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):


LINEUP:
1a. Marco Hernandez, SS: 0-3 (6-3, L-6, 1-3)
1b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED 4TH TIME THRU ORDER
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)


PITCHERS:
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


ERRORS: NONE


CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Micah Gibbs: 1-1 CS


=================================================


ATTENDANCE: 43


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


 

Comments

E. Volquez to start Game 1 of NLDS

Sullivan gets a shot in on Z one last time this season
http://twitter.com/#!/PWSullivan/status/26223...
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
http://twitter.com/#!/CarrieMuskat/status/262...

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:

http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/len-and-bob/

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):

http://www.thecubreporter.com/2010/09/30/vitt...

so...

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

lulz.

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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  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 1 hour 5 min ago view
  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 1 hour 40 min ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 1 hour 53 min ago view
  • They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?

    QuietMan 3 hours 17 min ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.

    What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.

    (All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 18 min ago view
  • Lester will probably be all right.

    I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.

    Seriously.

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 24 min ago view
  • I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.

    billybucks 3 hours 28 min ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 31 min ago view
  • He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.

    But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.

    billybucks 3 hours 40 min ago view
  • The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 42 min ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 3 hours 48 min ago view
  • QuietMan 3 hours 56 min ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 4 hours 15 min ago view
  • O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.

    The E-Man 4 hours 53 min ago view
  • Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.

    Old and Blue 5 hours 37 min ago view
  • I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.

    Old and Blue 5 hours 48 min ago view