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
Don't know if Cubs will recover from "spanking" Gordo
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.