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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  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the mlb.tv internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup equation...plus joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.