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
Good thing the Cubs have 4 left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties
ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.
cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
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.