A's Use Long-Ball to Teach Cub Pitchers a Thing or Six

A. J. Kirby-Jones smashed a grand slam home run to power the A’s Split Squad #1 to a 6-0 whitewashing of the Cubs in AZ Instructional League action at Papago Park Baseball Complex Field #3 in Phoenix this morning.

Josh Vitters got his second start in three days for the Cubs, playing 3B for seven innings and getting three plate appearances along the way. He grounded a single sharply between the shortstop and third-baseman in his first AB in the 2nd inning, was called out on strikes on a 1-2 pitch with two out and runners at 1st & 3rd in the 4th, and bounced out 5-3 his third time up in the 8th. He handled no chances defensively.

Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):

1a. Marco Hernandez, SS: 0-3 (6-3, L-6, 1-3)
2a. Logan Watkins, 2B: 2-3 (3-U, 1B, 1B, PO)
2b. Dustin Geiger, 3B: 1-1 (1B)
3a. Micah Gibbs, C: 1-3 (K, 1B, L-3)
3b. Sergio Burruel, C: 0-1 (1-6-3 GIDP)
4. Justin Bour, 1B: 0-3 (4-3, K, 3-U)
5a. Josh Vitters, 3B: 1-3 (1B, K, 5-3)
5b. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: NO AB
6. Jae-Hoon Ha, CF: 0-3 (F-9, 3-U, E6, SB)
7. Reggie Golden, DH #1: 0-3 (6-4 FC, F-7, K)
8. Ryan Cuneo, LF: 0-2 (K, F-8, BB)
9a. Delbis Arcila, DH #2: 0-2 (K, K)
9b. Max Kwan, PH: 0-1 (K)
10. Oliver Zapata, RF: 0-3 (K, K, 4-3)

1. Jeff Lorick: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 39 pitches (22 strikes), 7/0 GO/FO
2. Tarlandus Mitchell: 1.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 44 pitches (28 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
3. Luis Liria: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 43 pitches (24 strikes)
4. Amaury Paulino: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 22 pitches (10 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
5. Starling Peralta: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 12 pitches (9 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO


Micah Gibbs: 1-1 CS



WEATHER: Sunny & hot with temperatures in the 90’s



E. Volquez to start Game 1 of NLDS

Sullivan gets a shot in on Z one last time this season
Calling Dr. Kookie: The old Big Z makes a cameo in the 7th when yanked by Q- hands him the ball without looking at him, stalks off.

and Ramirez joins an elite Cubs group

Aramis Ramirez is 1 of 6 #Cubs to have 6 or more 25-HR seasons with the team, joining Sosa, Williams, Banks, Santo and Ryno

Next Sunday, Oct 10th...Simpsons Episode: MoneyBart

Synopsis: Lisa coaches Bart's Little League team to beef up her extracurricular-activities resumé, but her academic approach to the game takes some of the fun out of it for Bart. Baseball great Mike Scioscia and statistician Bill James have voice cameos.

Scioscia back for Round 2, eh? Stay away from that nuclear waste!

There'd better be a reference to that in there.

Len Casper (on his blog) hopes Quade gets the Cubs managerial job:


Hard to believe, it's our final 2010 regular season blog post today.

I guess I will leave you with this--what ended up being a disappointing year at
least ended on a positive note. This thing could have really gotten away from
Mike Quade, who took over a club in August appeared to be heading down a
100-loss path. But they got it back together rather quickly and while the Cubs'
fate had already been sealed, they finished as strong as you could have hoped
for. It all starts with the pitching and the Cubs' staff has been lights-out,
particularly a bullpen that got off to such a bad start.

I've said this a lot, but I will repeat it one more time--Mike Quade has done
everything to earn a return as the permanent skipper. I hope he gets it. I
don't make these decisions, but I think the Cubs are going to have a very
difficult time finding another candidate who fits the job better than Q has. Len

Pretty much Hill's starting last night forever doomed Quade in my mind. If you're not going to make decisions to help the organization, fuck off.

Hill likely started because Z was the starting pitcher. I don't get all the anger at Castillo not starting 800 games in a row. There are actual baseball reasons Hill started these games. I'm not a big Koyie Hill fan, and I would expect him to not be on the team next season and Castillo take his spot, but enough with the bitching about playing veterans vs contending teams or when your troubled pitcher is trying to end the season on a positive note.

