF Reggie Golden E-9 (dropped fly ball allowed batter to reach base and unearned run to score)
2. RF Reggie Golden E-9 (dropped line drive allowed batter to reach base and two unearned runs to score)
3. SS Marco Hernandez E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base – eventually scored unearned run)
Chad Noble: 0-1 CS
Max Kwan: 1 PB
ATTENDANCE: 28 (more fans than scouts today)
WEATHER: Sunny & very hot, with 100+ degree temps
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.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.
Brooksbaseball.net has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.
As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?
AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?
Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.
AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.
I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.
But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.
Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.
Jason deGrom -- oh, my.
Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.
Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.
Considering how players reacted it seemed pretty accurate high and wide (to righties), but not so accurate low and in. I thought the strike zone by the ump was awful, but it was consistent and the Cubs never adjusted.
Rizzo and Bryant need to have good at bats. They are really looking outclassed in these two games.
that game sounds fun as hell.