Giant Bats Quiet Cubs at Fitch Park
Tommy Joseph cracked a two-run home run to lead the Giants to a 12-1 drubbing of the Cubs in AZ Instructional League action at Fitch Park Field #1 in Mesa this afternoon. (Field #3 remains unplayable in the aftermath of the torrential rain and flash flood that hit Mesa Tuesday afternoon).
18-year old Korean bonus baby Jin-Yeong Kim got the start for the Cubs today, and was “lights out” through the first two innings, retiring the side in order in both innings, and striking out the side in the 2nd. But the youngster hit a wall in the top of the 3rd, walking the lead-off hitter on four pitches before allowing two singles and a double that ended his day. Kim also suffered some type of right leg injury while backing up 3rd base just before he was relieved, and was last seen limping to the Cubs bench before getting a ride to the clubhouse on a golf cart. Whether it was a groin, quad, knee, or ankle, I don’t know, but I have a feeling we have seen the last of Kim until next March.
2B Logan Watkins had to leave the game after colliding with RF Xavier Batista while going after a pop fly in short right in the top of the 5th. Watkins initially remained in the game and he did take his AB in the bottom of the inning, but then he was sent to the clubhouse for further evaluation. Hopefully he did not sustain a concussion, but it was a fairly violent collision (X. Batista is a big dude), and Watkins did lay motionless for a few seconds afterward.
Because Marco Hernandez and Gioskar Amaya had morning workouts and were not dressed for the game, and with Pin-Chieh Chen out with a rib injury and Wes Darvill having been sent home, 3B Willson Contreras was moved over to 2B for the final four innings. A converted catcher, Contreras had not previously played 2B in his pro career, but he handled his only two chances flawlessly.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1a. Evan Crawford, RF: 2-3 (1B, 5-3, 3B, R)
1b. Engel Santana, C: 0-1 (4-3)
2. Hak-Ju Lee, SS: 1-2 (BB, 1B, 4-3, RBI, SB)
3. Sergio Burruel, C-DH: 0-1 (4-6-3 GIDP, BB, BB)
4. Justin Bour, 1B: 0-3 (F-7, 6-4-3 GIDP, 6-4-3 GIDP)
5. Xavier Batista, DH-RF: 0-3 (F-9, K, P-3)
6a. Logan Watkins, 2B: 0-2 (4-3, 4-3)
6b. Dustin Geiger, 3B: 0-1 (F-9)
7. Micah Gibbs, DH #2: 0-3 (4-3, 3-U, K)
8. Reggie Golden, CF: 1-3 (P-4, 1B, K, CS)
9. Chris Huseby, LF: 0-3 (K, F-9, K)
10a. Willson Contreras, 3B-2B: 0-2 (6-3, L-7)
10b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED 3rd TIME THRU ORDER
1. Jin-Yeong Kim: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 37 pitches (27 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
2. Jhon Rodriguez: 2.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 2 HBP, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 46 pitches (30 strikes), 6/1 GO/FO
3. Tarlandus Mitchell: 2.1 IP, 0 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 BALK, 43 pitches (23 strikes), 5/0 GO/FO
4. Ryan Hartman: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 11 pitches (8 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
5. Amaury Paulino: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 21 pitches (14 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
2B Logan Watkins E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base and unearned run to score from 2nd base)
ATTENDANCE: 16 (mostly scouts)
WEATHER: Sunny and a bit breezy with temperatures in the 80’s
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.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.