It's the usual manager-veteran quid pro quo. Quade is trying to win games, first, and endorsements second. Veterans like Hill are much more talkative. Per Sullivan in the Trib:

"I don't think it's a secret that everyone in the clubhouse, speaking on behalf of the rest of the team, we'd really like to see Quade get the job," catcher Koyie Hill said. "He's been through it all, like we have. He related to everybody. I've never seen a manager or a coach get everything out of every single player, he brought it out of everybody. … It'll play out, but we're pulling for him."

Note that Hill is "speaking on behalf of the rest of the team." Quade picked the right veteran to give playing time to.

Yes, let's hire Quade to manage despite what amount to promises made to Sandberg and despite that fact that we all know the win streak in this low-pressure fairly small amount of games means next to nothing. Thanks, Len, for that expert analysis.

today to preserve his .300 BA...Ted William's headless body spins in its grave somewhere.

I've always thought it was cowardly crap to sit out the final day to preserve an average. Just crap. I have less respect for Quade and Castro now. It's different if Castro were hurt. And Len and Bob were both in favor of sitting him to preserve the average.

I got no problem with giving Castro the day off - great effort to pull it up to .300 yesterday. He hit .300 his rookie year - no asterisk for me.

Cubs get the 9th draft pick (by winning the Astros drop to pick 11). Looks like Q-ball knows when to fold em!

4-0 Astros (final)

Here's the explanation of why it's not just a reverse standings thang to figure out what draft pick the Cubs get (courtesy of Hrubes20):



is it april yet?

I'm too busy celebrating the end of this nightmare to worry about April yet.

Braves beat Phils 8-7...

so if Padres lose, SF wins division, Braves are Wildcard

BUT if Padres win (today's game is in SF), it's a 3 way tie (all with 91 wins).

Play-in game between SD and SF, in SD Monday and the loser goes to Atlanta for the wild card deciding game tuesday.

The wild card winner then goes to Philly Wednesday for the NLDS game 1.

If the Padres or Giants wind up winning the wild card, they would have played 4 games in 4 days in 4 cities.

HOU players are not only throwing balls into the stands to fans to "end the year"...some guys are giving un-broken bats and hats to kids.

"I always tell them in private how much I love them." - Dave Spaghetti, giants pitching coach on his pitchers


Does Cutler need a candy bar?

Can anyone answer this for me? Who was the last 20 year old with enough AB's to qualify for the batting title, to hit .300?

I don't have the BR.com play index, but you can do a search on it. It'll block out the first 6 names if you don't pay for it, but I came up with A-Rod in '96. Griffey Jr. before that in '90.

Just took a look at Arod's stats. What a year that was but technically he turned 21 on July 27 of that year. Maybe I should have phrased by questions differently "last one to hit 300 before his 21st birthday" Griffey Jr was still 20 when he did it though. I'm splitting hairs here. You answered my question. Thanks again.

your age on July 1st is the standard for determining your baseball age that season.

the BR list only came up with 22 names for what it's worth, most of them very well known names.

13 of the Cubs' last 23 games were shutouts, one way or the other. I can't remember seeing a run like that before.

quade for pitching coach

needs more lens flares and explosions, otherwise well-done Heckler.

Recent comments

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  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:


    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM

  • So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.


    And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):

  • i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.

    there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.

  • I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.

  • O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already. 

  • I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.

    I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.

  • Er, they won the first one. My bad. Carry on.

  • With last night's win in Pittsburgh, the Cubs have tied the Pirates with 98 wins, and are only 2-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. No reason why the Cubs can't finish the post-season with the best winning percentage in baseball (regular season & post-season combined). 

  • BOB: I doubt very much that Matt Szczur will be on the Cubs LDS roster.

    If he wasn't on the Wild Card roster (when the Cubs went with 15 position players), he won't be on the LDS roster (when the Cubs will go with 13 or 14 position players).

    As it is, at least one of the three RH hitting outfielders who were on the Cubs WC roster (Denorfia, Jackson, and Soler) could get bumped off the LDS roster (probably Soler).