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
I agree, but just wanted to point out that Hendricks didn't really have a significant difference between his first and second half like Hammel did. Instead he had alternating good and below average months last year, without much fluctuation in his peripherals except a BB-heavy August and some up-and-down in opp avg. Mostly the team just couldn't win games for him in the months he pitched well. His 16 starts in May, July, and Sep/Oct (in which he limited opponents to OPS+ of 88, 75, and 44) resulted in a 4-2 record.
I think with Hammels and Hendricks struggles the 2nd half we forget how dominate of 1st halves they had and how many games they won us as the offense was struggling. We also forget they are back of the rotation guys and we can't be expecting ace quality there.
Maybe it's just Werth & Ross I'm noticing. Weird.
CRAIG: Jose Albertos is not chunky like Fernando. He's built more like Dylan Cease. Exact same body type. And his delivery is free & easy. He's definitely not a "max effort" guy.
Hendricks after 50 MLB starts: 17-11, 3.45 ERA, 1.12 WHIP. Not bad for a #5 starter. He may be a 6-inning max guy, but, if he can keep those stats up, I will gladly take it.
Speaking of WHIP -- last year, he was tied for 11th in the NL. Tied with Hammel.
Last year's NL rank in WHIP: Arrietta 2nd, Lester 9th, Haren 10th, Hammel T11th, Hendricks T11th. Wow.
I went to a Nats game in DC two years ago while looking at colleges with my son -- it's a fun park, worth a visit if you are in the area.
I also saw the "slowness" thing -- particularly Werth, who would mosey out of RF about 5 seconds before the inning started.
It's Dusty's fault. It'll be the end of them.
Speaking of how teams "look", my take on the Nats- It's really weird, but the pace of the entire team seems slow. Slow walking to the plate, slow on the mound, even on some routine groundouts, it looked as if there wasn't a ton of hustle. Don't get me wrong, when the ball is hit to their outfielders, they get after the ball, I'm really referring to non-critical action- they mosey around. It's kind of odd. Maybe that "calm power" is part of the Nats ethos, idk.
My favorite moment of Hendricks' performance last night was the last strikeout he rung up- the cajones it took to throw a high, 86MPH fastball to Zimmerman on a 0-2 count. And he swung the bat like it was a 96MPH heater. I literally laughed out loud.
In listening to Maddon's post-game, he is interested in how these other teams "look" to him. He is assessing for today...and tomorrow. I love this guy.
One observation from last night: Joe Ross is incredibly slow. 20-30 seconds between pitches at times. Hendrix had a nice, peppy rhythm which is great to see.
I know there are plenty of purists here which I applaud, but the game just will not sustain itself unless change of pace rules come into play. Pitch clock, improve the shit-ass reviews, mound visits (there is a clock for this), batter time outs, etc.
Thanks, Phil. Albertos at 17, and having gotten a good signing bonus ($1.5, even though as Mexican prospect I think his team gets half of that?), throwing in the 90's and showing some command of a curveball sounds pretty interesting, even if that control is only for a dozen-pitch sample.
What kind of a frame does he have? Is he on the stocky and short-ish side (I'm recalling Fernando Valenzuela!), or somewhat taller? A lot of 17-year olds have projection, "when he fills out" projection. Would that apply at all for Albertos?
I definitely hang around here looking to reply to your comments as noticed by my nearly year long absence.
there's a fine line between posting something relevant, useful or at least humorous versus posting something irrelevant, useless or unfunny...actually it's rather quite a thick line and easy to see for most people not named crunch.
I certainly am digging the RISP machine Zobrist version.