Cubs Score with Small Ball
Evan Crawford singled twice, stole a base, and scored a run, and Justin Bour reached base three times on two singles and a HBP, leading the Cubs to a 2-1 victory over the A’s Split Squad #1 in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.
Trailing after a Michael Spina solo home run gave the A's a 1-0 lead in the top of the 1st, the Cubs scored their first run in the bottom of the 1st inning when lead-off man Evan Crawford (acquired from the Giants in the Mike Fontenot deal) reached base on an infield single to deep short, stole 2nd , advanced to 3rd on a Logan Watkins sacrifice bunt, and scored on an Engel Santana sacrifice fly.
The Cubs scored what proved to be the winning run in the bottom of the 7th. Justin Bour was hit by a pitch leading off the inning, and moved-up to 2nd base on a wild pitch. Oliver Zapata was sent-in to pinch run for Bour at this point, and Zapata advanced to 3rd on an errant pick-off throw by the A’s pitcher, and then scored on a passed ball.
Closer Kevin Rhoderick (2010 9th round pick out of Oregon State) pitched out of a one-out & bases loaded jam (of his own making) in the top of the 9th, getting a strikeout and an infield pop up to end the game.
Cubs 2010 2nd round pick Reggie Golden left the game with what appeared to be either lower back spasms or a right oblique strain.
18-year old Korean bonus baby RHP Jin-Yeong Kim threw off the mound today and looks to be ready to maybe get one more outing before Instructs concludes on Saturday. Kim left his last start with a leg injury.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Evan Crawford, CF: 2-4 (1B, F-9, E5, 1B, R, SB)
2. Logan Watkins, DH #1: 0-2 (1-3 SH, 3-1, 6-4 FC)
3a. Engel Santana, C: 0-2 (F-7 SF, 3-U, 4-3, RBI)
3b. Max Kwan, C: NO AB
4a. Justin Bour, 1B: 2-2 (1B, 1B, HBP)
4b. Oliver Zapata, PR-RF: NO AB (R)
5. Dustin Geiger, 3B: 0-3 (3-U, K, K)
6a. Reggie Golden, RF: 1-3 (6-3, 1B, K)
6b. Ryan Cuneo, 1B: NO AB
7. Micah Gibbs, DH #2: 0-3 (4-3, 4-6 FC, 6-3)
8. Marco Hernandez, SS: 0-3 (6-3, K, 6-3)
9. Chris Huseby, LF: 0-3 (1-3, K, 6-3)
10. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 1-3 (F-9, 6-3, 2B)
1. Jeff Lorick: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 43 pitches (27 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
2. Jhon Rodriguez: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 PO, 40 pitches (21 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
3. Luis Liria: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 33 pitches (21 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
4. Casey Harman: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 PO, 13 pitches (9 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
5. Kevin Rhoderick: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 23 pitches (15 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
Engel Santana: 1-1 CS
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy, with temperatures in the 90’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.