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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  • Apparently it was greedy agents who kept pushing the envelope and teams backed away. He then fired his agents and by that time the landscape had changed. The July push had passed and teams were willing to be patient.

    As far as what happened to the Giants' deal, I don't know. But perhaps he looked at the two rosters and realized the Cubs had the better chance of winning going forward. Maybe the Cubs swooped in and gave him $500,000 more and he bit. I don't know. What I do know is he signed the day after the Cubs won the wildcard game rather impressively...

  • That's great to hear AZ Phil. If anyone should know, it'd be you. You've witnessed the transformation first-hand on a daily basis!! Thanks for passing that along and confirming what has seemed quite evident from afar!

  • Lester didn't have much movement there in inning one. Doubt the long break between starts helped him. Rizzo popping out way too often the last 6 weeks. 22 pitches for Lackey through 2.

    Tough start.

  • For Quintin to be in the team (should they get past the Cards) maybe a pitcher gets the axe.

  • if the cubs make it past STL (and molina behind the plate) it'll be interesting to see if they find a home for q.berry on the roster as a running substitution tool.

  • RHP Jason Hammel replaces OF Quintin Berry on the Active Roster, as the Cubs go from 10 pitchers in the Wild Card game to 11 pitchers in the NLDS. 

  • the story checks out.

    also, i agree.

  • So all this business about Maddon being an old Cards fan and Arrieta being in Matt Carpenter's wedding... I have really strong feelings about this stuff. I'm not sure if I really enjoy it or really despise it, but I feel strongly about it...

  • Joe.

  • Today's Loss puts new meaning into their national anthem: O Canada

  • LaTroy does what he's always done best, blow games on the line. Still breaking management hearts at age 42.

  • I'm sure Fox is thrilled with the ratings potential of a Rangers + Astros ALCS. Ha.

  • LaTroy is going to LaTroy

  • I am remarkably calm about today's game. Not that I am expecting to win, but that I have no expectations at all either way.

    If the Cubs game goes to 14 innings, I will no longer be calm.

  • TEX/TOR in the 14th inning, btw...fun stuff.

  • Yay! KB at 3B!