Cub Pitchers Mine Gold in Arizona Ball Fields
Five Cub pitchers combined to throw a two-hitter and Justin Bour drove-in two runs with an RBI single and a sacrifice fly, leading the Cubs to a 3-1 victory over the A’s Split Squad #2 in AZ Instructional League action at Papago Park Field #2 in Phoenix this afternoon.
Thanks to a GIDP, a PO, and a CS, Cubs pitchers faced only two batters above the minimum, and today’s pitching gem comes on the heels of the no-hitter thrown by five other Cubs pitchers on Saturday. (The Cubs did not play yesterday).
Cubs 7th round pick RHP Ben Wells (Bryant HS – Bryant, AR) got the start and threw two perfect innings with three strikeouts (the 18-year old Wells has exactly the same body-type as 1970’s Cubs pitching great Rick Reuschel), and 19-year old long & lanky (6’4 180) RHP Starling Peralta (considered one of the top two pitching prospects on this year’s DSL Cubs #1 squad) retired all eight men he faced, striking out five of them.
Cubs 2010 23rd round draft pick RHP Matt Loosen (U. of Jacksonville) left the game in the bottom of the 7th inning after being struck on the right side of the face by a line drive. He did not lose consciousness and he walked off the field under his own power.
Bob Dernier (outfield & baserunning instructor) and Mark Johnson (catching instructor) have joined the Cubs AZ Instructional League coaching staff at Fitch Park. Dernier spent the last month of the season as the Chicago Cubs 1st base coach.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Evan Crawford, CF: 2-4 (2B, F-7, 3-1, 1B, R)
2. Logan Watkins, DH #1: 1-3 (1-3 SH, 2B, F-9, F-7, R)
3. Micah Gibbs, C-DH: 1-3 (BB, 1B, F-7, F-7)
4a. Justin Bour, 1B: 1-2 (1B, F-7 SF, F-8, 2 RBI)
4b. Ryan Cuneo, 1B: 0-1 (6-3)
5. Dustin Geiger, 3B: 1-3 (F-8, P-3, 1B, BB, R, CS)
6. Marco Hernandez, SS: 0-3 (K, K, 5-3 SH, 1-U)
7a. Reggie Golden, RF: 1-3 (K, K, 1B, PO)
7b. Oliver Zapata, RF: NO AB
8. Sergio Burruel, DH-C: 0-2 (E4, 3-1, BB)
9. Chris Huseby, LF: 0-3 (1-6 FC, L-5, 6-U FC)
10. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 0-3 (K, K, K)
1. Ben Wells: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 21 pitches (14 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
2. Ryan Hartman: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 30 pitches (16 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
3. Amaury Paulino: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 PO, 35 pitches (19 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4. Matt Loosen: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 8 pitches (5 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
5. Starling Peralta: 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 31 pitches (21 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
SS Marco Hernandez E-6 (missed catch – two-base error allowed batter to reach base – eventually scored unearned run)
2B Gioskar Amaya E-4 (overthrow at 1st base attempting to complete DP allowed batter to advance to 2nd base)
Sergio Burruel: 1-1 CS
RF Reggie Golden - threw out batter trying to advance to 2nd base on line single to RF
ATTENDANCE: 17 (mostly scouts)
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90’s
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.
a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...
it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...
Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.
Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.
Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.
soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.
he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.
j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.
so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.
im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.
That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.
9 pitches in and this game already rules.
HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).
...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.